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How to make your own Probiotics

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Making fermented milks and yogurts from commercial probiotic capsules, powders, yogurts and drinks.

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									Home Made Probiotics

Updated: 1st July 2009.

Some probiotic products have been proven in trials to be effective at treating specific medical conditions. Many others have not been put through clinical trials, but are likely to offer substantial benefits to the health of those that take them.

Most of the best probiotic bacteria have been isolated from the human gut. Due principally to antibiotic use, there are likely to be many people who may have none or only very small quantities of that particular bacteria in their own gut. These people are obviously the ones that are most likely to benefit from taking a probiotic with that bacterial strain. The vast majority of digestive health problems did not exist, or existed in far smaller numbers of people, before antibiotics become commonly used.

When a “new” gut bacteria has been isolated, it will be tested to see if it is useful in any gut-associated or similar condition. If initial testing is positive, the organization that has isolated it will apply for a patent on the use of the bacteria in that condition, and usually many other similar conditions. This patent effectively prevents anyone else from using that bacterial strain. The organization is then in a position to profit from it.

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Patenting Bacteria: A Recipe For Corporate Greed?

I personally think it is incredible that a naturally occurring bacterium present in or on the bodies of many people suddenly becomes “owned” by a corporation via a patent.

But more importantly - the price of some of the probiotic products that have had positive study results is sometimes quite extortionate. The cost of the product is way out of line with the costs that go into researching, producing and distributing it.

By overpricing patented products, large sections of the world population can effectively be denied access to beneficial bacteria that could improve their health. Beneficial bacteria that is almost-certainly naturally present in equally large sections of the world population.

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How To Make Your Own Probiotics

A probiotic by definition contains live bacteria. These bacteria will have been originally cultured in a medium that they will grow in, such as cows milk. Usually the bacteria are separated from the growth medium after culturing. When a probiotic bacteria is cultured in milk, the result is, er, well, basically just a form of Yogurt made from that bacteria and containing live cultures of that bacteria. A yogurt made solely from a probiotic bacteria usually tastes very similar to yogurt made with the bacteria that is traditionally used for yogurt making. Yogurt made from a probiotic bacteria is – in general - a little runnier than traditional yogurt.

That is the simple technique to make large quantities of a probiotic: make yogurt using the probiotic product as the “starter”. When the yogurt is formed, you can use a little of it as future starter for more yogurt. This means you really only have to buy the original probiotic product once. All the probiotic products I have tried have been happy to grow in milk and produce yogurt in this way.

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Is it safe?
Yogurt has been made for many centuries, using a wide variety of bacterial strains. I am not aware of anyone who has suffered ill health from making their own yogurt, using any bacteria. Kefir and sour milks are very similar fermented products that also have a safe history. However, you will need to use some common sense: probiotics have had fatal results when given to critically ill hospital patients, probably through an action know as a Herx or “die-off” reaction. When you take a probiotic, many “bad” bacteria can die off rapidly, hyper-stimulating the immune system, and these dead bacteria are also likely to release toxins that have been held within them. Herx reactions can make many illnesses worse for a few weeks, and new problems, such as rashes, sore-throats, etc, can emerge until the dieoff of bad bacteria dies down. As the quantity of yogurt made is likely to deliver far more of the beneficial bacteria than the original probiotic product, consuming very small quantities initially is likely to be wise, to avoid getting a very large herx reaction. However, if you are in any doubt about consuming yogurts made via this method, or have a week immune system, then you should not use this method – stick to buying the original probiotic product.

Limitations of this method: Single and Multi-Strain Probiotics
The best probiotic products to make yogurt from are the single-strain products. These will list on the label a single strain of bacteria, and no others. When you make yogurt from these, you are assured that the yogurt has just that required strain. For multi-strain probiotic products – those that list two or more bacteria on the label making your own is not nearly as good. The problem is that some bacteria culture far faster than others. This means that the yogurt can be dominated, or composed entirely, of just one or two of the strains from the original product. Yogurt made from multistrain probiotics is also almost certainly going to bear no relation to the original product as far as the proportions of different bacteria present are concerned. If you make yogurt from a multi-strain probiotic, re-making the starter from the original probiotic product weekly is likely to be the best way of ensuring that all bacterial strains are present in the yogurt.

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Probiotic Products: Tablets, Capsules and Drinks
The premium probiotic products generally come as either a tablet or capsule. For a capsule, one or two should be opened and the powder contained in them used as the initial yogurt starter. Tablets need to be crushed into a fine powder. Drinks can be used as the initial starter without having to be prepared in any way.

Use Quality Probiotic Products Only
Probiotics that are not made by well known manufacturers are often found on testing to only contain dead bacteria. Many have also been found to have strains of bacteria in them that they are not supposed to contain- and not necessarily healthy bacteria. Always make yogurt with a high quality probiotic from a reputable manufacturer.

Make a Small Amount of Yogurt Initially
Use say half-a-cup full of milk to make yogurt from the probiotic product, as culturing the initial product can be quite slow - some products do not seem to have such a huge number of live bacteria in them. Once you have the resulting half-cup of yogurt, you can use it as a starter to make any amount of yogurt required.

Lactose or Diary Free Yogurt
Lactose-Free yogurt can be made with Lactose Free Milk. I have used Arla Lactofree with the result being identical to any normal milk. Dairy-Free yogurt can be made with soya milk (also known as soy milk). I have tried Alpro Soya Original - it makes a very (sickly) sweet tasting yogurt. I have also used Coconut Milk – this cultures far slower than other milks. I have not managed to make yogurt from Almond Milk. For either Lactose or Diary Free, you do not necessarily need to find a starter probiotic that is dairy free. If you make yogurt from a dairy-based starter, just keep making more “starters” from the resulting yogurts. The dairy element in the original probiotic product should soon be diluted out of the yogurts made, giving you a complete dairy-free / lactose-free yogurt.

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Countries with limited access to Milk
Both Skimmed Milk powder, and Evaporated Milk in tins, can be used to make yogurt. In the UK, skimmed milk powder is the cheapest way of making yogurts that I have found. Note that skimmed milk often has added synthetic vitamins A and D. Baby milk (infant formula milk) can be made into yogurt. However it takes a bit longer and the yogurt is rather thinner than using natural milks. The two infant formulas I have used to make probiotic yogurts are Cow & Gate Follow on Milk 3 – which is a liquid, and SMA Gold 1 – a powder. Incidentally, infants should not be given yogurt until they are at least 6 months old, according to UK/US pediatricians.

How “strong” are home made yogurts?
The number of Colony Forming Units (CFU’s) is how probiotic bacteria are measured. It is difficult to know how many CFU’s are in home-made yogurt, but this research into “ethnic” yogurts, which are likely to be essentially “home-made”, gives a rough idea: “Ethnic people of the Himalayan regions of India, epal, Bhutan and China consume a variety of indigenous fermented milk products made from cows milk as well as yaks milk. These lesser-known ethnic fermented foods are dahi, mohi, chhurpi, somar, philu and shyow. The population of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) ranged from 10(7) to 10(8) cfu/g in these Himalayan milk products.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17562218

So these natural yogurts contain 10 million to 100 million colony-forming units per gram. From this, it can be ‘guesstimated’ that a standard sized 125 gram container of homemade probiotic yogurt is likely to contain between 1.25 billion to 12.5 billion CFU’s. This is equivalent, if not stronger, than most probiotic products. The better probiotic products generally range from 2 billion to 10 billion CFU’s per tablet/capsule. By the way, 125 grams is about the size of a normal commercial pot of yogurt such as Activia. Also note this is the US billion rather than the UK one.

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Instructions for making Probiotic Yogurt
Get some milk. Cows Milk. Goats Milk. Fresh, Long Life, Sterilised, Full-fat, Semi-Skimmed, Skimmed. It doesn’t matter too much. I use full fat cows milk. Skimmed milks produce very watery yogurt. Heat the milk in a pan until it boils. Allow the milk to cool to about the temperature you would use when giving a bottle of formula milk to a baby. Putting the pan into a bowl of cold water will cool it rapidly. Pour the cooled milk into the container you want to make the yogurt in. In the meantime, switch your kitchen oven on to about 80 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 15 minutes. [An alternative technique is to heat the oven to about 180 degrees Celsius, which usually makes the yogurt rather quicker.] Allow the oven to cool for about 10 minutes or so. It should again be about baby-milk temperature, or a little warmer. The insulation of any domestic oven will keep in enough heat for enough time to make the yogurt. Add the Starter to the milk, stir it in, and place in the oven. Leave overnight. Shake or stir it in the container. If it is very runny, leave it for another 12 to 24 hours. Use Common Sense: Make sure it looks like yogurt and smells like yogurt before you consume any. Note that all natural yogurts separate into the yogurt and a yellowish liquid. This liquid is whey (as in Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet…) Just stir it back in. When yogurt has an unusual or alcoholic smell, some other bacteria or yeast has taken over, and the yogurt should be discarded. This does not actually happen that often. From now on, make the next batch of yogurt with a few spoonfuls of the previous batch of yogurt as the starter.

Some other simple methods for making yogurts can be found in Appendix 5.

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Now and again, things do go wrong when making probiotic yogurts. Typically, air or surface-borne bacteria will take over the fermentation of the milk before the probiotic bacteria have had a chance to multiply. You can generally tell that something is wrong when the milk takes significantly longer to thicken into a yogurt, or there are very large amounts of separated yellowish liquid (whey). But the certain give-away is the taste. Nature has a noticeable fashion of almostalways making things that are healthy taste good, and thinks that are un-healthy taste bad. When there is any spoilage, the “yogurt” will taste unpleasant or “off/odd” – usually mildly so, but sometimes badly. When this happens just dispose if it without question, make sure all utensils and containers used are boiled, and re-make the starter from the original probiotic product. Incidentally, I have never been ill from tasting any spoiled probiotic yogurt – it is usually just the same as spoiled milk - but if you have a weak immune system you do not want to do this (you really should not be making probiotic yogurts at all, but sticking to commercial products). All the probiotic products I have tried make pleasant tasting yogurt. There is actually not really a great deal of variance in the taste – some are a little sharper, some are thinner – but none of them have tasted in any way unpalatable.

What can you do with Probiotic Yogurt?
Some recipes and ideas on using probiotic yogurts – other than just eating them - can be found towards the end of my document “Making Yogurt and Probiotic Yogurts for Dummies”. “Sick of Probiotic Yogurt? Eat It This Whey…” offers rather different ideas on using probiotic yogurts - particularly for those people who will not consume them either continually or willingly. It also discusses probiotic use for healthy teeth, bad-breath, food addictions, plus a little on experimentation I have undertaken with probiotics and prebiotics applied to the skin.

Survival of Yogurt and Probiotic Yogurt bacteria in heated Food and Drink
The temperature at which beneficial bacteria are likely to be killed does not appear to be well researched. However looking at some unrelated research1, these bacteria are generally still alive at 43° C (109° F). Treating this as the maximum cooking temperature would seem advisable until more information is known.

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Saving Probiotic Yogurt for future starters
After a week-or-so of making probiotic yogurt from the previous batch, the yogurt tends to get thinner. It is then best to use a fresh starter. Saving the first batch of yogurt made from a fresh starter for future starters is a good way to avoid having to keep buying more of the original probiotic product. There are a number of ways to preserve probiotic yogurt for later use. Freezing the yogurt in ice-cube trays provides a convenient ice-cube sized amount of starter for future yogurt production. Frozen probiotic bacteria tend to survive at their original strength for at least a month. Separating the yogurt into Curds and Whey – typically by draining it through coffeefilter paper or similar – gives a thick probiotic “cream” which can be frozen or dried. To dry curds you need airflow rather than heat – make a thin layer of curds on plastic or grease-proof paper, and then ensure that they receive constant airflow. The airflow dries the curd out - typically within a few days. This dried probiotic curd seem to keep indefinitely. Pieces of the dried curd can be put straight into the heated milk as the starter without further preparation.

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Yogurts from some well-known probiotic products
I have yet to find any well-known probiotic product from a reputable company that did not produce yogurt. The yogurts are generally a bit runnier than shop-bought yogurts, particularly if semi-skimmed or skimmed milk is used. Commercial yogurts typically have additives to make the yogurt thicker, and also to prevent the liquid whey separating.

Here are some probiotics I have tried:


Align - a very expensive patented probiotic marketed by Procter & Gamble. Contains the bacterium “Bifantis” - Bifidobacterium Infantis 356240. Align is described by P&G as “the only probiotic that is clinically proven to naturally protect against constipation, diarrhea, urgency, gas and bloating.” I don’t believe that it is “the only” probiotic useful in these conditions, but it does get very good user ratings from people with IBS. The yogurt is pleasant and very mild, quite delicate with no strong taste. Culturelle (Bacteria: Lactobacillus GG also known as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), originally known as L. acidophilus GG) A nice mild easy yogurt rather like Align. Doctor’s A-Z Acidophilus (Bacteria: Lactobacillus Acidophilus) This is one of the few “Acidophilus” probiotics that actually contain just L. Acidophilus bacteria. At first I thought that this probiotic was “dead” – as quite a few have been proven to be – but it did eventually culture after 3 to 4 days, which is far longer than most other probiotics. The yogurt itself is sharper than most others. Once the starter has been made, it will make further yogurt as quickly as any other starter. PerioBalance – an oral health probiotic lozenge designed to dissolve in the mouth (contains L. Reuteri “Prodentis” with flavourings). According to Sunstar GUM, the manufacturers of PerioBalance: “Reuteri Prodentis is a clinically-documented and patented natural probiotic of human origin that has the unique ability of binding to saliva and oral mucosa. … Reuteri is also the only lactobacillus to produce reuterin, which is a beneficial, natural anti-microbial agent. … PerioBalance reduces bacterial plaque build up that can lead to gum and other mouth problems… helps fight against harmful oral bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans and P. gingivalis.”




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The yogurt has a reasonably mild taste. You will need to make yogurt from previous batches a few times to get rid of the mint flavouring that is in the PerioBalance lozenges. To use the resulting yogurt as an oral probiotic, whey is almost certainly a better “delivery mechanism” than the yogurt itself. For more information on probiotic whey, see: “Sick of Probiotic Yogurt? Eat It This Whey…”. Product: Bio-Kult – a therapeutic-strength probiotic with 14 bacterial strains, in capsule form. Originally developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD for use in conditions where there are severe gut-health issues such as autism. Bio-Kult yogurt can be a bit variable as far as its consistency goes. Usually it makes a thin yogurt that is a little sharper and stronger tasting than most. There seems to be more liquid whey separation when this yogurt is being made – stir it all together at the end and the yogurt is fine. Threelac – a multi-strain powder often used to treat Candida yeast problems. Contains: Bacillus Coagulans, Bacillus Subtilis, and Enterococcus Faecalis. Contrary to the suggestions of certain internet sites, Threelac is as safe as any other probiotic product, and anecdotally it does appear to be effective. Mild, but with a slightly different taste to all the others. Makes a very thick yogurt. Cultures slower than most of the others. Activia Like the original yogurt, with no flavourings or additives. Muller Vitality A pretty normal yogurt taste. Actimel A pretty normal yogurt taste. Yakult This is very slow to culture, but does eventually get there. Tastes like a regular yogurt, absolutely nothing like the original product. Multibionta - a good cheap, well proven, 3-strain probiotic tablet that also contains vitamins and minerals. Note that this probiotic tablet has an “enteric” coating. This coating is designed to protect the tablet from the acid in the stomach while it passes through. With no such protection, the yogurt made with this probiotic may - or may not – be capable of surviving stomach acid. Makes quite a thin yogurt. You need to re-make the starter a few times to get rid of the grey-looking vitamins from the original tablet.







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Holland & Barrett Acidophilus with pectin (a capsule that is actually multi-strain) A slightly sharp yogurt. Fem-Dophilus - a capsule containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14. This is a very well studied – and effective - combination of two bacterial strains. It is marketed primarily to women to help maintain or restore healthy vaginal flora and support the health of the urinary tract. It is particularly useful for bacterial vaginosis (vaginal bacteriosis/gardnerella). Fem-Dophilus makes quite a thick yogurt.


From personal experience, you can get very different effects from different probiotics. Plus some odd side-effects. For instance, taking very large quantities of some probiotics causes me to get heartburn (acid reflux) – which continues even after I stop taking the probiotic. I have found that the cheap and cheerful probiotic Multibionta (also known as Bion3) seems to help particularly with heartburn. I take a daily Multibionta tablet – not yogurt - whenever I get this acid reflux effect, and it invariably resolves it quite quickly.

-E D-

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Gary.Tiv: Fat Bugs and Experimental Weight Loss.

APPENDIX 1 Proven Probiotic Products
Note that most probiotic bacteria have had minimal or no scientific testing. This does not necessary mean that there are no health benefits from that organism. In general, the vast majority of scientific studios are on patented bacteria – where the patent holder expects to gain financially – rather than on non-patented microbes.

“Meet the Bacteria”
These microorganisms have been shown to boost health in scientific studies: Strain
Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 (marketing name: Bifidis Regularis) Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12 Lactobacillus casei Shirota Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001 (marketing name: L. casei Immunitas) Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 in combination with Lactobacillus reuteri Lactobacillus reuteri 55730 Saccharomyces boulardii yeast

Gut health and faster digestion

Dannon Activia yogurt

Procter & Gamble's Align supplement Helps immune system and Yo-Plus yogurt, digestive health Nestle Good Start infant formula Helps immune system and Yakult fermented digestive health dairy drink Helps immune system; Dannon's lessens duration of colds DanActive dairy and flus in older people drink Improved vaginal health; helps eradicate vaginal infections Helps treat colic, gingivitis, antibioticassociated diarrhea Helps prevent and treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea RepHresh Pro-B and Fem-Dophilus dietary supplements BioGaia tablets, drops and lozenges Florastor dietary supplement

Alleviates symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

Source: Article: The Wall Street Journal “Bug Crazy: Assessing The Benefits of Probiotics” By Laura Johannes, January 13th, 2009 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123180831081775767.html

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Probiotic Products Proven in Human Trials (mainly products from the USA, or widely available in the USA)
Indication Infant diarrhea Inflammatory bowel conditions (primary evidence in pouchitis) Strain (Commercial Strain Designation) L. rhamnosus GG (LGG) (Szajewska et al. 2007) VSL#3 (8-strain combination of 3 Bifidobacterium strains, 4 Lactobacillus strains and S. thermophilus) (Chapman et al. 2006) S. cerevisiae (S. boulardii) (Szajewska & Mrukowicz
2005; Johnston et al. 2006; McFarland et al. 2006)

Products (Format) Culturelle (capsule) www.culturelle.com VSL#3 (powder) www.vsl3.com

L. reuteri ATCC 55730(Lionetti et al. 2006) Antibiotic associated diarrhea; C. difficile

L. rhamnosus GG (LGG) (Katz 2006) L. casei DN-114 001(Hickson et al. 2007) L. acidophilus CL1285 plus L. casei Lbc80r
(Beausoleil et al. 2007)

Gut transit time/bowel function (adults)

B. animalis DN-173 010 (Bifidus regularis)
(Marteau et al. 2002)

Florastor (powder) www.florastor.com Lalflor (capsule) www.institut-rosell.com BioGaia Probiotic chewable tablets www.childrensprobiotics.com or www.everidis.com Culturelle (capsule) www.culturelle.com DanActive (fermented milk) www.danactive.com BioK+CL1285 (fermented milk, soy milk, capsule) www.biokplus.com Activia (yogurt) www.activia.com Yakult (daily dose drink) www.yakultusa.com BioGaia Probiotic drops or BioGaia Probiotic straw BioGaia Probiotic chewable tablets www.childrensprobiotics.com or www.everidis.com Culturelle (capsule) www.culturelle.com DanActive (fermented milk) www.danactive.com All yogurts with live, active cultures BioGaia Probiotic drops www.childrensprobiotics.com or www.everidis.com Strain sold as an ingredient for dairy and supplement products – contact Danisco www.danisco.com BioGaia Probiotic drops or BioGaia Probiotic chewable tablets www.childrensprobiotics.com or www.everidis.com Culturelle (capsule) www.culturelle.com Danimals (drinkable yogurt) www.danimals.com Yakult (daily dose drink) www.yakultusa.com Good Start Natural Cultures (infant formula) www.verybestbaby.com/GoodStart

L. casei Shirota (Koebnick et al. 2003) L. reuteri ATCC 55730 (Protectis) (Tubelius et
al. 2005; Weizman et al. 2005)

Keeping healthy L. rhamnosus GG (LGG) (Hatakka et al. 2001) L. casei DN-114 001(Pedone et al. 2000) Lactose maldigestion Colic in infants Most strains L. bulgaricus and/or S. thermophilus (de Vrese et al. 2001) L. reuteri ATCC 55730 (Protectis) (Savino et al

Immune support L. reuteri ATCC 55730(Valeur et al. 2004 ;
Abrahamsson et al. 2007)

L. rhamnosus GG (LGG) (Piirainen et al. 2008 ;
Kekkonen et al. 2008)

L. casei Shirota (Takeda et al. 2007)

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L. casei DN-114 001 (Parra et al. 2004) L. rhamnosus GR-1 plus L. reuteri RC-14 Bacterial vaginosis Mild to moderate irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
(Anukam et al. 2006)

B. infantis 35624 (Bifantis™) (Whorwell et al.

/Overview.aspx LiveActive cheese www.kraft.com/Brands/featuredbrands/live_active.htm Yo-Plus yogurt www.yo-plus.com DanActive (fermented milk) www.danactive.com Fem-Dophilus (capsules) www.urexbiotech.com; www.jarrow.com Align (capsules) www.aligngi.com Verb Good Belly (juice) www.verbgoodbelly.com

L. plantarum 299v (Lp299v) (Niedzielin et al.

Source: USprobiotics.org Prepared by Mary Ellen Sanders, Ph.D. www.mesanders.com, December 1, 2008 http://www.usprobiotics.org/docs/probiotic%20handout%20clinician%20with%20refe rences.pdf

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APPENDIX 2 The “Hospital Superbug” Clostridium Difficile
Article: The Times (London): “A Guide to Probiotics: The Times doctor has a good gut feeling for bugs” by Dr Mark Porter, January 24th, 2009: “Professor Chakravarthi Rajkumar from the Brighton and Sussex Medical School is leading research into the benefits of probiotics in protecting elderly patients from antibiotic- induced diarrhoea and the hospital- acquired infection C. difficile. His early findings suggest that regular supplements (Actimel in this case) offer significant protection.” … “Lastly, the evidence on the protective effects against hospital-acquired infections is enough for me to suggest that anyone going into hospital for a planned operation considers taking a course of probiotics starting a few days before, and continuing for a week or so after they get home.” http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5568476.ece

It is likely that there are a number of probiotic bacterial strains could be useful in preventing C. Diff overrun after antibiotic treatment, but at the moment the only one that appears to have been studied is the bacteria in the drink Actimel. Actimel (known as DanActive in the US and Canada) has been proven to be effective in helping elderly hospital patients avoid C. Diff infection:

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Result of Actimel Trial:

Source: Practical Applications of Probiotics in Health and Disease 49th Annual Meeting of the American College of utrition Presentation by Simin Meydani, DVM, Ph.D. Associate Director Jean Mayer USDA H RCA at Tufts University Boston, MA Could Probiotics Help the Elderly?

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Fem-Dophilus for women
Fem-Dophilus is the oral probiotic product developed from 25 years of research by two Australian doctors, Dr Gregor Reid and Dr Andrew Bruce. It is a combination of two of the earliest studied probiotic bacteria. Apart from regular yogurt bacteria, the first studied probiotic bacteria were L casei Shirota (Yakult) in the 1930s, L. Acidophilus NCFM in the mid-1970s, and in the 1980’s the bacteria now in Fem-Dophilus: L. Rhamnosus GR-1 and L. Fermentum RC-14 (as they were originally classified). Oddly, as a probiotic that has such a long history - and clinically proven health benefits for women - it is sometimes not listed in the various “Medically Proven Probiotics” documents that are available. As Fem-Dophilus is a very interesting and relatively little-known probiotic product, I have reproduced some information and research on the two probiotic bacteria that it contains below.

“Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 has been shown to adhere to cells in the bladder, vagina and intestine. … The organism displaces and prevents adhesion by intestinal and urogenital pathogens, inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast, can kill HIV and other viruses through its acid production, and stops pathogens from forming clumps or biofilms that are very difficult for drugs to eradicate. It is innately resistant to vancomycin and spermicidal nonoxynol-9. The strain induces an anti-inflammatory effect and modulates factors that would otherwise increase a woman’s risk of preterm labor. ” “Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 adheres to bladder, vaginal, and intestinal cells displaces and prevents adhesion by intestinal and urogenital pathogens, inhibits the growth of these harmful organisms and can kill HIV and other viruses through its acid production. It produces hydrogen peroxide that many believe is important in vaginal health. It also produces signaling factors that disarm toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium that causes so many hospital infections and deaths (the “superbug”).”
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The use of yogurts internally by some women has never really been accepted as useful by the medical profession. However, research does show that the basic principle is valid - if effective bacteria are used. [Incidentally, the whey from probiotic yogurts also contains the probiotic bacteria, and is water-like rather than yogurt-like.] “The use of Lactobacillus GR-1 and Lactobacillus RC-14 intra-vaginally twice a day for five days, led to repopulation of the vagina and cure of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study.” Although Fem-Dophilus is marketed for women, it does have properties which make it generally useful: “While not designed for the gut, both Lactobacillus GR-1 and Lactobacillus RC-14 taken orally for 30 days to 15 Crohn’s disease and five ulcerative colitis patients in food showed no adverse effects, no bacteremia, no adverse immunological outcomes, but significant reduction in inflammation in subset of patients. In further evidence of their safety, the use of these probiotics in HIV positive subjects showed resolution of diarrhea and increase in CD4 count, with no cases of bacteremia or major side effects.” Source for all quotes: http://www.americanwellnessnetwork.com/Probiotics-forWomens-Health.html

The Yoghurt Mamas of Africa
Probiotic Yogurt containing the two bacterial strains in Fem-Dophilus is being used in some African countries to improve the lives of people with HIV/AIDS: “Our growing understanding of probiotic benefits also has more far-reaching implications. The research of both Reid* and Hekmat forms the basis of a unique internship project called Western Heads East. The project sends Western students to rural Tanzania where they have established a community kitchen. There, local mothers (“yogurt mamas”) are trained to produce probiotic yogurt and distribute it to their families and to HIV/AIDS sufferers in the community. Up to 90 per cent of HIV/AIDS patients in Sub-saharan Africa suffer from diarrhea, and in an upcoming article for the Journal of Clinical Gastrology, Reid writes that probiotics could save these patients’ lives. “The fact that a food easily produced in developing countries…can alleviate diarrhea, represents a significant potential means of reducing some deaths amongst HIV/AIDS patients,” Reid comments. Furthermore, a probiotic diet may reduce HIV transmission by maintaining the high level of acidity needed in a woman’s vagina to prevent contraction of the disease.

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This year, Western Heads East is expanding to Kenya and aims to eventually increase the quality of life in developing countries worldwide.”

* Dr Gregor Reid - one of the inventers of Fem-Dophilus.
Source: http://www.mcgilldaily.com/view.php?aid=7029 Fem-Dophilus & yogurt HIV Research: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18223503

Making Probiotic Yogurt from Fem-Dophilus:
As a caution, I quote from the material supplied with Fem Dophilus: “The probiotic strains in fem-dophilus are in a proprietary polysaccharide matrix, which protects the bacteria from stomach acid and enhances probiotic bacteria survival to the lower intestine.” This could mean that making your own yogurt with this probiotic may not be effective – or quite as effective - as the original product. Survival through stomach acid is crucial when the yogurt is eaten, and the yogurt will not have this “matrix”.

Gary.Tiv: Fat Bugs and Experimental Weight Loss.

APPE DIX 4 Making Traditional Yogurt from breast milk
This information on making traditional yogurt from express milk is here mainly for completeness. Using breast milk to make anything other than standard yogurt - with the cultures Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus - is completely untested and may well be unsafe.

Although I have not been able to test this myself, it is certainly theoretically possible to make standard yogurt from express milk, and there are a number of references to it on the internet. Descriptions of how it is made that I have seen on the internet seem to be confused, but breast milk is likely to be similar to the milk of most mammals in that it has enzymes and/or bacteria that actively inhibit other bacteria from growing readily in the milk. This inhibitory effect is the reason that cows milk has to be heated before yogurt can be made1 – the inhibiting bacteria and enzymes have to be destroyed before the yogurt bacteria can grow well. From reading descriptions of failed attempts to make yogurt from breast milk, it appears that the milk has not been heated at all, so the bacteria in the yogurt will not reproduce readily. This is one case where you may need a food thermometer to heat the milk to at-most 180°F (82° C). This is the temperature that is know to kill all inhibiting bacteria and enzymes in other mammals milks - but obviously the lower the temperature the more the natural enzymes in breast milk are likely to be preserved. Destruction of milk enzymes begins at 118°F (47° C) and is complete at 180°F (82° C)2. Some personal experimentation - by gently heating express milk from the guaranteed 180°F, to attempting to make yogurt from express milk heated at lower temperatures may be worthwhile. But do stick to using traditional yogurt as the starter.

Contrary to common belief, pasteurized milk is not sterile – it is briefly heated to a temperature known to kill certain harmful bacteria (plus incidentally the beneficial natural bacteria in milk) – but some harmful bacteria are not killed at this temperature. Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (MAP) – thought by some to be linked to Crohn’s Disease – is an example of one bacterium that survives pasteurization. 2 http://www.westonaprice.org/motherlinda/yogurt.html
Gary.Tiv: Fat Bugs and Experimental Weight Loss.


APPE DIX 5 Other Simple Methods of Making Yogurt

Domestic Oven with internal Lamp
In some ovens there is a small electric light that comes on when the oven is in use, so that the contents of the oven can be seen without opening it. These lights are typically of low efficiency – giving off quite a lot of heat for their small size. There is generally a setting for the oven so that just the light itself can be switched on. These ovens are perfect for making yogurt without any other heat source – just switch the oven light on and place the warmish milk with the starter into the oven. If the light from the oven being on all the time gets irritating, just cover the lamp with some cooking foil. You will need to experiment to see just how long it takes to make the yogurt, but usually it will be ready when left overnight.

Thermos Flask Yogurt
This text was extracted from The Korea Herald of July 9th 2008 - “Joe McPherson’s Food Column” “A YA G - Yogurt is popular in Korea. It’s everywhere. It fights for store space, slowly dominating the dairy section. Ladies in mustard colored uniforms sell it to children on the street. Overseas, Korean frozen yogurt has become a new food craze. Innovative yogurts come out frequently, touting new flavors, added magical nutrients or higher general quality.
“These ladies are all over Seoul. They deliver yoghurt and drinks and such to homes and offices. You can always recognize them by their yellow cart and uniform.’ [Flickr photo]

Yet one innovation has not entered the Korean yogurt market - unsweetened yogurt. Almost everywhere else in the world has unsweetened yogurt. It’s called plain yogurt, or just yogurt. You know it. It’s the most basic of basic yogurt. Plain yogurt in Korea is not plain. It’s sweetened. That’s fine if you like sweet yogurt. It’s not so great if you want to cook with it.

Gary.Tiv: Fat Bugs and Experimental Weight Loss.

What can you do? The solution is so easy you’ll laugh. You just need milk, a food safe thermometer, a thermos and a little bit of storebought yogurt. The premium Korean brands work well. Thoroughly wash the thermos first. Put boiling water in it for a while just to be safe. Have around a shot or two of yogurt sitting out, warming to room temperature. In a pot slowly heat enough milk to fit in the thermos. Let the milk warm to between 82 and 85 degrees Celsius. Don’t go over. Turn off the heat and let the milk cool between 41 and 46 degrees. Add the yogurt, close the thermos and let it sit for four to eight hours. When it sets, store it in the refrigerator. ow you have a batch of unsweetened yogurt. You can make more yogurt from this batch, but the active bacteria will weaken after a while. Just replenish with more storebought yogurt. You can eat it as is. What I like to do is put it in cheesecloth or coffee filters sitting on an open jar. This strains the liquid whey, making the yogurt thick and creamy, like a cheese. With this strained yogurt, you can make the classic Greek sauce tzatziki. Combine the yogurt with finely chopped cucumber, a little chopped garlic, and some salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Add some mint, dill or parsley if you wish. You can top a classic gyro with it or use the sauce with any meat or vegetable. Another basic yogurt sauce is the Indian raita. Some of the ingredients may require a trip to an international market. Combine a cup of yogurt with a cup of finely chopped cucumber. Add three tablespoons of chopped green onions, three table spoons of chopped fresh cilantro, half a teaspoon of ground cumin and half a teaspoon of ground coriander. It’s also a good marinade for chicken. Combine a cup of yogurt with a half cup of chopped fresh parsley, four chopped cloves of garlic, two teaspoons of Korean red chili powder (gochugaru), two teaspoons of salt, a quarter cup of fresh lemon juice and a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil. Cover chicken parts with this yogurt mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for one hour. Take the chicken out of the yogurt marinade and grill, pan fry or bake it. Laze around a steamy summer afternoon with a cool mint lassi. Don’t have any mint? Korean flower shops tend to sell pots of mint for around 2,000 won each. Pick off a few leaves and rinse them. Combine them in a blender with a half cup of yogurt, a cup of ice cold water and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Add a touch of cumin if desired. Garnish with more mint leaves and relax. Your work is done. Joe can be reached through his website, the ZenKimchi Korean Food zenkimchi.com – Ed.” [South Korea – for all its sweetened yogurts - has an obesity rate of 3.5 percent, compared to 34.3 percent in the United States. Counties with low obesity rates tend to be large consumers of fermented foods, which include yogurts.]

Gary.Tiv: Fat Bugs and Experimental Weight Loss.

APPE DIX 6 Making Soy/Soya Yogurt from Soya Beans
This material has been adapted from a Belgian website that has lots of information on soya. For 1 litre of soy yogurt you need 140 grams of soya beans. Put the soybeans (ideally split soybeans) in a pan and poor 3 litre boiling water over them. Let it cool down and wait 6 to 12 hours. Drain the beans, add 1 litre of cold water and mix it in a blender for 3 minutes. Remove the soymilk from the solids by squeezing the mixture through a cheese cloth. Bring the soymilk to boiling point and continue to boil for 10 minutes. When this has cooled, use it to make yogurt using whatever method, and whatever probiotic starter, you want. The resulting yogurt will be a little runnier than dairy yogurt. To improve the thickness of the soy yogurt you can add one level teaspoon of agar powder, which is premixed in 50 ml water, to the soymilk when it starts boiling. You can also use corn starch or arrowroot as a thickener. Disperse 2 teaspoon of starch in 30 ml cold water and add this mixture to the soymilk just before boiling. Also - as with any yogurt - consider draining some of the liquid whey off if you want to make it thicker. This is very easy using muslin, coffee filter-papers, or even a few sheets of thick kitchen paper towels – see this document dedicated to Whey if you want further information.

Gary.Tiv: Fat Bugs and Experimental Weight Loss.

APPE DIX 7 A Simple Theory For The Role Of Probiotic Bacteria In Weight Loss
And How To Identify a Probiotic That May Help With Weight Reduction

There are a number of scientific studies showing probiotic bacteria can influence body weight. There are similar studies showing the same effect with some prebiotics. This is a very simple guide as to how I believe some probiotics can help with weight loss.

Firstly, a probiotic can significantly increase the total number of bacteria in the gut. This is generally measured by the total number of bacteria appearing in faeces. The increase in bacterial numbers that a probiotic can produce is illustrated – as an example - by this research that compared two probiotic substances: a product called Biofir and traditional Russian-type Kefir. “The number of all microbes increased during the 4-week probiotic treatment. The number of microbes increased 4.3-fold in the control group [kefir] and 6.8-fold in Biofir-treated group.”1 Note that you do have to keep taking the probiotic to keep up this huge increase in bacteria. The research showed that when either probiotic was stopped, after 2 weeks the number of microbes had returned to their initial value. So, if a probiotic can result in 4 to 6 times as many microbes, then in theory that is 4 to 6 times as many microbial mouths to feed. Their only available food must ultimately be derived from the food that person eats. However, there is another aspect to microbes.* “It is well known that microbial activity is associated with heat production and under certain conditions this can be considerable. When expressed per unit weight, a microorganism produces more heat than any other organism.”2 All these microbes generate heat when they are multiplying. And to generate heat they need calories. There are no studies into how much heat these microbes generate in the human gut. But to demonstrate that this heat production is likely to be significant, I quote from this study that examined the amount of heat being produced by the gut bacteria in sheep:

Gary.Tiv: Fat Bugs and Experimental Weight Loss.

“The heat produced by ruminant animals consists of the heat generated during reactions in the body of the animal and heat generated during fermentation in the gut, particularly the rumen. … It can be seen in Table I that the heat of fermentation may account for ... nearly 4% of gross energy intake…”2 In fact, the results show that 3.82% of the calories eaten by the sheep are used by gut bacteria to produce heat. As stated, there is no available research into this use of calories from food by gut bacteria in humans. However humans have plenty of gut bacteria - and heat production by bacteria as they multiply is an established fact in fermentation studies. So this bacterial heat production mechanism must also exist in humans. Theoretically, if the heat figure for humans turned out to be about the same as for sheep, then the gut bacteria in humans would effectively reduce the number of calories available to the human body as follows: The average woman requires about 1900 calories a day, the average man about 2500 calories a day. 3.82 percent of 1900 = 72.58 calories a day for women. 3.82 percent of 2500 = 95.5 calories a day for men. Over the course of a year, that is a lot of calories that gut microbes could be converting from food into heat.

So this basic theory of weight loss using probiotics is simple: Increasing the total number of microbes in the gut should increase the number of calories used by the microbes. Both in terms of each bacterium needing food for itself, and each bacterium needing food that ultimately ends up in the form of heat. Putting the theory into practice Although any probiotic should be able to alter the makeup of the gut flora, some may not be able to increase the overall number of microbes. So how can you tell if a given probiotic does significantly increase the overall number of bacteria? About half of faecal material is composed of bacteria3. Increasing the number of microbes implies increased amounts of faeces. Or alternatively, increased frequency of bowel movements (looking at old medical texts, 3 per day was not considered abnormal). If a probiotic does not have either of these effects, then it is unlikely that it is going to help with weight-loss.

Gary.Tiv: Fat Bugs and Experimental Weight Loss.

To summarize, this simple Probiotic Weight Loss Formula is: The more poo - the more microbes; the more they eat & the more they heat - less calories available for the body.4

Gary.Tiv: Fat Bugs and Experimental Weight Loss.

REFERENCES FOR APPENDIX 7 The original idea that gut bacteria can produce heat is entirely that of the nutrition science analyst David Brown. As such, he can provide a far more advanced knowledge and understanding of how his discovery can apply to body-weight and metabolism. David Brown, Kalispell, Montana. http://nutritionscienceanalyst.blogspot.com/
1 *

World J Gastroenterol 2006 February 21; 12(7):1129-1132 “Effect of special Hungarian probiotic kefir on faecal microflora” Health ote: [Biofir] caused multiplication of the probiotic flora, meanwhile the undesired bacteria multiplied in the [kefir group]. http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/12/1129.pdf Table. I. Calculation of heat of fermentation in sheep from calorimetric results (Czerkawski al.1966) Energy (kcal/d) Gross intake Faeces Urine Methane Gases (l/d) Oxygen uptake Carbon dioxide production Heat production (kcal/d) TF TB T TF/T TF/ME TF/Gross energy TF/Methane energy

3400 835 215 (49 g protein/d) 275 (30 l/d) 360 375 130 1684 1814 0.072 0.061 0.038 0.47

TF, heat produced during fermentation. TB, heat produced in the body. T, total heat production. ME, metabolizable energy. [My comment: 3.82% of Gross Energy Intake is going into heat production from microbes multiplying. (130 / 3400) * 100 = 3.82)] Br. J. Nutr. (1980). 43, 239 “A novel estimate of the magnitude of heat produced in the rumen” J. W. CZERKAWSKI. Hannah Research Institute, Ayr KA6 5HL PDF downloadable from: d=01#
Gary.Tiv: Fat Bugs and Experimental Weight Loss.




This study in mice is about the closest research available that is supportive of this theory about probiotic weight loss. This is a simplified version of the research with my highlighting; the hyperlink leads to the original study. The study examined the effect that powdered yogurt has when added to the diet of mice.

METHODS: After initial measurements of body weight and composition, mice were randomly assigned to receive one of two similar-calorie diets (19.4% kcal protein, 45.5% kcal carbohydrate, and 35.1% kcal fat). One diet was supplemented with dried yogurt powder. In the experiment, mice received the diets for 4 wk, after which body weight and body composition were reassessed. RESULTS: Initial body weight was not significantly different between the control and the yogurt mice. Body weight and fat mass increased significantly over time and there was a significant effect of diet on the increase in body weight and fat mass, with the yogurt mice gaining less weight and fat than the control mice. Food intake was not significantly affected by the yogurt supplementation. Digestive efficiency was significantly lower in the yogurt mice due to greater fecal production. Nutrition. 2007 Nov-Dec;23(11-12):836-43. “Effect of dairy supplementation on body composition and insulin resistance in mice.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17826954

Gary.Tiv: Fat Bugs and Experimental Weight Loss.

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