An accumulation of research and increasing medical practitioner interest and acceptance is emerging with attention focused on probiotics in the treatment of digestive disorders and disease. This lends to a good case for recommending probiotics, either in fermented foods or as supplements on a regular basis to improve digestive health and other ailments.
For many generations different cultures have experienced the health promoting benefits of fermented foods as their source of probiotics and included them as a regular part of their diet. Fermentation is a natural preservative and many cultures practiced these food preservation activities to keep their food stored longer during the months of the year that their vegetables could not grow. Over time society developed their own synthetic preservatives to keep food longer on the shelves and we became reliant on the refrigerator to ensure our food did not spoil and as a result, the fermentation practices ceased and so to did the consumption of fermented foods and natural probiotics.
The commercial industry offers a large range of probiotics with strong advertising sloggans to boost, however many of them do not have the bacterial or therapeutic strength to repopulate the gut of a GAPS patient. Trying to choose the right probiotic for GAPS patients can therefore become a challenge. Here we provide the advice and guide set by Dr N. Campbell McBride in selecting the appropriate therapeutic probiotic.
Bio-Kult is the recommended Probiotic for individuals following the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Protocol and was formulated by a team of doctors, nutritionists and scientists (including Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride) dedicated to advancing the research and use of probiotic health supplements.
Choosing a Probiotic for GAPS requires the following criteria check.
1. Contain as many different species of bacteria as possible to maximize the repopulation of beneficial species in the gut.
2. Contain a mixture of strains from different groups of probiotic bacteria. The recommended groups are: Lactobacilii, Bifidobacteria and Soil bacteria
3. Contain the right concentrated amount of bacteria: colony forming units (CFU) to survive the perilous acid journey through the gut. It is commonly accepted by scientists that probiotics must have a minimum of 1 million cfu of the good bacteria strains per gram to ensure that they reach the areas of the gut where they may do their work to colonize. The recommended amount for GAPS is at least 8 billion of bacteria cells per gram. You need to provide large enough doses to see an improvement, however it is important to be cautious of probiotics that contain amounts that are too high for GAPS patients to cope with.
Some probiotics contain bacteria strengths far and beyond this like NDF which is an extremely potent Probiotic not recommended for GAPS patients because it has a detrimental severe die off making the person very sick and weak. NDF has been nanonized which means chopped creating a greater surface area to bind to free radicals entering the body before it chelates them.
Timmerman et al. (2004) summarised a group of studies comparing the functionality and efficiency of mono strains, multi strains and multispecies probiotics. His findings revealed that multi strain probiotics are indeed more effective than mono strain probiotics and that multi species containing multiple strains can be even more effective than the multi strain probiotics.
One of the studies compared by Timmerman et al. included the probiotic mono strain Saccharomyces Boulardii which revealed that it left the microflora unchanged. This shows how significant it is to have as many different species as possible when selecting a probiotic. A lot of attention has been paid to S. Boulardii, for its affects in killing the overgrowth of Candida Albicans (a yeast bacteria), however supplementing it alone without the additional effects derived from a multispecies probiotic will fail to meet the desired effects in repopulating the gut. A Multispecies probiotic will allow the microflora to repopulate and keep pathogenic bacteria at bay and this is what Bio-Kult was designed to do.
Strains of so-called Saccharomyces boulardii, taxonomic status are somewhat unclear however recent work suggests it is a subspecies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (commonly found in Kefir), which is regarded as the most prominent representatives of probiotic yeasts within the community of biotherapeutic S. cerevisiae strains. GAPS believes in gaining it’s nutrition from food sources, therefore it would be significantly suitable to accompany Bio-Kult with yeasts derived from food sources like kefir. Over 27 beneficial yeast strains have been found in kefir, not to mention the other exhaustive list of beneficial strains derived from lactobacilli, streptococci/lactococci and acetobacter.
Bio-Kult has been designed to produce 2 billion Probiotic microorganisms per capsule so that it is easy to establish small enough doses for sensitive people to build up to the therapeutic dose required for healing. Bio-Kult has a broad spectrum of beneficial species, each working together in a symbiotic relationship. It maintains its reputation to meet all the GAPS Criteria and has proven its value shown in clinical evidence.
It is very important to build the dose up slowly. Start from a very small amount. Observe the patient for any “die-off” symptoms (including, but not limited to fatigue, nausea, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, low grade fever, headache, and flu like symptoms). If there are none then, increase the dose. When you see a reaction, let your patient settle on this dose until the “die-off” symptoms disappear. Then increase the dose again and let the patient settle on it. Keep increasing the dose until a therapeutic level is reached. This period of building up the dose can take from a few weeks to a few months in different patients.
Once the patient has reached the therapeutic dose level it should be maintained for around six months on average. It takes at least this length of time to remove the pathogenic flora and start re-establishing normal gut flora. Adhering to the diet is absolutely essential in this period. If you carry on feeding your pathogens in the gut with sugar and processed carbohydrates then the probiotic will not have much chance of helping you. After 6 months GAPS clients should take a maintenance dose of probiotics for the rest of their life. Example: A four year old would take up to 6 capsules for the first 6 months and then maintain the dose with 4 a day from then onwards.
Do not consume probiotics at the same time as Sauerkraut or Betain with added pepsin. It is best to supplement probiotics first thing in the morning and last thing at night when the stomach acid is at its lowest. Dr Campbell Mc Bride advises that this works well in a clinical setting.
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