No One Single Probiotic Fits All
There are many reasons why a probiotic that helps one person might not help another. Everyones Crohns is a little bit different based on genetic background, where they live, environmental exposures, where they travel, and what they eat, says Dr. Feuerstein. So keep it simple. Just pick one you feel comfortable with. In other words, probiotics function in similar ways, regardless of their names, so dont get hung up on the Latin-speak when weighing which to try first.
Also, simply because, say, acidophilus or a certain probiotic combination was used in a particular study, there is no guarantee the version on the shelf at your health food store or in your yogurt are necessarily the same strains or amounts studied. Nor should you assume one is more potent because it has multiple strains, requires a larger dose, must be refrigerated, is a brand name, or is more expensive.
Some common ones that have been well-studied include lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, but remember, you cant really go wrong. It might help, it might not, but it cant hurt, says Dr. Feuerstein.
How Do I Tell Whats In A Probiotic
Probiotics must list on their labels whats in them, including the strains and any other ingredients added.
On a product, a probiotic strain should be listed as a long name followed by a series of letters, and sometimes numbers too. For example, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG, or Bifidobacterium lactis HN019.
The first part of the name is the genus. The second part of the name is the species and the letters and numbers at the end are the strain designation.
If you know what the name of each strain in the probiotic is you can link it to any research thats been done into the strain.
Some companies produce a Trademarked name for strains of bacteria in their products. This can be for marketing purposes and isnt an indication of one strain being better than another. If a product contains a Trademarked strain the packaging must still list the scientific name for the strain.
If a probiotic does not list the full name of the specific bacteria in the produce or they do not state how much of the bacteria is present in the product this is a sign to be wary.
Make sure the product contains at least the level of probiotics that was used in the research. These are shown as CFU on the bottle/packaging/website. Most successful probiotic research has used more than or equal to 109 CFU per dose so this is the amount of that bacteria needed to have the beneficial outcome shown in the study.
What Is The Difference Between Collagenous Colitis And Lymphocytic Colitis
While collagenous colitis also involves the formation of excess collagen in the colon, both forms may actually just be different phases of the same condition.
For this reason, symptoms, risk factors and treatment for both CC and lymphocytic colitis are the same.
However, rates of LC are slightly higher than that of CC, and women have a greater risk of developing CC than men .
Summary: Microscopic colitis is an inflammation of the large intestine that causes chronic watery diarrhea. Lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis experience an abundance of inflammatory cells, but the latter also shows a thickened layer of collagen in the colons tissue. Both forms share the same symptoms, risk factors and treatment protocols.
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We Suggest Using A Strain
We agree with researchers that larger studies are needed to help identify which strains of probiotic bacteria arehelpful in treating Crohns and IBD in general.
Such a strain specific approach considers that not all strains of bacteria in a probiotic family are the same. Each strain has different effects that could work for certain symptoms and patients but not for others.
Probiotics anti-inflammatory effectdepends on the strain type and the dose used. For this reason, we encourage a strain-specific approach to specifically target one or more symptoms that you are aiming to address.
For more information on well-researched probiotic strains for certain ailments, check out theUS Probiotic Guide.
How Probiotics Help Ulcerative Colitis
If youre looking to add probiotics to your treatment to help ulcerative colitis, to remedy your symptoms, or to stave off the disease, then youre keenly interested in how probiotics help ulcerative colitis specifically.
A recent meta-analysis, a study that attempts to draw conclusions based on the results of all previous studies on a topic, has found that probiotics are indeed effective in preventing a relapse of UC.
There are a couple of different ways that probiotics help, using different mechanisms. One way they help is by acting as a barrier in the intestinal tract to prevent other bacteria from causing an immune system response.
Another means by which probiotics help is in the way they enhance mucus production to create a thicker layer that protects against invasive bacteria.
Similarly, the effect on the internal mucosal immune system in the intestines is to prompt the secretion of protective immunoglobulins which have a whole host of protective qualities in the body.
Finally, the function of the mucosal immune system is altered and with a probiotic supplement, it becomes more anti-inflammatory. This is where people with ulcerative colitis appear to have the most benefit.
Probiotics make luminal bacteria less effective in causing an intestinal inflammatory response. This means less damage, less pain, less urgency with bowel movements and more.
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Clinical Trials For Probiotics And Ulcerative Colitis
The same strain of non-pathogenic E.coli as was trialled in Crohns Disease has also been extensively trialled in Ulcerative Colitis. This strain of bacteria has been compared with an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat IBD in three separate studies of UC patients. Perhaps the most conclusive of them, by Kruis et al7, showed that out of the 327 study participants, that were treated with either E.Coli Nissle1917 or 500mg of the drug three times daily, the relapse rates were similar in both groups, indicating that E.Coli Nissle1917 may be as effective as anti-inflammatory drugs in preventing relapse in UC patients.
A multi-strain probiotic formulation has also been studied for UC. The combination product that was researched, contained three strains of Bifidobacteria, four of Lactobacilli and one of Streptococcus salivarius sp. thermophilus. In this study by Venturi et al8 twenty patients with inactive Ulcerative Colitis were given the probiotic formulation daily for a twelve month period, during which time remission was maintained in 15 out of the 20 study participants. Whilst a 75% success rate appears significant, this trial was not placebo-controlled, so it is difficult to draw any true conclusions.
Why You May Want To Think Twice Before Buying
Got a tummy ache? Have a bout of diarrhea? Want to feel less sluggish or dial down systemic inflammation? You might be used to reaching for probiotics. These supplements have been marketed as an over-the-counter cure-all for a variety of conditions, as well as a daily general health booster for just about anyone. These days, you can purchase an extraordinary array of probiotic supplements online and at your local health food or grocery store.
Despite their positive reputation and widespread availability, the science around probiotic supplementation isnt as solid as it might seem. According to gut health experts, probiotics may have benefits for specific health issues, but theyre not necessarily a wise choice for the general population.
Read on for what to know before you buy probiotics.
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Can Probiotics Make Uc Worse
Probiotics may help by providing good bacteria that help restore the bacterial balance in the intestine, eliminating the problem to which the immune system is responding. With the perceived danger gone, the immune system may soften or stop its attack.
As we stated previously, probiotics may help increase the time between flare-ups and may make the symptoms of a flare-up less severe. Also, probiotics are likely less expensive than typical UC medications, and they may be safer over long periods.
Probiotics may also protect against other bowel problems such as Clostridium difficile colitis and travelers diarrhea.
There are a lot of benefits, but there are a few cons when using probiotics with UC. The main one is that theyre probably not useful in causing a faster remission during a flare-up of UC.
Another con is that certain people should use them cautiously. Probiotics contain living bacteria, so they may increase infection risk in people with compromised immune systems . This is because a weakened immune system might not be able to keep the live bacteria in check, and an infection may result.
Description Of The Intervention
Probiotics consist of live microorganisms that, by definition, should benefit health in humans. Common microorganisms that have been used as probiotics include Lactobacillus spp, Bifidobacterium spp, Streptococcus salivarius, Escherichia coli Nissle 1917, and yeasts . There has been an increasing interest in the use of probiotics for gastrointestinal diseases, as they are considered safe and easily accessible.
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What Do Probiotics Do
Lets start with the basics. Theres a bunch of bacteria in your intestines, both good and bad. When the good bacteria gets low, the bad bacteria can overgrow and contribute to symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or other mostly bathroom related difficulties.
Thats where probiotics come in. Probiotics are the good bacteria and are thought to help rebuild those friendly bacteria levels in the gut, and in turn, provide health benefits.
Consuming probiotics in food or supplements helps contribute to a more beneficial gut microbiome and potentially positive health outcomes, since the good bacteria can crowd out the bad, and prevent the bad from proliferating.
When you have a Crohns flare, it can affect the balance of good and bad bacteria which might make your symptoms of the disease worse. So striking the right balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is important.
Increasing your probiotic intake can help boost good bacteria and hopefully reduce Crohns symptoms.
But should you bother with probiotics? Lets look at how they may affect your health.
Potential Pros Of Using Probiotics For Crohns Disease
Some experts believe that probiotics can help restore the good bacteria imbalance in microbiome, which can help to subdue the immune response in the gut and reduce Crohns Disease symptoms. These experts maintain that adding probiotics reduces intestinal inflammation, which alleviates frequent symptoms such as diarrhea and upset stomach.
However, although some scientists believe that probiotics can help, very little research has been done to establish a direct link between probiotic consumption and improved Crohns Disease symptoms. The research that does exist has only been conducted on a very small number of people. Consequently, it is hard to generalize these results to everyone who suffers from Crohns Disease. One of these small studies showed improvements in the barrier function of the intestine and an increase in anti-inflammatory compounds in the gastrointestinal tract. These findings led the researchers to conclude that probiotics are promising as a treatment for Crohns Disease.
A review of existing research on probiotic supplementation for Crohns Disease concluded that more research is necessary to establish a link between cause and effect.
Efficacy Of Probiotics In Inducing Remission In Active Uc
Four out of the 13 eligible trials compared probiotics with 5-ASA compounds for remission induction of active UC, and the other 9 trials were placebo-controlled. Detailed study characteristics are provided in Table . The four trials that compared probiotics with 5-ASAs, for their effect in inducing remission of active UC, contained 157 patients.
In the trials that were conducted on UC patients, the criteria such as quality of life Questionnaire and full blood counts, renal, and liver function, C-reactive protein , erythrocyte sedimentation rate , faecal calprotectin , serum cytokine profiling, rectal tissue microbial profiling, PCR and qPCR, haemoglobin , white blood cell count, albumin and faecal organic acids were measured.
Two, out of 21, trials showed no significant effect for probiotics regarding the remission of UC and CD among patients. In addition, no major adverse events were reported among patients, assigned to probiotics or 5-ASAs. In one trial , individuals had avascular necrosis of bilateral femoral head , surgical removal of granuloma in the throat and pulmonary thromboembolism .
Will Probiotics Cure My Ibd
No. Unfortunately there is currently no cure for IBD.
However, some people have found that some probiotics assist in alleviating some symptoms of their IBD. If you choose to take a probiotic it is recommended you do so alongside any other treatment you are undergoing and that you discuss taking it with your doctor before starting.
People who report success with probiotics have found a reduction in symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, fatigue, skin conditions and constipation. Probiotics are increasingly being recognised to help people who have irritable bowel syndrome. Many people with IBD suffer from IBS too.
The success rate varies from person to person and a probiotic that may produce results for one person may not do the same for another.
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Why Does The Person At The Local Organic Food Store Or Nutrition Supply Shop Tell Me That Herbal Products Will Work For My Ibd
Diet supplements are a multi-billion dollar business in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration is not allowed to regulate their products as long as they do not make specific health claims. The people who work in these stores are sometimes paid extra when they sell supplements. They will often guide people to products that pay the highest rates, to add to their own pay. In contrast, your doctor does not receive money from drug companies for medicines you are prescribed.
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Eating Probiotic Foods Versus Pills
If youre someone who likes eating and drinking fermented foods and beverages as part of a healthy lifestyle, then the whole foods route to fitting in probiotics probably makes sense for you. Fermented foods are made by combining milk, vegetables, and other raw ingredients with microorganisms like yeast and bacteria. Then these microorganisms multiply so these foods teem with live healthy probiotics.
In a small clinical trial, performed at the Stanford School of Medicine in California, 36 healthy adults were randomly assigned to a 10-week diet that had them eating either fermented or high-fiber foods. The researchers found that eating fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi, and other fermented vegetables, vegetable brine drinks, and kombucha tea led to a more diverse array of microbes and a marked decrease in 19 inflammatory compounds in peoples guts. The high-fiber foods did not show these results.
Think about a Greek yogurt parfait for breakfast, a side of fermented dill pickles or sauerkraut with lunch, and kimchi or other fermented vegetables for dinner, says Warren. That said, she reminds clients to avoid any known food triggers. For instance, if youre sensitive to dairy, then yogurt, kefir, and cheese might not be the best choices for fermented food options, she says. Plant-based yogurts are a good stand-in since they are just as packed with live active cultures.
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Do Probiotics Really Help Crohns
People who practice Complimentary and Alternative Medicine have long used probiotics to treat various illnesses. Recently, however, they have been in the limelight, especially by manufacturers touting the health benefits of foods that contain probiotics.
If you have Crohns disease, do probiotics help?
What are probiotics?
Our intestinal tract is home to millions of bacterial microflora. Good bacteria help keep us healthy, however, disease or pathogens can disrupt this natural process. We know that in people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease , their immune system has a faulty response to beneficial microflora, reacting as if the organisms were foreign objects. Researchers find that the sections of the gut with the highest bacteria count are the same areas most affected by IBD.
Probiotics are live microorganisms we ingest through food or supplements. They may be effective in preventing or managing Crohns disease. You can find probiotics in certain foods, including live-culture yogurt, some milk products and beverages and fermented soy products . You can also purchase probiotic dietary supplements.
Here are just a few of the many reported benefits of probiotics.
- Reduces lacto-intolerance
- Reduces diarrhea, particularly if caused by rotaviruses
- Offsets side effects from antibiotics
- Protects against cancer and pathogens
- Shortens duration of intestinal infections by the Clostridium difficile bacteria, which is of particular concern to IBD patients
Where Is The Research On Prebiotics And Probiotics Headed
Its interesting. There was a boom for years and then it died down quite a bit. From a laboratory standpoint, we dont understand a lot about how the probiotics work. So I think the attention of scientists now is more focused on understanding the mechanisms of the interactions between these bacteria and the host, which are different between different individuals. Each one of us has a unique composition of intestinal flora. The same probiotics may have a different effect for you and me, because they interact with trillions of other bacteria, which are different for each person. So all of these nuances are going back to basic science before moving further to the clinical arena.
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Mason Natural Probiotic Acidophilus With Pectin
Mason Natural Probiotic Acidophilus with Pectin supplement comes in 100-capsule packages with gelatin, magnesium stearate and silica as the main ingredients. IT contains no additives like sugar, starch, sodium, yeast, soy, corn, wheat or dairy products, nuts, and other flavors. People can take it from all age groups, but pregnant and lactating mothers must consult with a physician before taking the supplements. They are most useful when taken with meals at least twice a day as dietary supplements. The Probiotic acidophilus helps in milk and sugar digestion, promoting general good health of the digestive system.
Flora Childrens probiotic contains seven strains specifically cultured for children plus, raw probiotics are taken as a dietary supplement. Every capsule has at least 5billion viable cells during production, dropping to a 3billion upon expiration, two-year shelf life. They are meant for children and should be taken once daily after meals, but they can take more capsules for additional energy levels. The supplement has dairy and soy traces consumers should consult with a health professional if they have underlying conditions.