Probiotics

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria which have benefits in our digestive system. They can be found in yogurt, but are present in higher doses in Probiotic supplements.

REASONS WHY PROBIOTICS MAY IMPROVE HEALTH IN PEOPLE WITH REFLUX

  • Medications that alter the acidity of the gut may allow the overgrowth of bad bacteria. (4) These include Ranitidine and Omeprazole. If this results in an upset stomach (wind, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea etc), replenishing good bacteria may help with these symptoms. However, more recent studies have not found the same associations. (5)
  • Good bacteria in the gut also helps protect against gastrointestinal infection. (6)
  • Antibiotics destroy all bacteria – not just the ones that were causing an infection. This can also lead to an increase in reflux symptoms as well as diarrhoea. Adding a probiotic may decrease side-effects and speed recovery. Make sure that you separate probiotic and antibiotic doses by at least two hours, so that the antibiotics don’t kill the probiotic organisms. (2), (3)
  • Thrush (an overgrowth of an organism called Candida albicans) may occur with antibiotics, diarrhoea or allergy. A probiotic should help this to clear more quickly along with an appropriate treatment.
  • Gut motility issues are common in those with gastric reflux and may even be the cause of reflux. The stomach may not empty fast enough and so is full for longer allowing reflux to continue. This problem may be present throughout the gut and also present as constipation. Probiotics promote good motility. (7)

OTHER ACTIONS

    • Aid digestion
    • Produce several vitamins
    • Support immune function

Probiotic links:

PROBIOTICS AVAILABLE IN NEW ZEALAND

  • BabyBiotic https://www.bioceuticals.com.au/product/preview/BabyBiotic-0yrs “BabyBiotic 0+yrs combines Bifidobacterium breveB. lactis and B. bifidum – three of the most common species of bifidobacteria present in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of healthy breastfed newborns and infants.” 1 billion CFU of each per 2g serve plus 500 million CFU Lactobacillus rhamnosus  and 500 million CFU Lactobacillus fermentum. Suitable for from birth to ?. Requires Refrigeration.
    Other ingredients: Inulin.
    Visit http://www.bioceuticals.com.au/wheretobuy/index/B.BABYUK.60 to find out where to purchase.
  • Blackmores Acidophilus Bifidus http://www.blackmores.com.au/products/acidophilus-bifidus “A minimum of 1 billion organisms made up of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animalis” per capsule. Suitable for 2 year olds to adults. Children under 2 years, Only as professionally prescribed. Refrigerate after opening.
    Other ingredients: Hard gelatin capsule containing an off-white powder
    90 capsules for $31.25 (plus p&p) on www.pharmacydirect.co.nz May 2013.
    Should be available around New Zealand in Health Stores, Pharmacies or Supermarkets. Use the link above to find a store near you.
  • Clinicians MultiFlora – http://www.clinicians.co.nz/index.cfm/PageID/101/ProductID/1154/ViewProduct/MultiFlora Active ingredients in 1 capsule
    No less than 7 billion CFU consisting of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG 3.5  billion  CFU and Bifidobacterium animalis BB-12 3.5  billion CFU.  May contain traces of dairy.  “New improved formula. Now contains two of the most studied and scientifically researched probiotics in the world (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium animalis BB-12).Doesn’t require refrigeration. You don’t need to keep it in the fridge because the specialised manufacturing and the new blister pack format allows the probiotics to be stable in room temperature environments. Survives stomach and bile acids. The probiotics can safely reach the small intestine and bowel where they are most effective. Vegetable capsules. The specialised capsule enhances stability of the probiotics and is also suitable for vegetarians. Ideal for infants, children and adults. Special new strains are suited to all age groups.”
  • Inner Health for Kids –http://www.ethicalnutrients.com.au/content/products/inner-health-kids Each 1.7 g (1/3 metric teaspoon) dose contains: 6 billion Lactobacillus rhamnosus (GG) organisms (LGG®) 3.75 billion Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM) organisms 3.75 billion Bifidobacterium lactis (Bi-07) organisms.
    Other ingredients: Glutamine, Zinc Sulfate monohydrate. Free from wheat, gluten, cereals, milk, eggs, starches, yeast and salt. Dairy free, Gluten free! Probiotic powder suitable for 3 month olds to 12 years. Requires refrigeration.
    $29.99 $26.50 (plus $4.95 p&p) www.pharmacydirect.co.nz January 2009. Available from Health Stores.
  • Kyo-Dophilus – http://www.kyolic.com/product/product/probiotics/capsules/kyo-dophilus-capsules/ Contains 1.5 billion Live Cells (L. acidophilus, B. bifidum, and B. longum) per capsule. 1/2 capsule twice daily for under four year olds. Contains a powder similar to the Primadophilus and can be sprinkled on food or mixed into drinks. Does not require refrigeration.
    Other ingredients: Gelatin, Potato Starch, Silica.
    Free of: Preservatives, Sugar, Sodium, Milk, Yeast, Gluten, Artificial Colours or Flavours.
    As far as I’m aware, this is no longer available in NZ, but I order it from www.iherb.com where the price varies depending on the quantity ordered and exchange rates.  $42.34 for 180 including p&p (January 2015) which is still cheaper than one NZ price of $38.95 for 90 in January 2009 I had noted here.

  • Nature’s Way Primadophilus® Children, Powderhttp://www.healthpost.co.nz/supplements-and-natural-health/age-and-gender/childrens-health/childrens-basics/primadophilus-children-nwprc Nature’s Way Primadophilus® for children contains 3 billion microorganisms per teaspoon (Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium longum, NutraFlora® scFOS (short-chain frutooligosaccharides), Rice maltodextrin, Silica, Vitamin C). May contain a minimal residual amount of dairy or soy protein.
    Suitable for children of all ages. Dissolves in food or drink. Requires refrigeration.
    Dosage is 1 teaspoon per day. www.healthpost.co.nz $36.50 (plus $3 p&p) at time of Listing.
    Available from pharmacies and health stores.

  • Nature’s Way Primadophilus® Kids Orange, 30 Chewable Tablets – Contains 3 billion CFUs. Ingredients: Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifodobacterium longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Sorbitol, Cellulose, Rice maltodextrin, Citric acid, Magnesium stearate, Turmeric, Natural orange flavour, Vanilla flavour, Ascorbic acid. May contain a minimal residual amount of dairy or soy protein.
    Suitable for children aged 2 to 12. Requires refrigeration.
    Dosage is one tablet daily. www.healthpost.co.nz $21.50 (plus $3 p&p) at time of Listing. Should be available in health stores and pharmacies.
  • Nature’s Way Primadophilus Reuteri Powder – Ingredients per 5 ml: 50 mg Proprietary Blend of Bacterial cultures – Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus Reuteri & Lactobacillus acidophilus (providing 3 billion CFU), NutraFlora scFOS 1.8 g, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 4mg. Other ingredients: potato starch, silica. May contain a minimal residual amount of dairy or soy protein.
    Dosage: Children under 2 years of age, give 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 grams) daily between meals. Children 2 years of age and older give 1 teaspoon (3 grams) daily between meals.www.pharmacydirect.co.nz $33.95 (plus $4.95 p&p) January 2009. Should be available in health stores.

This is not be a complete list of the probiotic supplements available. If you have found others that have been beneficial, please let me know. Yogurt also contains some probiotics, but often are not potent enough to have the required effect.

References:
http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/l/Loseccap.pdf
Radiance Pro-B Antibiotic Support – www.healthandhertbs.co.nz
http://www.livestrong.com/article/290035-how-to-use-probiotics-with-antibiotics/
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/754326 – The Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors and Increased Susceptibility to Enteric Infection
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/759169 – Large Study Fails to Link PPI Therapy to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
http://www.dms.ufsc.br/mip7013/arquivos/2550_Gut%20flora%20in%20health%20and%20disease.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3155417/ – Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gut Microbiota and Probiotics (Link not available March 2015)

Disclaimer:
“Herbal and natural remedies for digestion, calming, breast-milk supply, depression etc, can be very effective in some cases, but a possible interaction with mainstream medications is often overlooked and can be harmful. Effectiveness of medications can be reduced or enhanced with unpredictable consequences. Please ensure all medications, natural or mainstream are prescribed/recommended/approved by a registered practitioner and administered using prescribed instructions. When discussing yours or your infant’s needs with your practitioner please ensure to mention all other treatments already being used.”

Written by Roslyn Ballantyne (RN), National Coordinator for © Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust May 2007. Last updated July 2014.  New Probiotic added August 2014.

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