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Probiotic advice

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Tracey
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2010 - 2:26 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi. I tried to do a search for the safe probiotics on this site and Flora Biotic 16 came up from needs.com. I tried searching for it on that site and can't seem to find it. I don't think they sell it anymore. I was wondering if anyone knew of any other good/safe ones out there. I can't really use food as a probiotic, because I am sensitive to gluten, dairy and soy. Please help me!
Thank you.
kristy
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Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 1:05 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tracey, customprobiotics.com sells pure probiotics with no added ingredients. We take it with no problems and we are allergic to corn and soy.

Also, fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi are gluten, dairy and soy-free and full of beneficial probiotics. It is a good idea to add them to your diet along with the purchased probiotic powder. Here is a post about how to make them simply and cheaply at home: http://www.livingitupcornfree.com/2009/11/fermented-vegetables-are-easy-and-fun.html
Deb A.
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Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 7:43 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kristy, isn't there some alcohol present in some fermented vegetables. I bought a bottle of additive free mild kimchee the other day, and I couldn't get past the smell! It was bubbling like crazy.
kristy
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 6:41 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The bubbling is caused by the carbon dioxide that is created by the beneficial bacteria. (Think of it like carbonated sodas.) While there are some ferments with alcohol in them like water kefir, the amounts are usually very minimal. With fermenting vegetables you don't usually have to worry about alcohol content because they don't have enough sugar content and they aren't allowed to ferment long enough. (Wine and beer are made from fruit and corn and allowed to ferment quickly and for a log time.)

Homemade ferments are a controlled chaos, pretty much. You add sea salt to encourage the beneficial bacteria to propagate and to make unsuitable conditions for the bad bacteria to multiply. You are helping the process along but you don't really "control" the ferment which is why foods pickled with vinegar became such a popular industrial food product (more predictable and consistent results). You can't really make a lacto-fermentation turn out the same every time even if you are consistent with ingredients since time and temperature and the amount of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria of the vegetables themselves are also variables (depends on soil health). There is a certain amount of risk of failure and unpredictable results that go with lacto-fermentation but maybe that is why I find so compelling and infinitely interesting. Here is an article about the actual alcohol content of water kefir soda pop: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/10/kefir-sodaan-alcoholic-beverage-real-food-wednesday.html

In the end, you take certain precautions to avoid failure but you can never be sure of your results. If you wash the veggies with chlorinated water and use chlorinated water for making brine, the chlorine will kill the beneficial bacteria resulting in rotten vegetables instead of a nice pickled ferment. If you don't cover the jar with a tight lid, you can capture natural yeast strains that are present in the air and get yeast growing along with your veggie ferment (sourdough starters are made this way). If you don't use enough salt in the warmer months, you can risk allowing bad bacteria to get a foothold and crowd out the beneficial bacteria resulting in a failed ferment. All that being said, I have never had a failed ferment and my only equipment is a knife, cutting board, grater, mason jar with lid, and wooden spoon.

It is a big step for the average American of this century to try fermented vegetables because we are the "antibiotic" generation. We were taught to wipe out all bacteria "just to be safe" so it goes against our sterile habits. The truth is that we are totally dependent on the happiness and health of our intestinal flora so we need to be nourishing them. An overgrowth of bad bacteria can literally "drive us like a bus" by making us eat the very foods that will ensure their growth and propagation and make us averse to consuming the foods that will wipe them out. A lot of our vitamins (including B vitamins - especially B6) are produced by the beneficial bacteria in our gut. (People with a B vitamin or folic acid deficiency have a deficiency of beneficial bacteria in their digestive system).

Give that kimchee another shot or try plain sauerkraut or brined cucumber pickles. The taste is unusual at first, but you it will definitely grow on you. My two teenagers (who would never eat a pickle) and I actually eat them as a snack or as a salad now.

Another interesting point...I really love the fermented veggies, but I still like the idea of quick fridge pickles. I tried making some recently with Bragg's organic apple cider vinegar (which I know is corn-free and I tolerate it very well) with onions and cucumbers. On the third morning after I made them, I got a stiff neck and headache after eating just a few bites. Apparently, I can't tolerate the fga released by cucumbers and onions aged in ACV for over two days, but I have eaten fermented ginger carrots with onion that were at least two months old. I don't understand it at all. Ferments don't stop fermenting just because they are refrigerated, they just slow way down. The two month old ginger carrots were fermenting and aging for two months and I still didn't get an FGA reaction but I did after two days with vinegar. Also, I make ketchup with this ACV and I have never had a problem with it even after a month in the fridge. Weird, huh?
Deb A.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 7:07 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I reacted to Bragg's organic apple cider vinegar recently. I got acid reflux and stiff neck. Something is going on. I suspect that since they also make Bragg's amino acids, there is some cross contamination. Interesting, huh? I switched to Aunt Patty's organic apple cider vinegar.
Okay, will give the kimchee another try. Love sauerkraut, but most contain sulfites.

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