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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Testing Probiotics

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Hi Lou,

This information that I'd like to post has brand names. However, is it OK to post because it has multiple brand names and that are purchased off-the-shelf?


Hi daise,

We have no problem with you posting this information, including brand names.

Our concern is not users posting information about about products they have used and their experiences, especially if that information helps other users.

Our concern is "advertising" or "solicitations" on LymeNet and users profiting from this ... we don't want LymeNet to become the Ebay of treatments.

Take care,

Lou B


Testing Probiotics

In my experience, probiotic supplement brands vary a lot, by whether they're potent or not. I heard of the following method outside of Lyme circles.

I used Pearls, by Enzymatic Therapy, for years. I like their products. However, I repeatedly found their Pearls to be--not potent. I spent a lot of money on Pearls over the years, before knowing I had Lyme.

When I began taking Lyme antibiotics I continued taking Pearls, plus other brands.

I trust they do make a good product, but perhaps shipments sit on a loading dock in the hot Sun or maybe they freeze--killing off the probiotics.

I've tried various brands.

I test each and every probiotic product I buy. I fill a little dish or juice glass with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk. I have one container for each product tested. I put a slip of paper under each container, to label it.

I empty 2 capsules from one product bottle into each container (or cut-open the Pearls) and stir. After 24-48 hours (uncovered) if I see "activity" then I know it's potent.

By activity I mean it should sort of have the consistency of custard. Those products that don't show activity, I bring right back to the store for a full refund. I test every bottle I buy. After all, it's my health that's at stake!

Sometimes Country Life does well--and it's often on sale at Vitamin Cottage. But sometimes Country Life fails.

This happened when I took two, big Country Life Acidophilus bottles (250 count each) from the refrigerated section: both on sale, both the same product and both had the same expiration date. I bought them at the same time. One passed very well, the other failed badly.

Again, I wonder about the loading dock idea, especially because some Country Life probiotics must be kept refrigerated. It's also possible they may have sat on the storeroom floor for a while before being refrigerated.

I've consistently had good luck with Source Naturals and Renew Life. Kyodophilus fails for me, repeatedly. Jarrow failed once--the powdered type--and I never tried it again.

Evaporation eventually would turn the milk to something sort of custard-like. In my experience, a product will pass very well--or fail, outright. I haven't found any product in between.

Acidophilus is especially recommended with Lyme antibiotics, along with other varieties as well, to help the colon recover.

The problem with yogurt and kefir is that they are expensive (comparatively) and they don't have nearly enough probiotics as supplements do. Yogurt (at least) can have a high amount of carbs.

They supply a varied probiotic base in addition to supplements. But then, so can certain probiotic capsules. I refrigerate all my probiotics, whether purchased from the refrigerated section or off-the-shelf.

I've found Whole Foods Market to be out-of-sight expensive. I've found a one-owner neighborhood store with good prices and they keep most of their probiotics (even off-the-shelf types) in their store frig. That says something.

I check expiration dates. When I buy probiotics, even off-the-shelf, I drive straight home to get them in my frig. Sunlight streaming through the car windows can raise the temperature--that can affect potency.

daise [Smile]

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Thanks Daise

I have not done this and do not refrigerate my probiotics unless they say to refrigerate.

I'm off to my kitchen to test.


When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power, there will be Peace.

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That's great. Maybe you could let us know the outcome of the test and whether you had to bring any back to the store.


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