However, not all probiotics are created equal. Do your research. There are many out there that claim to have billions of viable bacteria for the duration of their shelf life, but there is only one brand out there that I know of that has the tests to prove it–BioKult.
The best probiotics are made from whole foods and you can make them yourself at home: milk kefir, coconut kefir, beet kvass, sauerkraut, the list goes on. These will have a larger amount of live, homegrown bacteria per gram, taste great and fill you up at the same time. I personally hate milk, but absolutely love a glass of raw goats milk kefir. I drink at least a pint daily. Great for berry smoothies too.
SIBO sufferers may find it a little more difficult. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, is caused by having too much bacteria in the small intestine, usually of the lactobacillus or bifidobacterium species. The majority of probiotics out there contain large amounts of these species and may exacerbate the problem for some. Soil based bacteria are apparently suitable for SIBO sufferers as they don’t contain those culprit strains.
If you’re aiming to overcome a major health issue, an adult will need a therapeutic dose, around 15-20 billion cfu daily taken first thing in the morning and last thing at night when stomach acid is at its lowest. The daily dose can be adjusted for children as follows:
- Up to 12 months of age: 1-2 billion cfu
- 1 to 2 years of age: 2-4 billion cfu
- 2 to 4 years of age: 4-8 billion cfu
- 4 to 10 years of age: 8-12 billion cfu
- 12 to 16 years of age: 12-15 billion cfu