I have been around medicine long enough to have a deep seated feeling, if not opinion or knowing, that there is no real cure for anything in life. There are things that can be changed either short or long-term, but as the concept of a cure requires the opinion that the current function is the broken or undesirable option and that a treatment will be a permanent remedy. It can be argued that cures are purely based on perception and personal ideologies I think. Having said all of this I am willing to say that I have a found a ‘cure’ for one of my numerous ailments, but I need to point out this ‘program’ was undertaken with the guidance of a qualified professional.
These are live microorganisms. When ingested in recommended amounts regularly they can bestow certain health benefits to the host. (This is a paraphrasing from the World Health Organisation’s definition.)
One of the largest leading probiotic manufacturing companies is Yakult, which produces a range of ‘shot’ drinks, yoghurts and other consumables. This company works through the introduction of very high amounts of the bacterial strain Lactobacillus casei shirota. A lot of research undertaken by many scientists in a range of locations since Dr Minoru Shirota has lead to the backing of the World Health Organisation for the use of probiotics in regulating and improving general health in an individual.
Probiotics needn’t be consumed in capsule or liquid form. You needn’t subscribe monthly to expensive brands to keep your inner gut health balanced. Many scientists in Europe were managing internal digestive bacteria perfectly well through a balanced diet. It does take an awareness of which foods contain probiotics, how these need to be manufactured for them to have the optimum amounts and how regularly they should be consumed.
So why did I try this?
I have a not so mildly irritable bowel. It has caused me no end of embarrassment and pain over the years. It has made me uncomfortable and created fractures in relationships in but an instant. When I begin and fluctuate in a course of prednisolone my body seems to go into a panic mode and this is but one of the strange bodily responses it triggers. Ever since my body started to go into haywire last year, which inevitably led to my appointments with the biochemist, I have honestly been distracted and a back seat driver in my own life and bodily health. There was blessedly a brief period of time between the appointment in mid-2015 and my hospitalisation in August in which I was able to take what I was told, research it for myself and deliberate about what it meant. As you know, I chose to try lowering my carbohydrate intake through Atkins. What you didn’t know was I also tried a course of probiotics, Yakult to be precise.
What was my experiment?
Take a bottle of this each day for a month to see if anything changes. I hated the wastage of plastics. I was all too aware that this probiotic had more sugar and lactose than I desired and that the consumption of Yakult required to have certain effects was about the same per day as I was willing to take in a week. But given my finances and my dubious nature towards supplements in general I though I may as well just try it and see if the brief time of ingestion would trigger a slow swing.
How did it work out?
Surprisingly, it settled my gut down, just in time for an extreme and extended dosage of prednisolone. Diarrhea, gassy bouts of ongoing digestive nastiness whenever I felt anything other than at piece, and even then sometimes.
What would I say if someone asked me about it product?
IF you do choose to use this product, or any other probiotic, do your research. Consider trying to take the food/nutrition route to consume probiotics rather than ingesting pills or fluids. Especially if it isn’t for any particular reason but rather as preference for better inner health. If you take a designed product in capsule or fluid form don’t take it long term. They are not designed to be used that way, nor is your body being helped at all by losing the knowledge of how to develop and manage its own bacteria. It is as if you are telling your body it is doing a bad job and so cannot be trusted to do it. Remember to look at what other ingredients are in the product you are ingestion. Yakult has heavy levels of sugar, as well as milk powder, amongst its other ingredients and so may not be consumable for some. Capsules may be made of gelatin, which often comes from animal fat, and so is not advisable for vegetarians or vegans. Having said all of this…
Overall I am pleased with probiotics as a concept but will manage them in my food in future.