muscles flexDoctors are the ‘Kings’ of antibiotics, prescribing nearly 1 round of antibiotics per person yearly in the United States.  The negative consequences of this broad-based antibiotic use has many concerned, and as a result, using bacteria for a ‘positive’ probiotic effect has been suggested.  Unfortunately, there is very little data about the best way to accomplish this approach.

I am in favor of the idea of using probiotics and there likely is no negative effect from the use of any of the commercial products at health food stores and natural grocers, but it would be nice to have some data for the basis of choosing.

Toward that end, I would suggest two probiotics to consider.



VSL #3 has shown some benefits in irritable bowel disease and ulcerative colitis studies, so there is some basis to consider this product.   Many of the GI doctors recommend this specifically, and although the data supporting it is thin, there have been attempts to gain such information.

FLORASTOR is a yeast, not a bacteria.  This is a different type of germ, and has been shown to be beneficial in helping prevent recurrence of C Difficile (antibiotic induced) diarrhea.  Whether it is helpful in other situations is unclear, but such a benefit does provide some reason to recommend it.

The key to using a probiotic effectively, no matter which form you choose, is to make an objective assesment of the improvements provided, and stop any probiotic or supplement that seems to be having negative side effects on your body or GI system.