Bottom Line/HEALTH: Is there a best probiotic that you recommend for people to take?
Andrew Rubman, ND: Well, “recommend” meaning that I’m not treating the people and I’m giving out general advice, absolutely. The one that’s the most consistent and the greatest benefit for most folks is Culturelle. It contains a strain called GG, which is very good at helping the immune system, helping restore order—almost like a state cop on a highway—and being able to replicate in the human system so that it has its good effects and it also persists.
Bottom Line Do the probiotics that I can get at the local pharmacy or at Costco or Sam’s Club or any of those, do those do any good at all?
Dr. Rubman: Some more than others, but most of them only for two or three days at best, and then you have to take more product. The Culturelle and also those that would be prescribed by a naturopathic physician or another knowledgeable source would be able to replicate, stay in the gut and be of greater benefit.
Bottom Line: So you take it once and done when you take the good stuff?
Dr. Rubman: Probably once a day for three days. And the interesting thing is that one capsule provides about the same benefit as taking the entire bottle, because both contain a large number of organisms. Many, many millions. So you don’t need to take two or three or four a day. You can actually open up a capsule, take a sprinkle of it and make one capsule last for a few days.
Bottom Line: Is there anything when people are taking probiotics that they should change from a dietary point of view so that they can maximize the effectiveness of them?
Dr. Rubman: Absolutely, and that’s where we get into the term “prebiotic.” How do you make the environment more attractive for the bacteria? If you consider the fact that we have more bacteria living in our large intestine than we have cells in the body, this is a very important relationship to maintain. You always want to put on a good feed if you want the relatives to come for dinner.
Bottom Line: So what should they be doing?
Dr. Rubman They should be making sure that they have enough fresh fruits and vegetables, and particularly enough bulk and fiber. Many of the fibers will break down into substrate or raw material that the bacteria look at like a free buffet.
Bottom Line: So if they can put enough fiber in their body, the probiotic bacteria, the good bacteria, feed off of that and then they’re able to replicate. Great. Thank you very much, Dr. Rubman.
Bottom Line: My pleasure.