Benefits of Probiotics: From Digestion to Immune Health

| Modified on Mar 31, 2023
L. Reuteri for Vit D and B-12 Deficiencies
Posted by P. Raghavan (Virudhunagar, Tn, India) on 12/06/2016

L. Reuteri is a probiotic strain found in the digestive system. This probiotic strain is in the breast milk. But only about 15 % of the population have L. Reuteri in their digestive system. There is an article available in the net titled "Top 13 scientific health benefits of L. Reuteri". There are many research papers available on this topic in the net.

There was a study on L.Reuteri in Prague, Czech Republic. One hundred twenty seven (127) people participated in a double blind, placebo controlled study for 9 weeks. They measured blood Vitamin D levels at the beginning of the study and also at the end of the study. Those who took L. Reuteri had the blood Vitamin D level increased by 25.5 %. According to the authors of the study, this is the first time blood levels of Vitamin D have been increased by oral probiotic supplements of L Reuteri.

Low level of Vitamin D in the blood is associated with Osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, etc. It appears that the absence of L. Reuteri in the digestive system is a root cause of Vitamin D deficiency in the blood. If Vitamin D level in the blood is low, the body can not absorb all calcium and magnesium in the diet. It appears that L. Reuteri converts Vitamin D into a more absorbable form for the body.

Many research papers available in the net, show L. Reuteri helps to synthesize Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 plays vital role in the normal functioning of the brain and formation of red blood cells. Also, it helps to regulate and synthesize DNA. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes many medical problems including nerve damage. There are four members in my family. Three of us took complete blood test about a year ago and the blood tests indicated all three of us (75 %) had Vitamins D & B12 deficiencies. Also, we had calcium deficencies. B12 deficiencies in our cases were confirmed by swollen red blood cells. L. Reuteri capsules are available online and it costs about us dollar 20 to 25 for 60 capsules. Recently, we have started taking L. Reuteri capsules to solve the problem.

Any comment on this post will be highly appreciated.

Best wishes P. Raghava.

Mama's DIY Yogurt
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 07/13/2018

I got a bee in my bonnet to make my own yogurt. I was a little intimidated about it but found some easy recipes online and it worked out the first time. (This means it must be easy. Just today I botched 2 attempts at making rice.)

I am starting with raw milk that we are able to obtain locally, but milk from the store will work just fine.

I am now making 2 gallons a week as my family is more likely to eat yogurt than drink milk.

I start by pouring my milk into a stainless steel pot and heating it to 180*. (I am using a meat thermometer to do this. A digital would be handy, but my thermometer is just fine.)

Then I let the milk cool to 115* on the counter. Once it is at 115* I add 1 Tablespoon of already make yogurt per quart of warm milk. (For 2 gallons I am adding a cup of yogurt.)

I mix that yogurt in and pour the milk/yogurt mixture into quart, gallon or half gallon canning jars and put it into my oven with the light on. I bought a 75 watt appliance bulb (which really only puts off the heat of what a 60 watt bulb used to put out.)

I leave it in the oven (no additional heat, just a bit of warmth from the light bulb) for 12-24 hours. I pour off the whey and voila! Yogurt!

One website suggested a cooler instead of an oven. You would keep it warm by putting the jars into a warm water bath (hot tap water) in the cooler for 6-12 hours.

I like the yogurt unsweetened and add chopped almonds and blueberries or chocolate chips.

My husband likes it with honey. Adding honey and a bit of lemon extract is really tasty.

I used the Fage brand of yogurt from the store because I like the collection of probiotics that it contains. After the first batch, you can use your own yogurt to start the next batch, but may need to restart with store bought yogurt now and then.

I love the homemade yogurt. It is so creamy and doesn't contain chemicals whose names I can't pronounce. It contains no artificial sweeteners (which many yogurts hide in them! ) No artificial colors. I have read about mixing in gelatin along with the yogurt when the temp. reaches 115* but I haven't done that yet. I like finding ways to add gelatin in to foods but usually forget to do that.

DIY yogurt has provided a probiotic food source that I and my family like a lot.

~Mama to Many~

Raw Sauerkraut
Posted by Robert Henry (Ten Mile, Tn) on 12/22/2016

HI U OLE PATOOTS,,,,,,,,, got a wild hair and decided to make sauerkraut for the first time in my life. Have eaten canned sauerkraut all my life but all the enzymes have been killed in the process so you don't get the health benefit of the fermentation. This way I will, because it will not be canned and it will only have a limited shelf life.

After reading numerous recipes, I have concluded that they were all written prior to the invention of the vacuum saver. All you country folks know fermentation is anaerobic which means no air. Thus, you have to keep the cabbage submerged and then you can still have air pockets. I am modifying the procedure by using a half gallon Mason jar and pulling a vacuum on it and sealing. This way I am pretty sure there is no air commingling with the cabbage.

I thought about this project because there are few winter vegetables I can raise in my garden. This batch should get me through the winter. Also, my Tractor Driver only gave me counsel, I did the work. I read your mind.

Not all sauerkraut has health benefits. In order for sauerkraut to have a preventative effect for cancer, it needs to be raw. Raw naturally fermented sauerkraut contains lactic acid and the living probiotic microorganisms that are the agents of fermentation. Canned sauerkraut, pasteurized sauerkraut, or fully cooked sauerkraut does not have this healing power, because the microorganisms have been killed by extended exposure to high heat. Cooking and pasteurization also damages other cancer preventative properties.

Will send a photo when the process is complete.


Mama's DIY Yogurt
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 07/21/2018

A little update on the DIY yogurt.

If you use 2 T. yogurt to start the next quart of yogurt of yogurt, the yogurt ends up thicker. (At first I was adding 1 T. per quart but now add closer to 2 T. per quart.)

Also, after it sits for 12-24 hours if you let it sit in a few layers of cheesecloth on a strainer over a bowl for a couple of hours, more whey will be extracted, leaving a thicker yogurt, more like a Greek yogurt.

I was reading recipes about DIY sour cream today...perhaps that is next....

~Mama to Many~

Probiotic Strains for Medical Issues
Posted by P. Raghavan (Virudhunagar, Tn, India) on 06/11/2017

Availability of Probiotic Tablets To Treat Four Important Medical Problems.

There are a number of good multi-strain probiotic tablets/capsules available online. One of them is called "hyperbiotics pro-15". It is available online in about 30 countries including India and the payment can be made in local currencies. In, there are more than 6000 customer reviews on this product and average customer rating is 4.3. It contains the following 15 probiotic strains : 1) L. Casei 2) L. Achidophilus 3) L. Plantarum 4) L. Fermentum 5) L. Rhamnosus 6) L. Salvaris 7) L. Paracasei 8) L. Gasseri 9) L. Thermophilus 10) L. Reuteri 11) B. Longum 12) B. Bifidum 13) B. Breve 14) B. Infantis 15) B. Lactis.

This probiotic tablet can treat the following four important medical problems. The probiotic strain names given in capital letters are critical to solve the particular problem:

1) Diabetes Type II - The probiotic strains L. CASEI and L. Achidophilus will eliminate S. Aureus infection .

2) High Blood Pressure - About 60 % of high blood problem is caused by probiotic imbalance of nitric oxide generating bacteria namely L. PLANTARUM, L. Fermentum and L. Rhamnosus in the digestive system.

3) Coronary Heart Disease - It is caused by the probiotic imbalance of B. LONGUM, L. REUTERI and L. Plantarum. These probiotic strains can control Bad Cholesterol (LDL), Total Cholesterol (TC) and Triglycerides (TG) in the digestive system itself.

4) Ulcer - It is caused by probiotic imbalance of B. BIFIDUM and B. Breve. These probiotic strains will try to elimate bad bacteria H. Pylori.

For the treatment of these four medical problems, one has to take one probiotic tablet thirty minutes before breakfast for 60 days. This is a simple, effective, and economical treatment for the above medical problems. Also, if one has two medical problems ( e.g. Diabetes Type II and High blood pressure ), this probiotic treatment will solve both problems simultaneously.

Best Wishes,

P. Raghavan.

Probiotic Strains for Medical Issues
Posted by Jonathan (NY) on 06/12/2017

Hello P Raghavan,

Have you personally used this product? Would you kindly elaborate on your use of this particular brand of probiotic.

I ordered this probiotic/brand last year and found it ineffective compared to other brands I have tried over the years. People should always look for guaranteed billion at time of expiration, NOT at time of manufacture as probiotics lose their potency quickly. Also, you say there are over 6,000 reviews on this product, but if you check out the reviews carefully (as everyone should before they order anything on amazon, which is rife with fake reviews), you will see over 1,000 people have given bad reviews to hyperbiotics pro-15. Most of them report it is ineffective.

Companies spend a lot of money to get reviews. Now that Amazon has cracked down on fake reviews, I have heard from friends in marketing arena that companies are finding people to plug their products.

Repopulating the Gut
Posted by Bill (The Philippines) on 10/25/2018

Hi Judy...There are two probable causes for IBS. Allergic reaction is one reason and an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria/fungus (candida) in the gut is the other reason.

Perhaps the best way to be sure would be to get yourself tested for allergies. Then get your doc to recommend the SIBO test (for bacterial overgrowth) and candida antigen test for you as well. Once you actually know the root cause of your problems -- the allergies/pathogens causing your IBS -- you can specifically take proper natural steps to heal or eradicate them respectively from your intestines and get well again.

You should be taking Magnesium Citrate (or Magnesium Chloride), Zinc, B50 Complex. I would also add Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) to your regimen -- at least one tablespoon of VCO taken twice daily with food. I take VCO with my breakfast coffee in the morning which helps to protect my gut and, from the most current research, VCO also helps to promote and maintain a healthy gut microbiome -- it acts like a probiotic in other words. VCO will also kill candida as well as kill a wide range of pathogenic bacteria.

I would also purchase some Gymnema Sylvestre Tea (GST) and drink that three times a day outside mealtimes. GST helps to repair damaged intestines and also addresses one of the main reasons for allergies. GST acts to reduce the porosity of the gut cell walls, thereby preventing partially digested complex proteins being absorbed into the blood system from the gut which is a main cause of allergic reactions. GST also helps to kill candida as well.

And as a precaution against allergic reaction I would advise that you should avoid any and all wheat (gluten) and dairy (casein) products in your diet for now. Perhaps better( and nicer tasting!!) alternatives to kombucha, kefir and milk products would be to regularly eat Korean kimchi or properly made German sauerkraut. Both these fermented foods contain high amounts of bifido and lactobacillus bacteria that are beneficial for the gut microbiome.

Finally, if your test results do confirm that you have systemic candida then I would do the full anti-candida protocol shown here. This protocol not only eliminates fungus/yeast, it also eradicates a wide range of pathogenic bacteria and parasites from the gut and from the blood as well.

Probiotic Strains for Medical Issues
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 06/13/2017

I have tried different probiotics for many years and never really noticed if they were doing anything or not. The science behind using them makes sense to me and I have tried different brands for different things but just have never seen exciting results.

Now, when I started to make milk kefir I did see significant and noticeable results in at least two different health issues with my children.

This makes sense to me because...

First of all the probiotic is naturally occurring in a food. I think whenever we can get nutrients from a food source, eaten as a food, we benefit from the natural combinations that occur in food. For example, I prefer blackstrap molasses as a source of iron and copper over a supplement that contains either.

I do use supplements and such but whenever I can get a good food source, I think it is head and shoulders above a supplement for nutrients.

My understanding has been that heat adversely affects probiotics. Probiotics shipped from companies or bought at health food stores - who knows how much heat they have been exposed to, especially in the summer?

I would say if you are going to buy a probiotic, look at labels. It can be tricky. Some probiotics have much more of certain bacteria and a greater variety of probiotics but may cost more. Like this one:

I realize that a supplement is easier than make your own kefir. Another option is store bought kefir and yogurt. Again, check labels when you buy yogurt and kefir. Look for plain products without sweeteners or artificial sweeteners. You can add your own fruit, honey or molasses. Yogurt is also great in smoothies!

~Mama to Many~

Toenail Fungus
Posted by John B (Pahoa, HI 96778) on 10/21/2021

I had an appendectomy in 1970 and by 1994 showed fungal symptoms in my toenails. The toenails became thick and flakey in recent years, so I began to soak my feet in 6% H2O2 which I did for weeks until it hurt, then soaked in Borax or baking soda. I was surprised that the dead soft-soaked nails peeled like skin! I started probiotics 2 months ago and they agreed with me. A month ago I began to use lemongrass oil. The oil has killed the fungus and nails which are like scabs! And after 2 months of beginning the probiotics I can see new healthy nails at the cuticle!

Repopulating the Gut
Posted by Teena (Melbourne, Australia) on 10/26/2018 233 posts

Hi Judy,

I do believe it is required to take probiotic food every day. You would probably benefit from a mallow extract to heal and protect your intestinal lining, liquid would be best, due to its particular properties, but people do report improvement with capsules. For the kefir, if you drain the whey from it using a nut milk bag, add some grated squeezed cucumber and garlic, you'll have some delicious Greek style dip that even my kids love, and they do not like kefir. Recently on a harvesting walk I gained some cactus pads, we have been eating the fruit since forever but recently I learned the health benefits of the pads. Every recipe though said to boil it strenuously, this removing all the benefits of the aloe vera style goop. I instead fermented it in a half salt water brine half organic apple cider vinegar, in a sealed glass jar, opening daily to push down the cactus. Within a week the brine had turned beautifully goopy (of goodness), and the cactus pieces pickled. This is delicious, like picked cucumbers but not soft. It is not as strong as a tincture dose, the dose is more like a quarter cup brine a day, or three pickle pieces. By the way, you can pretty much ferment any fruit or veg, the half vinegar half brine makes it much tastier rather than all vinegar or all salt brine.

Probiotic Strains for Medical Issues
Posted by P. Raghavan (Virudhunagar, Tn, India) on 06/14/2017

Mama and Jonathan,

I could not get the list of probiotic strains in my kefir starter grain from the supplier. There is an article available in the net "The composition of Milk Kefir Grains". According to this, kefir in general does not contain any Bifidobacterium ( strain names starting with B. ) and also L. Reuteri. Kefir works very well to treat Diabetes Type II and High blood pressure problems. Daughter of my sister took kefir for 8 weeks to treat Diabetes type II and high blood pressure problems. She was very happy when she found that her two medical problems were solved by kefir. I have coronary heart disease. I need two probiotic strains B. Longum and L. Reuteri to treat my problem. My wife has mild ulcer problem and she needs B. Bifidum. First we tried kefir. But it did not solve our problems. We are forced to go to probiotic capsules / tablets route. It will be nice if kefir is available with the additional six probiotic strains : L. Reuteri, B. Longum, B. Bifidum, B. Breve, B. Infantis and B. Lactis.

When I saw more than 6000 customer reviews for in, I was wondering whether any product will receive that many reviews. But I assumed that will do everything to block fake reviews. Apparently, it did not. Only advantage I saw was that this product is available in 30 countries. My judgement appears to be wrong. One can select probiotic capsules / tablets based on your probiotic strain requirements and brand reputation.

Best wishes.

P. Raghavan.

Posted by Onalooserein (Klamath County, Oregon) on 11/09/2011

Love, Love, Love! this site! I would like to info about adding the use of beneficial bacteria to the diet to cause the digestive tract to be full of beneficial/symbiotic bacteria like acidophilus and the bifidum strains, etc.

I have been using probiotics for years, I do not get sick, ever, and my allergies/asthma are non-existent. If a person doesn't fill their digestive tract with the "good" stuff, then oportunistic things will grow there and in this day and age of over prescribed anti-biotics, it is usually "bad" stuff, or disease causing pathogens like fungus/yeasts. 70-80% of our immune system lies within our gut. Healthy gut, healthy person.

Did have a bout with breast cancer and followed the phase one diet (very low carbohydrate/no sugar)and used anti-fungal supplements such as Coconut oil (caprylic acid), oregano oil, olive leaf, etc.. Also had a leaky gut from Candida albicans infection (caused mainly by anti-biotics and S. A. D. , Standard American Diet of processed foods and high in Carbohydrates and sugars). This diet and supplements killed the Candida and a Herxheimer effect ensued. Was advised by my assisting Naturopatheic Physician to use Charcoal (constipative) capsules, Quercetin (with bromelain for better absorption)which is an anti-histamine, or Benedryl (at night before bed as this causes drowsiness)to ease the symptoms of Herxheimer. After 2 weeks of flu like symptoms (eased by the charcoal and ant-histamines), pruitic (itchy) rashes and intense pain in the breast, I then discovered the tumors to be gone, I am so happy about that, to be so empowered by God's gift of healing. Blessings to you all!

PS. I recommend getting the home environment free of toxins, especially molds & fungus. I live in the middle of a National Forest and have the luxury of using a woodstove in the house, which dries and purifies the air. I also use Ultra Violet light room air purifiers and HEPA filters in the central heating system. Do I sound like a hyperchondriac? In my defense, after remodeling a bathroom with a leaky shower stall, the floor & sub floor under the vinyl was permeated with a black mold (probably stachybotrus)one of the most deadly when in the human body. Very shortly after exposure (no respirator) I was in the hospital dying, 9 days later I was released, alive but not healed. The doctors were rather shocked that I lived through, I attribute my survival to first the Church praying for me and the use of the probiotics. One of the Nurses told me that the appendix stores extra beneficial bacteria for emergencies.

My family has removed Peanut and corn products completly from our diets as they are the most contaminated food substance around. My son was having seizure like events that completely disappeared with the removal of peanuts and corn from the diet. Almond butter instead of peanut butter.

Post-Diarrhea Diet, Lactobacillus Yogurt
Posted by Katzie (Calgary, Canada) on 03/31/2023

After having diarrhea for endless days and finally conquered it via ACV.

But after.......I was still feeling way off from normal. I was just uncomfortable and felt yucky in my stomach. I used the word "yucky" as I was not in pain, but boy did I feel crummy.

I had read for years about how Lactobacillus Yogurt's beneficial bacteria gets wiped out in the stomach anyways and was therefore a waste of money. Then it occurred to me that via the stomach was same way pro-biotic pills would be absorbed too, as well as ingesting them via foods!

So my upset stomach & bowels and I ventured to the store where I solely bought Lactobacillus Yogurt and alot of it. It was those drinkable ones (no excess sugar). Well, within hours I was feeling SO much better! I drank one every 3 hrs for two days, and was then feeling completely back to normal. What a relief. I recommend these yogurts heartily, they work very well and pretty quickly. I am so glad I dragged myself to the store that day, even though I'd have much rather stayed horizontal on my couch. It was so worth it!

Digestion, Immune Support, Food Allergies
Posted by Daniela (Somerest, NJ) on 08/20/2014

I used to suffer from diarrhea. What helped me 90% percent was good acupuncturist. I have it once in 3 months now. He fixed my back pain too. Never came back! I always left from the office so full of energy after 15 min treatment.

He also mentioned probiotics won't help you. But this could be different for individuals.

Just eat like people ate in ice age lol he said very simple food. No sauces or spices no sweets. No coffee!!!

$60 visit. I went there like every 2 weeks 6 times. Then again after 2 month here and there when I could afford it.

Herbalist may help you too.

Just an advice. Take care.

Repopulating the Gut
Posted by Judy (Maze, Al) on 10/26/2018

I've been tested for sibo, don't have it. One cause of ibs that you didn't mention is radiation. My mother had radiation while pregnant with me, back in the 50's, so a larger dose than we would get today. I had radiation, also, as an infant--back then they did radiation treatments on infants to shrink their thymus gland (I think it was experimental, since I can find no research papers on it but know several people my age who also had it). I think that radiation caused my ibs, since I've had it since I can remember. My mother also said that her chronic constipation started after I was born.

I have no allergies, per the tests, and only sensitive to a few things (mango and papaya). I cannot take magnesium orally as it always triggers diarrhea. I use mag oil daily all over, tho. VCO is my usual oil when cooking but I can increase how much I take. I will get some of the tea and try it. Thanks for your advice.

Probiotic Strains for Medical Issues
Posted by carmel (Essex) on 03/21/2022

Not all stomach ulcers are like that, some are due to taking steroid medication, antibiotics etc which have damaged the stomach itself and it needs to be repaired. A very soft bland diet for ages. The doctor will put you on lansoprazole or similar, which if taken for a while can stop magnesium, vitamin b12, eventually dementia, aches and pains, much more.

L. Reuteri for Vit D and B-12 Deficiencies
Posted by Pat (Long valley, NJ) on 03/09/2023

Wondering if taking the L.Reuteri solved your problem? Please update us. I'm really beginning to think that getting your gut flora right will solve your health problems and weight problems. Just trying to figure out how to do it.

Digestion, Immune Support, Food Allergies
Posted by Susan (Venice, Ca) on 08/18/2014

I have used probiotics for years. They are one of my most important supplements and I know they help me with digestion, increase immunity and eases my increasingly extreme food allergy to wheat. I think it's best to find a product that guarantees 50 billion live bacteria at expiration date, not the manufactured date (which most of them are only guaranteed at manufacturing date... you have to hunt around). Most probiotic formulas are largely ineffective by the time you buy them. I take 2 probiotic capsules twice a day, morning and night. After I run out of a current strain, I choose another strain or two.

Digestion, Immune Support, Food Allergies
Posted by Trudy (Alabama, US) on 08/19/2014

Simply saying 'probiotics' is not helpful. Certain kinds can make your condition worse. I have ibs-d and some probiotics are really helpful; others trigger a flare (and my flares can take a year to resolve). I recommend starting slow. If it says something like 'regulates your bowels' and you tend toward diarrhea--stay away! Everyone just assumes that you are constipated and need help. I don't. I just want the diarrhea to stop.

Repopulating the Gut
Posted by Judy (Maze, Al) on 10/25/2018

I keep reading that we should take probiotics/eat fermented foods to restore the flora in our guts. But I also read that the effect is transient, meaning that we get a boost as the probiotics pass through but they don't actually populate the gut. Which is it? does anyone know?

I'd love to populate my gut with the good bugs, as I think that would fix my chronic ibsd. I drink kombucha, make my own dairy kefir (which, after 3 years, I still can barely get down, it's yuck! ), eat plain yogurt made with full fat milk & has live cultures (Cabot), and eat Bubbies pickles. I love sour, but that kefir is just nasty. What else should I do? I also take supplements (l glutamine, zinc, etc) to strengthen my gut, as well as drink bone broth daily, so I do more than just the probiotic rich foods.

So, permanent fix or temporary improvement with probiotics?

Digestion, Immune Support, Food Allergies
Posted by Patti (Texas, US) on 12/10/2014

I had ibs d for 35 years but in the last year I've gotten a big big improvement by taking a probiotic every day. I was scared to try it because my sis had a bad reaction from a probiotic. I had the pkg when she told me of her reaction but she didn't even know what she'd taken (brand) etc. I'm sure glad I finally got courage up to start taking it.

I'm taking Lactobacillus GG won't say the brand but it's well known and I get it at Walmart.