0

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How to colonize the GI tract with probiotics?

Answered on October 29, 2013
Created October 25, 2013 at 10:47 PM

Is there any way? I've read some scientific articles that state probiotics are transient and don't permanently alter an individual's gut flora, but then I've also read the claim that kefir can colonize the GI tract. I cannot find this claim backed up with any peer-reviewed papers. So far, the only scientifically-proven way I've seen to permanently recolonize the colon is a fecal transplant....

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 29, 2013
at 01:03 AM

That's racist!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 28, 2013
at 10:53 PM

Supposedly it only takes about a year for your gut critters to return close to baseline post antibiotics, but the diversity may be less or different, so a habit of ferments (as long as you aren't histamine intolerant) and prebiotic fiber can be a good idea if you've taken a course of them.

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/10/around-the-web-curing-constipation-edition/

Medium avatar

(624)

on October 28, 2013
at 10:49 PM

What if you don't have an appendix? I had an appendectomy about 6 years ago...

6324d46cff30de77af73ab4581a1c528

on October 28, 2013
at 09:54 PM

not measurably. My toddler son (autistic, also on GAPS) has had an overgrowth of a pathogenic bacteria called proteus vulgaris that has proven very difficult to eradicate, even on GAPS with loads of fermented foods and probiotics. :-(

Medium avatar

(0)

on October 28, 2013
at 05:19 PM

Did the GAPS diet help you in your journey?

6324d46cff30de77af73ab4581a1c528

on October 28, 2013
at 03:51 PM

Interesting. I did GAPS for a year and I've never heard this. I would be very interested to find a peer-reviewed journal article that supports the claim that variety kills gut flora!

Medium avatar

(624)

on October 28, 2013
at 02:55 AM

On that note - does anybody do fermented meats? Can you really eat that stuff raw / does cooking it completely destroy any potential probiotic effect?

I'm thinking we do a pretty good job of digesting meat with our own gastric juices so maybe it doesn't matter - except perhaps to aid in immunity against food poisoning...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 27, 2013
at 11:51 PM

i read similar, ie. you can alter the balance of your existing gut bacteria (ie. from dietary changes), but there is no way to introduce & establish any new bacteria (except possibly by fecal transplant).

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on October 26, 2013
at 03:50 PM

Also, one should notice that in practice, we mostly eat RS type 3.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 26, 2013
at 04:05 AM

a warning, if you suffer from SIBO, RS may not be a good idea, introduce to your diet with caution, gradually, & start small

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11 Answers

0
A7c1857ce53fb11a9351d05718c7070d

(283)

on October 29, 2013
at 10:00 PM

I did a bit of research in the past regarding probiotics and their impact on the effects of alcohol consumption and seasonal allergies, you can have a read of my findings if you want. I also wrote a bit about soil based probiotics, which apparently have a better chance of surviving past the stomach:

http://www.thebarefootgolfer.com/2013/02/22/alcohol-and-leaky-gut-the-probiotic-protection-factor/

http://www.thebarefootgolfer.com/2013/03/01/seasonal-allergies-are-probiotics-the-cure/

http://www.thebarefootgolfer.com/2013/03/22/soil-based-organisms-a-superior-probiotic/

However, as some of you all mentioned, these benefits were only seen while actually taking the probiotics, there was no intervention in the studies (that I can recall) following the groups to see if the effects continued after consumption of the probiotics stopped. Good point, and I think I will be researching this further. I think one place to start is to ensure prebiotic consumption to feed beneficial bacteria that are already present in the gut.

Just some thoughts from a non-medical practitioner.

0
Medium avatar

on October 28, 2013
at 10:58 PM

A long but interesting read by Sébastien Noël which no doubt will answer many questions. This link should skip to the part about probiotics and healing gut flora if you don't want to read the whole, fascinating thing...

http://paleodietlifestyle.com/you-and-your-gut-flora/#s5

Basically, you have to kill off the bad guys, burn down their fortresses, while simultaneously re-introducing as many varied good guys as possible and helping them create warm and fuzzy new home in your colon mucosa... but you can't possibly get anything from that without reading a lot of the article.

On the flip side, it's probably not possible to make a full and complete recovery if your disbiosis has gone too far. Best you can hope for is to make a maintenance routine work. I personally enjoy fermented foods so I don't have much problem making them a regular part of my diet.

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 28, 2013
at 02:00 AM

I think the science is tipping towards suggesting we feed the pets we bring home if we want them to stay (seems like a "no duh" thing in retrospect). Apparently lots and lots of oatmeal is pretty effective at getting those little buggers to multiply like crazy. Whether they colonize or not long term, I don't know that we know yet.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2471095/Forget-trendy-probiotic-drinks--just-eat-porridge.html

I suspect the reason most traditional diets have fermented foods (beyond food preservation) is to maintain gut health. If taking the probiotic foods for a short time caused a lasting shift in our microbiome I suspect there wouldn't be a tradition of daily use.

Our appendix harbors what we were exposed to in early life to recolonize things if we need a hard reboot, and I doubt much will really take us away from that particular mix short of a fecal transplant, but daily use of other ferments likely makes our food more digestable and preserve our digestive enzymes.

Medium avatar

(624)

on October 28, 2013
at 10:49 PM

What if you don't have an appendix? I had an appendectomy about 6 years ago...

0
Medium avatar

on October 27, 2013
at 10:09 PM

Please look for this article from Art Ayers (and check others articles about the same subject, they are very interesting) :

http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.be/2012/06/dr-oz-on-gut-flora-repair.html

According to him, it is possible to rebuild a healthy gut flora but it needs time and persistance. You have to follow a simple diet that will gradually help you :

 One good point of GAPS is that it avoids the problem of too much 
variety in fruits and vegetables.  You need to let your gut flora adjust
 to the types of soluble fiber and phytochemicals (which are also 
anti-bacterial) you are providing.  Variety kills gut flora.

6324d46cff30de77af73ab4581a1c528

on October 28, 2013
at 03:51 PM

Interesting. I did GAPS for a year and I've never heard this. I would be very interested to find a peer-reviewed journal article that supports the claim that variety kills gut flora!

0
Medium avatar

on October 27, 2013
at 10:05 PM

The truth is I am very skeptical about probiotics in general. The mechanism they use to colonize the gut sounds very off. The probiotic would have to have such a mechanism that would allow it pass through the stomach's acid bath, pass through the small intestine while intact, and finally reach the colon and release there. If it releases into the small intestine it may cause SIBO. Once you stop taking probiotics, the benefits of it usually seem to subside most likely due to the fact that they were not able to colonize the walls of the colon.

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Bacterial-spp-in-gut.jpg

Here is a list of the most abundant probiotic species in the gut. If you take a close look at it you'll notice that lactobacillus is not on the list. The most abundant genera is Bacteroides which cannot be utilized into probiotic form due to the fact that they cannot survive. According to Paul Jaminet, taking probiotic supplements may relieve minor things such as diarrhea and constipation but they will not restore your gut flora to its former state. Fermented foods themselves also sound very iffy to me although many people stand behind them including Paul Jaminet and Dr. Art Ayers. I think they fall into the same situation as probiotics. The only thing that definitely would restore your gut flora would be a fecal transplant since it introduces bacteria directly into the colon, where it is needed. However many Gastroenterologists will stay away from procedures like this because there is still not enough research on it.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 27, 2013
at 11:51 PM

i read similar, ie. you can alter the balance of your existing gut bacteria (ie. from dietary changes), but there is no way to introduce & establish any new bacteria (except possibly by fecal transplant).

0
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 27, 2013
at 05:54 PM

Just want to bring up a couple of points:

1. I have read somewhere, that once you had antibiotics or disturbed your gut biome somehow, you will have to take probiotics for the rest of your life. Once you stop, they no longer will grow.

2. Sauerkraut (a teaspoon with each meal) helps because it creates an environment conducive of healthy gut flora.

3. No junk food - that's for sure.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 28, 2013
at 10:53 PM

Supposedly it only takes about a year for your gut critters to return close to baseline post antibiotics, but the diversity may be less or different, so a habit of ferments (as long as you aren't histamine intolerant) and prebiotic fiber can be a good idea if you've taken a course of them.

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/10/around-the-web-curing-constipation-edition/

0
3b2f68c261067b10f9e1473496b7d9a3

on October 27, 2013
at 05:24 PM

ive always wondered what a 100% fermented diet would do...hmmm...

Medium avatar

(624)

on October 28, 2013
at 02:55 AM

On that note - does anybody do fermented meats? Can you really eat that stuff raw / does cooking it completely destroy any potential probiotic effect?

I'm thinking we do a pretty good job of digesting meat with our own gastric juices so maybe it doesn't matter - except perhaps to aid in immunity against food poisoning...

0
9a3e588924139a744a5a77cb43ee6a7f

on October 26, 2013
at 04:22 PM

I make my own kombucha, which is a probiotic drink, and krauts, also fresh live yogurt, not the processed kinds. I use all this stuff daily and it does help, but I think it takes a long time, and it does help to control the bad yeasts like the albicons which tends to take over the gut if we aren't careful. So I don't know if it really repopulates the gut as it should be, however it still makes a big difference in digestion. I also take DE (diatomaceous earth) which also helps to get out any other critters which might be lurking in the gut - I have noticed a big difference in digestive improvement when using that.

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on October 26, 2013
at 04:12 AM

The gut supposedly has 100 trillion bacteria comprised of hundreds of different types. It would be off the wall of an idea to think that we can change that balance appreciably with 10 strains of a probiotic in a quantity of a few billion. Although I take some probiotics and think that they help, the odds seem daunting. I going to make some of my own Kefir soon and try it, because my use of the commercial type only gave me issues and no solutions.

0
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 26, 2013
at 04:01 AM

Apparently resistant starch (RS) changes/rebalances gut microflora (in a good way)...

but you have to have the bacteria there to begin with, RS itself does not introduce any bacteria that you may be missing.

there is quite a bit of research on RS, you can trawl through pubmed or google...

here is one good study, Resistant Starches Types 2 and 4 Have Differential Effects on the Composition of the Fecal Microbiota in Human Subjects

& wiki has this to say on RS "It encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the bowel and discourages the growth of potentially harmful bacteria..."

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 26, 2013
at 04:05 AM

a warning, if you suffer from SIBO, RS may not be a good idea, introduce to your diet with caution, gradually, & start small

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on October 26, 2013
at 03:50 PM

Also, one should notice that in practice, we mostly eat RS type 3.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on October 26, 2013
at 01:12 AM

The simplest way is to eat a lot of krauts. In the past I have made krauts with grated beets and rutabaga, besides the classic way, with varying results, but they certainly changed things.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 29, 2013
at 01:03 AM

That's racist!

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