How To Cure H Pylori Without Antibiotics

H Pylori is a difficult infection to treat with conventional antibiotics because of problems with resistance. Some people have to use a triple-therapy or a quadruple therapy which involves antibiotics and medications to reduce stomach acid. And even then cure rates might only be around as high as eighty-four percent.

Not only does the infection cause very uncomfortable symptoms, it can also raise the risk of stomach cancer if not treated and eliminated.

The main symptoms associated with H. Pylori include:

  • Loss of appetite – You don’t feel hungry and when you do, you feel full quickly.
  • Stomach pressure – Under your rib (left side) you may notice stomach pressure.
  • Nausea – Stomach inflammation can lead to symptoms of nausea.
  • Acid Reflux – You may have symptoms like burning and hoarse voice from this symptom.
  • Weight loss – Due to a decreased appetite, you will likely experience some weight loss.

Antibiotics are life-saving for millions of people and thankfully are still quite effective for many common bacterial infections. Although time may be running out as problems with resistance increase with continued use.

So when antibiotics start to fail, we have to turn elsewhere because the introduction of new and effective antibiotics into the market is painfully slow.

Now scientists are taking inspiration from nature and looking at plant-compounds to see if they are able to enhance the antibacterial effect, reverse resistance, or give insight into new approaches to develop synthetic and more potent versions.

In some cases, natural remedies derived from plants and mushrooms may even be effective by themselves at eradicating infections. However, one thing that is often overlooked by many people who advocate natural therapies is how the body processes and metabolizes these plant compounds.

The fact is that many plant compounds which display significantly antibacterial effects in the lab in a petri dish, may not necessarily live up to the same hype when you consume them. The tissue concentrations of these compounds can be too low.

However, when we’re talking about trying to eradicate an infection internally, say in the stomach, then natural treatments could be a more viable option. This is why a lot of research has been done on using natural treatments for H pylori and some have shown some success.

Disclaimer: These natural treatments recommended here are compiled from scientific research, my own experience in curing gastritis caused by h pylori, and feedback I’ve received from others. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you opt for natural treatments!

H Pylori Natural Treatment Regimen

As I already mentioned, there have been a few studies looking at natural cures for h pylori which don’t require antibiotics.

In some cases, these foods and supplements may be complementary and enhance antibiotics ability to eradicate the bacteria.

Combining several of them together may also give you more success. This is what I did to eliminate chronic gastritis I was experiencing in 2007.

Sulforaphane-rich Broccoli Sprouts

I don’t know about you, but I already loved broccoli sprouts, although they were difficult to get at the local supermarket. But if you have them where you live, then definitely pick some up!

One randomized controlled study in 50 humans who tested positive for H Pylori showed that eating 70 grams of 3-day-old germinated broccoli sprouts can inhibit gastritis caused by H pylori.

Sulforaphane found in broccoli sprouts seems to work in two ways: through a direct antibacterial effect and by increasing Nrf2 – a major antioxidant enzyme which leads to a decrease in reactive oxygen species and prevents damage to the stomach wall.

Consumption of broccoli sprouts lead to a decrease in urease measured by a urea breath test and also H. pylori stool antigen test. Biomarkers of stomach inflammation were also decreased in the broccoli group but not the placebo.

So although sulforaphane did not eradicate the infection fully, it did significantly reduce the number of bacteria and gastric inflammation and therefore could be a valuable tool-set in fighting h pylori. [1]

Garlic (Allicin)

If you ask someone to come up with a natural antibiotic, it’s more than likely that garlic will be on the list. Well, if you read my blog, you’ll know that I am a fan of allicin and I take it every day. I shared my previous success in curing an infection I had by combining it with an antibiotic.

In a study from 2001, researchers looked at the effect of beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, and allicin in eradicating H.pylro, then compared it with the standard protocol which was two antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor.

Standard protocol – 66% eradication

Allicin (4200 mcg) + standard protocol – 90% eradication

Allicin (1200 mcg) – 23.3% eradication

The authors noted that ascorbic acid and beta-carotene were ineffective whereas allicin was effective in enhancing traditional treatment and also modestly effective by itself.

It’s worth noting that the dose on the allicin-only group was lower, so it’d be interesting to see if a higher dose was more effective. [2]

Taking garlic supplements which contain stabilized allicin will likely be more effective than consuming raw garlic. But a more recent study from 2016 suggests that just eating two medium-sized cloves of garlic (noon and evening) can have a meaningful antibacterial effect on h.pylori in the stomach. [3]

Manuka Honey

Money honey was the turning point for me when I had gastritis. After having issues with feeling bloated all the time, stomach pressure and pain, and even GERD, honey was the first thing that ever made a difference.

Within days (yes, days!!) most of my stomach symptoms were gone. In just two weeks it felt like the infection had been completely eradicated. But the problem came back after two or three months and I started having the same symptoms.

This time, instead of stopping after just two weeks, I continued to put manuka honey on my toast every morning for breakfast, and also midday and in the evening before I went to bed. This way the honey was able to remain in the stomach for longer to have an effect.

I continued doing this for months if not years on and off and the symptoms never returned. They still haven’t to this day and it’s been over 11 years.

Considering that I had this problem for over at the time, and my doctor had no answer for me, it was pretty amazing that something as simple as manuka honey could cure this problem I was having.

But is there any evidence for it?

Absolutely. In a study looking at the effect of manuka honey on H.pylori growth, they were able to show that the presence of Manuka Honey at just 5% of its full strength was able to completely inhibit the growth of the bacteria. [4]

They estimated that the dose which would be required to have an antibacterial effect would be around 2.5 ml of honey entering 50 ml or less of gastric fluid before a meal.

This is the brand of manuka honey I used to help cure the infection.

If you’re going to try it, make sure that you use manuka honey, not just regular honey.

Probiotics

Taking probiotics before, during and after treatment with antibiotics for H pylori may help improve eradication rates according to a few studies done in humans.

In one study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 138 patients who had failed triple-therapy were enrolled into a study and half of them given Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium-containing yogurt for 4 weeks prior to treatment.

In the study, they saw that probiotics were able to increase the eradication rate of H.pylori in infected patients to 85% compared to 71% of patients in the quadruple therapy alone.

In another study that used probiotics after treatment, they showed that the eradication rate increased from 60.8% to 79.2%. The researchers believed that the probiotic bacteria may have inhibited any residual bacteria left over after treatment. [5]

The benefit of taking probiotics also is that if you opt for antibiotic treatment, the probiotics will help keep in check harmful bacteria and yeast that will have an opportunity to grow during the antibiotic treatment.

Green Tea

Green tea contains polyphenols which have some antibacterial effect and help quell inflammation in the stomach. In this study, green tea had a bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal effect on both H. felis and H. pylori bacteria.

Green tea may be a good preventative for both preventing infection and also reducing inflammation of the stomach if consumed before exposure to H. pylori.

If you’re going to go try and include green tea into your regimen, make sure you get the teas with the highest levels of EGCG. You can find out more information about the difference between matcha and sencha here.

Licorice Tea

Licorice may have a place for patients looking for an alternative to the medication Bismuth (antacid) because of side effects.

Patients taking the standard quadruple protocol to eradicate H.Pylori which includes bismuth were compared against another group of patients using licorice in its place.

The study used 380 mg of licorice, twice a day and found that it was as effective as bismuth, based on outcomes such as gastritis, gastric ulcers, duodenitis and duodenal ulcers.

Licorice not only has an antibacterial effect against H.pylori but it also helps stop the bacteria from sticking to the walls of the stomach. [6]

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is found in grapes and red wine, but getting enough of this compound can be difficult unless you supplement it.

It’s powerful antioxidant effects and antibacterial properties make it useful in helping inhibit gastric inflammation and also inhibiting the growth of the bacteria at concentrations between 6.25 – 25 mcg/mL. [7]

Olive Oil

Test tube studies showed that olive oil was effective at killing Helicobacter pylori, and that olive oil was stable in the stomach acid so it could be beneficial.

So researchers created two studies to evaluate its effectiveness in patients.

In one study, 30 patients who had been tested positive for the infection was to receive 30 grams of olive oil for 14 days.

Around 24-72 hours after the last dose of washed virgin olive oil, 12 of the 30 patients showed a negative result. However, after 4-6 weeks, only 8 of the 30 still had a negative result.

In the second clinical intervention, only 3 of the 30 were negative after 4-6 weeks, but 24-72 hours after the last dose of unwashed virgin olive oil, 5 of the 30 tested negative. [8] Thirteen of the patients had to withdraw due to the taste and nausea from the oil.

Although olive oil didn’t provide a complete cure and many patients ended up tested positive again, olive oil can be consumed safely every day and is very beneficial to health.

So your results may be better with continued use of polyphenol-rich extra virgin olive oil.

Turmeric and Ginger

Both come from the same family and have shown (in vitro) to have significant antibacterial effects against different strains of H. Pylori.

While turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory effects due to its high curcumin content, ginger acts as an anti-emetic and may, therefore, increase appetite.

Anti-H.Pylori Diet

Many of these ingredients are easy to find and can be used in everyday foods and drinks! One drink I would often make was the following:

  • Green tea (Sencha or matcha)
  • Ginger powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Manuka Honey – 1 tablespoon

If you make some toast you can use a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and then take 5 – 10 allicin capsules (180 mg each) and then pour them on top of the bread. Add a banana on top and this will help keep the ingredients in the stomach long enough to have an effect (or skip the banana if you wish!)

Foods to avoid

While you’re trying to heal from the infection, it’s best not to start irritating your stomach put eating foods which can worsen gastritis.

  • Salt
  • Simple carbohydrates
  • Picked foods
  • Alcohol
  • High caffeine beverages
  • acidic foods (tomatoes, citrus fruits)
  • Chocolate

Conclusion

H. Pylori infections can be really uncomfortable and withstand some of the strongest antibiotics we have today.

Fortunately, nature has provided us with tools which can effectiveness by themselves and complement traditional therapies using antibiotics.

Most of these natural treatments are just regular food items that are often found in the kitchen or local supermarket! If we can get away with using less antibiotics, then that’s a good thing!

How to Stop a Vegan Diet Causing Stomach Pain

Starting a vegan diet which is heavily plant-based can significantly improve digestive health over time, but people can run into difficulties with on the diet with stomach pain and other digestive issues. Sometimes introducing new foods into your diet can upset the balance and your body needs a bit of time to adapt.

When I first transitioned to a plant-based over 15 years ago, my digestive system wasn’t great. I had experienced acid reflux, frequent indigestion, and other digestive problems. My expectations were that when I started this new diet, everything would clear up.

Well, in short, yes the symptoms did clear up eventually, but it took well over six months before I really started to notice the beneficial effect of the diet.

During the early stages of the diet, it felt like my acid reflux worsened, I felt bloated sometimes, and it seemed like I wasn’t digesting the new food I was putting into my mouth at all. So I want to be clear, I wasn’t vegan at the time, but I was largely vegetarian with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and olive oil making up the majority of my diet.

When you make sudden changes, and you start introducing a whole new range of foods into your diet, things won’t always go smoothly. Some foods might agree with you, and some foods won’t. Sometimes you can adapt to these new foods, and others you just have to exclude them from your diet.

One of my recommendations for people who are looking to start a vegan diet or any healthy plant-based diet is to go slowly at first and start introducing new foods into your diet one or two at a time. This can help avoid issues you might run into later down the road.

How to prevent stomach pain on a vegan diet

Below are a few things to consider if you’re new to a vegan diet or are currently having issues like bloating, flatulence, acid reflux, IBS, and stomach pain.

1. Add new foods to your diet slowly

It’s really exciting to start a new diet and wanting to put literally everything into your salad from the fresh food section of the supermarket. I get it, you want to get all the beneficial nutrients in these foods and you want your salad to look pretty.

The problem with adding a load of new foods into your diet all at once is that you don’t know what agrees with your stomach and what doesn’t.

There are certain foods that I simply cannot handle even to this day. That doesn’t mean they are unhealthy foods, they just don’t agree with my digestive system.

When you start a vegan diet, add in foods which are easy-to-digest like and have a lower amount of fructose in them such as citrus fruits, bananas, and different types of berries such as blueberries and strawberries. Perhaps for breakfast, you could start off with oatmeal and put some bananas and blueberries on there.

For dinner just include two or three different types of vegetables rather than ten.

You get the picture, you don’t have to throw everything onto the plate. Keep things simple at first and then, later on, you can include more variety in your meals

2. Avoiding vegan junk food

If you want to be successful and be healthy on the diet, you have to limit the amount of junk food you eat. I’ve come across plenty of vegans who existed on nothing but junk foods for vegans.

They can sometimes be as bad as non-vegan foods, contain little fiber and contain fillers and other ingredients which are bad for the digestive system.

Stick to the fresh food section as much as possible if you can. And of course it’s fine to eat some packaged food, there are probably a few which are actually pretty healthy and contain all-natural ingredients.

3. Don’t eat too little and don’t eat too much

People sometimes naturally drift to either extreme and suffer stomach problems because of it. If you eat too little, then this can cause hunger pains and other stomach problems. And if you eat too much, this can leave you bloated and feel bad.

There is an old saying in Okinawa which translated into “eat until 80% full”. Meaning, push aside your plate before you go and stuff yourself with food.

One of the mistakes I made early in my CR days on a largely plant-based diet was that I used to consume literally pounds of vegetables in one meal. It would make me uncomfortably full at times. And sure, your stomach does expand and eventually you adjust to bigger sized portions, but is that best thing?

In order for your digestive system to heal and your body to go into repair and maintenance mode, you should ease up on the volume of food. You don’t want to be in a state where you’re always digesting food all day.

Be sensible with meal sizes. Include some higher calorie foods in your meal such as sweet potatoes which will be filling and add caloric density to the meal, and then add in a few vegetables. Rather than trying to make up all those calories purely on calorically-deficient foods.

4. Eat a balanced diet of cooked and raw food

There are some foods such as cruciferous vegetables, corn, and carrots which can be more difficult to digest when you eat them in their raw state. When you cook these vegetables, they become easier to digest and less hard on the stomach.

Some people recommend people go on an all 100% raw food diet in order to have the best health possible. I’ve never bought into this idea.

Cooking is useful for being able to better absorb certain vitamins and carotenoids and phytonutrients in the diet, not only making them easier to digest.

I think that a raw food diet is good, and perhaps most of your vegetables should be eaten in raw form, but I’ve found 70% to be a good target.

And one other thing is that your body will start getting used to the diet and digesting these foods. Your gut bacteria will change and become more healthy (you can speed this up by taking vegan probiotics) and this will help break down the fiber in your diet.

Foods which might cause the most problems with stomach pain include the following:

  • Raw Broccoli
  • Raw Cauliflower
  • Raw Brussel sprouts
  • Corn
  • Green peppers
  • Beans*
  • Spices – chilies, including Jalapeños, habaneros, and poblanos contain capsaicin which is hard on the stomach
  • Raw garlic
  • Red onions
  • Tomatoes

Foods which are more easy on the stomach include the following:

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries etc.
  • Grapes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Green beans
  • Celery
  • Sweet potato
  • Squash
  • Spinach
  • Romain lettuce

Also, check out my article about milk substitutes for vegans.

One good way to get in some raw veggies is to make some green smoothies. These blended drinks which contain both fruit and vegetables can be easier to digest while still retaining the fiber.

5. Don’t pour on the oil, drizzle it

I do recommend people add oils to their diets like extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, and algal oil supplements for vegans, but don’t overdo it.

When I first tried flaxseed oil, it can be some nausea and stomach pain. After some time I got used to it and then had no issues eating flaxseeds. So as I mentioned earlier, sometimes you can get used to foods as long as you’re not intolerant to them or have an allergy.

Oils are high in calories, nutrient-deficient, but do have some anti-inflammatory properties and help absorb certain nutrients from our diet.

Avocados are a very healthy food and are high in fat. Have one avocado, but don’t go crazy and have five a day.

Oils can be quite heavy, so ease up on them and don’t have over 20-30% of your calorie intake coming from fat.

6. Drink tea to help improve digestion

There are many herbal teas which are able to aid in digestion and these can be consumed with meals. Ginger tea is great for improving digestion and reducing symptoms of nausea, bloating and gas.

If you think you’ve eaten too much, make a cup of ginger tea and in no time you’ll be feeling better.

Other teas which also help with stomach pain and other digestive issues include spearmint tea, peppermint tea, licorice tea, and chamomile tea.

They really do help, so give them a try if you haven’t already.

7. Go easy with the beans

Beans are a great food and really filling. I love beans, and I eat them often! But if you’re not used to regularly eating beans or legumes then these can sometimes cause some stomach issues.

If you can include beans in your diet without a problem, then I highly recommend you do. They do contain some anti-nutrients, but overall studies have shown that they are linked with increased longevity and health.

Beans are healthy, just don’t go too crazy. People with a history of IBS and frequent antibiotic use are more likely to have issues.

If you’re eating a lot of legumes, then I’d suggest cutting back to see if this helps your stomach pain. It would be one of the usual suspects on a vegan diet that I’d try to eliminate first.

8. Choose the right protein powder if you use them

Protein powders are great for people who are more physically active and require a bit of extra protein to boost performance and muscle gains on a vegan diet.

One of the problems (not just with vegan protein drinks) is that these shakes can sometimes be difficult to digest and cause stomach pain and flare up IBS symptoms in people who have a sensitive stomach.

I recommend looking for protein powders which contain enzymes that help make the protein more digestible and easier on the stomach. Some of them also include probiotics to help improve stomach health as well.

You can check out some good protein powders here that do not contain any stevia and have enzymes to help you digest the protein.

9. Digestive enzymes are helpful

There are many plant-foods which already contain enzymes, pineapple and papaya are a couple of the most well-known foods. So I definitely recommend that you include these two in your diet if you haven’t already!

But taking a supplement containing digestive enzymes could be helpful for vegans who have just started the diet from an unhealthy processed food diet.

When you come from a bad diet, your stomach may not be producing enough stomach acid or bile to help digest the protein and fats in the diet. These things become better over time even if you do nothing, but digestive enzymes may help facilitate recovery.

Here’s a list of foods which contain natural digestive enzymes:

  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kiwi
  • Ginger

10. Consider other possibilities

If you’re having serious stomach issues then you should never ignore them. Always see your doctor and get a proper diagnosis. If you’ve been on a vegan diet for a long time and noticed a sudden change, then there could be several reasons for this.

At one time before I became vegan I had a few stomach issues, which included gastritis which was intermittent but really affected my appetite. Although I never knew exactly the cause because i never got tested, I suspected it may have been h.pylori.

Going on that hunch I took some manuka honey and within days (after having problems for a long time) the problem went away and never returned.

So always be open-minded about the cause. Sometimes stomach pain and IBS issues can really be caused by stress.

Conclusion

It’s perfectly normal for your digestive system to have to adapt to your diet if you’ve just begun your vegan journey. Sometimes it takes a few months before things settle down, but in certain cases, you may have to remove foods which don’t agree with you.

Finding the best vegan diet for you and one which doesn’t cause any stomach problems can be challenging if you go all in from the start. So I recommend that you ease into the diet and start with easy-to-digest foods which don’t normally cause stomach problems.

How to Get Probiotics Without Dairy or Soy – 5 Foods Revealed!

good bacteria help restore gut health
Click to see vegan probiotics

The human body is home to trillions of bacteria that help digest your food, improve nutrient absorption, control your mood, protect you from the bad bugs, and boost your immune system. They’re super important, but how can you get probiotics or these healthy bacteria if you’re excluding both dairy and soy from your diet?

As you probably know, most people associate good bacteria with eating yogurts. And that’s a fantastic way of boosting levels of healthy bacteria, but not much use if you’re on a vegan diet or if you’re lactose intolerant. Soy yogurts are another great way to obtain live bacteria cultures, but you may have a few reasons why you’d want to stay away from soy as well.

But hey, that’s fine! There are still many other sources of probiotics and prebiotics in the diet which will give you large doses of good bacteria and some food which will allow them to flourish in the body!

Why do vegans need probiotics anyway?

Since the dawn of time bacteria have been with us and are some of the simplest organisms on the planet. Naturally, the immune system was created to deal with these organisms and stop us from getting sick, but under some circumstances, these bacteria live symbiotically with us.

Did you know that at one point in ancient history, mitochondria evolved from an engulfed bacterium into the eukaryotic cell? Pretty amazing!

We’re not getting away from bacteria, so we have learned to live with them, and even have a mutually beneficial relationship in the gut. However, disturbance of gut flora can have terrible consequences to your well-being.

Reasons why you should include probiotics in your diet

  • Bacteria help digest our food and provide important nutrients to maintain health
  • Good bacteria help resist parasitic infection from taking hold in the gut
  • Good bacteria train your immune system to deal with more dangerous types of bugs
  • The gut and brain are closely linked and has poor gut health is a known risk factor for anxiety and depression
  • Probiotics help reduce inflammation in the bowel and reduce the likelihood of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • A healthy gut population may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, especially colon cancer
  • Including probiotics in your diet or even in supplemental form may prevent side effects from taking antibiotics and restore the natural gut flora which had been destroyed by the previous use of powerful antibiotics
  • Research suggests that people with a healthy microbiome may be at less risk of metabolic disease and obesity

Where can a vegan get probiotics in their diet?

Since dairy and soy are out, let’s look at a few foods which you should include in your diet to get probiotics. There are plenty to choose from! 🙂

1. Kimchi

If you know me, you know I love South Korea and I’m even learning Korean. To be honest, many Koreans are the opposite of a vegan.

In fact, a typical Korean diet can be heavily meat-based. Kimchi is one food that can be vegan and very healthy.

It’s basically made from fermenting vegetables like napa cabbage and adding other ingredients such as garlic, red pepper powder, ginger and more. Over time, lactic acid bacteria become the dominant bacteria and suppress pathogenic bacteria from the culture.

There have been many benefits associated with eating Kimchi like reduction of cholesterol, improving constipation, boosting the immune system and improving brain health. Vegan Kimchi has also been shown to result in similar bacteria levels as non-vegan Kimchi [1, 2 ]

Soy sauce is often used, but as an alternative, you can use coconut aminos.

If you’ve ever tried Kimchi, let me know in the comments.

2. Kombucha

Fancy a different kind of tea than your regular black or green tea? Try out Kombucha!

It’s made by fermenting black, green or white tea with bacteria and yeast. It’s also known as SCOBY, which stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.”

I know it doesn’t sound so appetizing, but there are many health benefits from the drink that you might want to include it in your diet.

It does contain a little bit of alcohol, but a very small amount, usually less than 0.5%. So it can be labeled as “non-alcoholic”.

3. Sauerkraut

Like Kimchi, it’s made by fermenting cabbage and has been eaten for hundreds of years in the diet and for preserving cabbage.

Studies have shown that the microbial community from the start of the fermentation process expands rapidly and is a great source of probiotics for vegans. [3]

One study showed that repeated consumption of sauerkraut may help reduce inflammation in the gut and also have anticarcinogenic effects and therefore may prevent some types of cancer. [4]

4. Real Pickles

Real pickles are made with cucumbers and spices. There are many different pickling methods employed by the food industry now, but they lack some of the health-promoting benefits you’d get from traditional pickles.

The best products are the ones which are still using lactic acid fermentation to break down the natural sugars in the vegetables to create a tasty and very healthy, probiotic-rich food.

Unlike cabbage, the great thing about cucumbers is they require less time to ferment.

You can find real picks in the store in the refrigerator section.

5. Dark Chocolate

I bet that chocolate is the last food you’d expect to have probiotics. Well, the goods is that it actually contains both prebiotics and probiotics!

I don’t know about you but I love dark chocolate. It’s a tasty treat, but also packed with antioxidants and has numerous health benefits associated with it.

The higher percentage dark chocolate the better because it will contain less sugar, but anything over 70% is good.

Due to the beans undergoing a fermentation process, you end up with a healthy probiotic food containing Lactobacillus Plantarum.

Prebiotics to feed the bacteria

Now you know what foods to include in your vegan diet which contain probiotics, how about a little food to help them grow? 🙂

There are many foods in a plant-based diet which will dramatically improve gut health and help feed bacteria. Here’s a few of them.

  • Raw Leeks
  • Raw Garlic
  • Raw Asparagus
  • Raw Onion
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Root vegetables like carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, beets
  • Apples

Conclusion

I expect that some of you may never have heard of the 5 probiotic foods before, and perhaps for some people, they are an acquired taste. But I recommend giving them a try as they are an excellent source of probiotics if you’re either a vegetarian or vegan.

Best Vegan Probiotic Supplement

Bacteria are everywhere, and not just found in specific probiotic yogurts which contain dairy. If you read most health websites, you’d think that the only way to get these good bacteria is to consume dairy products. Well, I’m glad to say that is just not the case. Vegan probiotic sources, including supplements, do exist and I’ll show you some of the best available.

Most of us have probably taken antibiotics at one point or another. There is just so much pressure to prescribe antibiotics that they are often prescribed when they aren’t needed. This is a huge problem and one that can have some major health implications later on.

When you go vegan, you’re doing your body a great service, not just the animals. You’re allowing the body to heal itself and create the best conditions for healthy gut bacteria to thrive. Sometimes though, the gut is so messed up from years or junk food and antibiotics, we need a little help.

According to research, probiotics can really make a difference in preventing and treating stomach problems. But the doses need to be very high and consistent. There are also several factors which determine how well the probiotic will work.

Below I’ve listed three products which are verified and clearly stated as being vegan-friendly. Each has their pros and cons, which I’ve gone into more below. However, if you’re in a rush, below are 4 probiotic supplements that I recommend you check out!

  1. Ora organics Probiotic Powder – Tasty probiotic which can be added to drinks, smoothies, and food. Contains 6 types of healthy bacteria to restore gut balance.
  2. Organic Probiotic Capsules – For those who want the convenience of capsules, they provide a vegan encapsulated probiotic formula.
  3. Dr. Formulated Probiotic – Each capsule contains 12 types of bacteria and also Glutamine to enhance absorption and repair leaky gut syndrome
  4. Deva Probiotics – Deva as always give us great value and simplicity. While it on only has one type of bacteria, it is one that has a lot of scientific proof behind its beneficial effects on gut health (read more below).


How to choose the best probiotic

Confusion is a word that comes to mind when sifting through a huge collection of probiotics available today. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be doing something else than reading a list of ingredients on the back of the bottle for half hour trying to find the right product.

But when choosing the right vegan probiotic, there are a few things we need to look out for!

  • Are the bacteria strains in the probiotic resistant to stomach acid?
  • How many colony forming units are in the probiotic and were they cultured
  • Do the strains included have any science behind them? Are they even effective?
  • Making sure that there is a clear labeling on the product saying “Vegan”
  • A plus would be free from gluten, soy, preservatives, genetically modified and artificial ingredients
  • Be as natural as possible while providing maximum benefit

Top Vegan probiotic supplements

Below are a few of the most popular probiotics which meet most or all of the criteria above for choosing a good vegan probiotic.

#1 Ora Organic Probiotics and Prebiotics (20 Billion CFU)

Ora probiotics provide 6 scientifically proven strains of bacteria which help improve gut health, boost your immune system, as well as improving hair and skin health.

The great thing about this probiotic also is that it contains a high dose of good bacteria (20 billion) combined with prebiotics to allow them to flourish and take up residency while starving the bacteria of nutrients.

The probiotic is completely natural and organic, with no funny ingredients that sound like they’re from another planet.

Ora probiotics also is a powder that you can simply add to your daily glass of water or throw some into a smoothie. It has no sugar, but its flavor comes from natural ingredients included in the probiotic.

Main ingredients

Food: organic apples, Raspberry, Artichoke, tapioca

Probiotic strains: L. acidophilus, L. Reuteri, B. Bifidum, B. Breve, B. lactis. B. longum.

Although vegans usually get plenty of fiber, you get an extra boost with this supplement as it contains around 20% of your fiber needs for the day.

The strains in this probiotic have been shown to improve gastrointestinal discomfort (conditions like IBS), improve the immune system, improve hair growth and skin health.

You also get around 30 days supply as well. Which works out great value for the cost!

I put this probiotic as number one on the list because it meets all of the criteria above and some more! I really like that it’s a powder that you can just add to your food or drinks.

But if you prefer just to take capsules, Ora does have a probiotic capsule supplement as well.

See current price and more information


#2 Vegan Probiotic Supplement – Dr. Formulated for improved digestion and stronger immune system

This probiotic contains a lot more strains than the previous probiotic, but because of that, you get a little less of some of the most beneficial type of bacteria.

But variety is the key to life as they, and perhaps the gut as well.

The probiotic also contains an ingredient called L-Glutamine. It was formulated to include this to help people repair leaky gut syndrome and to enhance absorption of the probiotic.

Dr. Ian Stern has been in the business of health and nutrition for 20 years and sought to develop a high-quality supplement to improve gut health, but void of any of those other potentially harmful and artificial ingredients found in other products.

Like the previous probiotic, Dr. Formulated supplement contains no preservatives, artificial ingredients, GMO, gluten or soy. It’s truly simple, natural, and effective.

The probiotic itself is also contained in vegan pullulan capsules. This basically helps keep the bacteria safe and alive so they can be delivered to the gut and still be able to grow and proliferate. They also mention that these type of capsules can increase absorption by 300%!

To help the bacteria grow, it also contains prebiotics.

Main ingredients

L-Glutamine, organic inulin (prebiotic), L. acidophilus, L. fermentum, L. plantarum, L. Rhamnosus, L. Salivarius, L. Paraecasei, B. Bifidum, B. Inftantis, S. Thermophilus, L. Casei, L. Bulgaricus, B. Lactis.

Most of the reviews on this probiotic are really positive, I’d recommend checking them out to see what you can expect.

See current price and more information


#3 DEVA Nutrition Vegan Probiotic

If you want simple and cheap, DEVA has a great probiotic with one specific type of bacteria, for one specific purpose: to improve gut health.

The probiotic only contains Bacillus coagulans, which does not require to be grown using dairy. One of the benefits of this type of bacteria is its high resistance to stomach acid and its ability to survive transit to the gut.

Studies have shown that B. coagulans have many benefits.

  • Helps the gut by regulating lactic acid and maintaining a healthy pH balance to inhibit the growth of bad bugs
  • Studies have shown that this type of bacteria is able to boost T-cell response and protect against viral infections
  • Randomized clinical studies have proven that Bacillus coagulans can relieve stomach complaints such as bloating, pain and diarrhea
  • Promotes the absorption of nutrients from the foods you eat

One of my gripes about this supplement is that it only contains one type of bacteria when we know that there are many others which provide benefits to human health.

That being said, it has a few positive things going for it.

  1. It’s quite cheap good for those who want to take a probiotic but have a tighter budget
  2. Each capsule contains around 2 billion CFU of Bacillus coagulans and you get 90 capsules in a bottle
  3. The probiotic also contains inulin, which is a prebiotic known to support the growth of good bacteria

Deva is a well-known brand among vegans and provides decent supplements at a relatively low cost compared to the more premium brands out there.

See current price and more information


Do vegans need to take probiotics?

bad digestive health

Gut health is one of those neglected areas of our health. It’s hard to tell what’s going on in their right? I mean, unless you have some obvious stomach problems, how do you know if your gut health is the best it can be?

You can actually get tested to look at your gut biome in more details. Sounds fascinating to me, but I’ve never had that done!

From a personal perspective, I took antibiotics for a long time and knew that my stomach couldn’t have been in great shape.

I never wanted to take antibiotics, but I simply had to at the time. But with the help of a vegan diet and good probiotics, I was able to restore my gut health back to health.

It can take some time though. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will the healthy bacteria colonies in your stomach. Although, they do multiply pretty fast!

Some of the signs of poor gut health can manifest as other symptoms. Here’s a quick list of things that you should look out for:

  • Do you have abdominal discomfort and suffer from either constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, or irritable bowel syndrome?
  • Are you suffering from asthma, allergies or autoimmune conditions, especially after taking antibiotics?
  • Have you been prescribed and taken multiple courses of strong antibiotics?
  • Are you suffering from skin conditions like acne, eczema or psoriasis?
  • Do you suffer from anxiety or depression? (gut health as a strong link to mental health)
  • Are you developing infections like often?
  • Have you been under a lot of stress lately? (stress can shift gut bacteria balance in a negative way)

How long should you take a probiotic for?

So now that you’ve decided you want to take a probiotic, how long do you need to take one for? Should you take it for the rest of your life?

Well, the answer to that question isn’t so clear. We know that probiotics can really make a difference and improve gut health in people taking them short term, but unlike vitamins and minerals, they aren’t required every day to be healthy.

Ideally, you should keep a bottle of probiotics around at all times in case of need. Say if you need to take an antibiotic for an infection, this will destroy all the gut bacteria. But if you have a probiotic at hand, you can replenish healthy bacteria after each antibiotic dose.

Taking a probiotic while you take antibiotics can also prevent some of the side effects associated with them like diarrhea.

The second scenario could be that you’re stressed and sick, and you want to give your immune system a little boost.

When is the best time to take probiotics? Dr. Gregor looks at that question in the video below

Benefits of probiotics

Probiotics help improve health in various ways. Here are some of the main benefits of taking probiotics.

  • Improved digestion and absorption of nutrients from the diet
  • Less bloated and flat stomach
  • Healthy mental well-being
  • Improved immune function
  • Better skin and hair growth
  • Possible reduced risk of cancer, especially in the colon
  • May reduce allergy symptoms according to some studies

Foods to boost the probiotics effectiveness

All of the probiotics I mentioned in this article contain a prebiotic known as inulin. The great thing about a vegan, plant-based diet, is that it already contains so many foods which support a healthy gut.

  • Raw garlic is known to help promote the growth of bifidobacteria in the gut
  • Jerusalem Artichoke has been found to boost friendly bacteria in the colon
  • Chicory root contains plenty of inulin fiber to help boost good bacteria and improve digestive health along with probiotics
  • Leeks also contain around 16% inulin to support gut health
  • Barley contains beta-glucan, which has been found to improve the growth of good bacteria in the gut as well as boost the immune system

Can Probiotics Stop Hair Loss Associated with Aging?

good bacteria help restore gut health
Click to see vegan probiotics

Two of the main indicators of youth is great skin and thick hair. As we get older, we lose that slowly, and at least from the outside, these may be the only indicators that we’ve been on this earth a few decades. Are probiotics in reversing the appearance of external aging and prevent hair loss that comes with age?

Hair loss affects both men and women. Men typically have what is known as androgenetic alopecia, while women develop more diffuse hair thinning. And due to the decline in hormones, hair becomes thin and brittle, which is easily prone to breaking.

There’s been a lot of research into different vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for reversing hair loss naturally, and some have proven to show some efficacy, raising the hopes that using a combination of natural supplements may be a good alternative to taking medications.

Do probiotics work for hair loss?

As we age, there are many changes that take place in the gut where there are significant changes in populations of gut bacteria. This can have a system-wide effect that can affect our health in many ways.

It’s been shown in multiple studies in animals and in humans that a healthy digestive system is crucial for good health. In fact, a recent study found that centenarians have gut health that was similar to young adults.

So it seemed plausible to researchers that altering our gut bacteria may have beneficial effects on the skin and hair.

Before I go into how probiotics can help, let’s look at the things which can affect gut health.

Disruption of gut flora can occur because of many reasons:

  • Antibiotics
  • Processed foods diet
  • Medications
  • Stress and depression
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Aging

Gut bacteria can be negatively affected by any one of the factors above, but in many cases, the situation can be improved by addressing the issues. One of the most important factors is to improve your diet but using probiotic supplements could be useful in restoring balance.

Probiotic hair loss study

In a paper published in 2013, researchers investigated the effect of using a specific strain of bacteria called L. Reuteri on skin health and fur coat of C57BL/6 mice. You can find this exact strain of L. Reuteri as a supplement. The study suggests that this would be the best probiotic for hair growth.

Their hypothesis was based on the factor that gut bacteria can have significant effects on the immune system by regulating immune system cells and cytokines which can have an effect cell growth, repair/regeneration, and skin barrier function.

So at 20-24 weeks of age, the mice were split up into two groups: one group ate the yogurt which contained the bacteria, and the other ate the state chow.

Fast results!

Within just seven days, the mice who were receiving the probiotic experienced dramatic improvements in their fur.

Mice who were eating the standard diet had dull fur and suffered from dermatitis and alopecia.  The researchers noted that there was a bigger difference in female mice compared to males, however, there was a trend towards increased fur shininess in male mice as well.

One of the reasons for this could simply be because males tend to have more oily skin compared to females, and the probiotics were able to increase oil production in the skin, which boosted shine.

probiotics increase hair shininess

Why did probiotics improve hair health?

When the researchers looked at the mucocutaneous pH level, they found that the mice eating the probiotic or receiving L.reuteri had significantly increased pH level in various parts of their body.

They also noted that the mice had significantly faster hair regrowth after mice had their hair shaved and received the probiotic.

Increased skin dermal thickness

Another surprising result of the study was that the females that received the probiotic had significantly improved dermal thickness. Indicating that the probiotic may have slowed down or reversed the effects of skin aging.

Microscopy-assisted histomorphometry

  • Females receiving the probiotic: 457.1±64.86 pixels
  • Females receiving the control diet: 357.9±63.87 pixels

probiotic reverses skin aging

 

Mice had more hairs in their growth phase

Looking at the growth cycle of hairs, and the percentage which was in the active growth phase (anagen), they noticed a significant difference in both genders.

Mice eating the probiotic had more hairs which were in the growth phase at any one time, and this was especially true for male mice.

Males

  • Mice eating the yogurt had 70% of hairs in their growth phase
  • Mice eating the control diet only had 36% of hairs in their growth phase

Females 

  • Mice eating the yogurt had 62% of hairs in their growth phase
  • Mice eating the control diet had 30% of hairs in their growth phase

Was it the yogurt or the specific type of bacteria which helped improved hair?

To understand whether or not it was the yogurt or the specific type of bacteria, L.Reuteri which was responsible for these effects, they look at the effect of simply adding the bacteria to the mice’s drinking water.

After mice received the bacteria, they observed the same changes that occurred in their earlier findings by just using the bacteria instead of the yogurt.

L.Reuteri for hair loss: Why did it work?

Our immune system and our gut health are closely linked, and it’s been known now that they both can have dramatic effects on the health of humans.

Therefore it’s not surprising that gut bacteria would affect skin and hair growth.

The reason why the probiotic seemed to work was that it altered the pH level of the skin, and also suppressed various pro-inflammatory cytokines which cause skin inflammation and impair skin and hair growth cycle, follicle regeneration and healing.

Probiotics have systemic effects on multiple pro-inflammatory mediators such as: TGF-Beta, IL-17, IL,22, IL-1, TNF-a.

We have both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines.

It was found that in order for the mice to benefit from the bacteria, there had to be an increase in the level of IL-10, which is able to significantly dampen down the immune response and is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Although the researchers used a specific strain of bacteria (L.reuteri) in this study, other strains of bacteria have been shown to significantly increase levels of IL-10 in animals and humans.

See my article on probiotics here

In summary

Maintaining gut bacteria in a healthy state appears to be very important in staying healthy both inside and out.

Given these findings, if you want to try to improve skin health and also improve hair growth, then taking probiotics looks like it could be a good option to try, especially if you’ve eaten a very poor diet in the past or have used antibiotics on multiple occasions.

References

Probiotic Bacteria Induce a ‘Glow of Health’

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0053867

 

Best Probiotic for Sensitive Stomach

A lot of people at one time or another experience various digestive issues. But can probiotics prevent or even improve digestive health in some people?

Digestive health problems can be down to various causes such as a bad diet, viral or bacterial infection, antibiotic use, or even commonly prescribed medications like antacids, proton pump inhibitors. There are lots of things that can mess up our digestive health and cause our stomach to become more sensitive.

Sometimes the cause of these problems isn’t known, but even things like stress can have significant impacts and cause digestive issues. The mind and the gut have a strong connection and impact each other in profound ways. This is one of the reasons why it’s very important that our digestive system is working well and we look after it.

I can say for certain that probiotics have been a massive help in preventing any significant side effects from using antibiotics. At one point many years ago, I had to take antibiotics for a prolonged period of time, but by using probiotics with them, I never developed any side effects or stomach problems.

When it comes to choosing a good probiotic, it can be a bit confusing, but there are certain strains of bacteria which have been scientifically proven to help us digest food better, lower inflammation the stomach, bowel, and colon, and provide other health benefits.

I’ve listed below three high-quality probiotics which have been shown to improve gut health in humans due to their high concentration of certain types of good bacteria.

Best probiotics for people with a sensitive stomach

    1. Silver Fern Ultimate probiotic supplement – Premium grade probiotic containing many of the scientifically proven probiotics to improve stomach health in humans. See more details (link to Amazon).
    2. Microbiome Plus probiotics with L.reuteri – Contains one of the most effective bacteria to resolve stomach issues
    3. Thorne Research Bacillus Coagulans probiotic – Useful especially for diarrhea, stomach infections, and stomach complaints after using antibiotics

Scroll down for more details!

Do probiotics help with digestive issues?

People use probiotics for various reasons, but one of the main ones is to improve digestive health and to prevent constipation. This is a massive issue faced by millions of people, and one big reason for that is diet. People just aren’t getting enough fiber in their diet or they’re eating the wrong foods which encourage the growth of bad bacteria.

The evidence for probiotics helping with digestive issues has been accumulating over the past decade or more. There have been clinical trials where doctors have used probiotics to prevent nasty infections from taking hold, such as Clostridium Dificile after use of strong antibiotics in hospitals.

Hippocrates said: “all disease starts within the gut”

There’s quite a lot of truth to that statement. While it’s not entirely true, it’s becoming more clear that all aspects of our health can be affected by our gut health or at least exacerbated.

And whether your digestive issues are minor or severe, probiotics definitely have their place for improving health and well-being.

How to choose a good probiotic

It’s easy to understand why people can be confused when trying to find a suitable probiotic for them. There are so many choices available, so how do you know which one is the best and find one which will work for your problem?

There are a few factors to consider when choosing a probiotic:

      • The number of bacteria or colony forming units
      • The type of bacteria and specific strains
      • Whether or not the probiotic is resistant to stomach acid
      • How virulent the strain is and whether or not they can compete in the gut
      • How well they stick or adhere to the walls of the gut

As I mentioned earlier, there have been a lot of clinical studies which looked at different strains of probiotics and their efficacy in improving symptoms of infections and health conditions.

Some probiotics help with gut health by improving the transit time of food, while other strains of bacteria have significant effects on the immune system and reduce inflammation.

Probiotics can also have significant effects on mental health and improving anxiety and depression.

Probiotics are generally great for a wide range of health conditions.

In any case, we want to find look at which is the most effective probiotic for improving digestive health.

The most common type of probiotics used for human health include:

      • Lactobacillus acidophilus
      • L. casei
      • L rhamousus
      • L delbrueckii
      • L. brevis
      • and others

Researchers believe that although probiotics may have some benefit, there is a question as to whether or not they survive long-term and alter the gut microbiome in any significant way. The best way to really make an impact is with continued long-term use of probiotics.

That being said, there is a lot more research on using probiotics to prevent side effects from antibiotics. And there has been no shortage of anecdotal evidence (even I have noticed huge benefits) from taking probiotics.

Probiotic strains that help improve digestive health for people with a sensitive stomach

There are many probiotics which show short-term improvement, but not much evidence that gut flora. The probiotics below have been proven and shown to alter gut bacteria and provide clinical improvements of digestive symptoms.

Probiotic strains which in studies are shown to significantly improve digestive health in humans and animals:

      • Lactobacillus Reuteri – Improved in overall symptom score
      • Bacillus Coagulans – Found to improve symptoms of patients with IBS in a randomized placebo-controlled trial
      • L. plantarum 299v – Improved in flatulence compared to the placebo group

So now we know which bacteria help with digestive health, we know which probiotics to look for.

Below are the probiotics that I recommend based on the bacteria they include and the science which supports their use.


Silver Fern Ultimate Probiotic

Silver Fern Ultimate is a premium probiotic which provides a lot of advantages over other brands.

This probiotic was formulated to help people with multiple health issues from bloating, constipation and diarrhea, as well as other digestive issues such as IBS and Candida overgrowth.

It also helps support mental well-being by improving symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The strains of bacteria in this probiotic also help improve immune function according to clinical trials.

It contains a mix of strains including:

      • Saccharomyces Boulardii
      • Pediococcus Acidilactici
      • Bacillus Subtilis
      • Bacillus Coagulans
      • Bacillus Clausii

All of the probiotic bacteria found in this probiotic can survive the transit through the gut and get where they need to.

According to tests, this probiotic has 100% survivability compared to other types of probiotics which can range from 10% to 60-70% depending on the types of strains used.

Features

There are many good reasons to go for this probiotic over any other brand.

  • Survivability – Tested and confirmed 100% survivability of the probiotic bacteria.
  • Potent strains – Clinical studies have shown that these strains are the most potent type of probiotics.
  • Support by clinical studies – The dosages and types of bacteria included in the probiotics have been studied in clinical trials against inflammatory disorders, metabolic disorders and other chronic health problems, especially those related to intestinal permeability.
  • Pharmaceutical grade – If you’re looking for the best, then pharmaceutical grade food supplements are what you should be after. They are the purest products which have a high standard of quality control.  All strains included in the product are also DNA verified.

Natural 

If you have a sensitive stomach, you’re probably slightly allergic or intolerant to certain ingredients which can be found in supplements. The great thing about this probiotic is that it’s free from many stomach irritants such a dairy, wheat, corn, soy, artificial colors, and flavors. Also free from gluten and is non-GMO.

See more information here


Microbiome Plus Gastrointestinal probiotics with L Reuteri 30242

This probiotic contains 7 billion colony forming units of L. Reuteri, which has been proven in studies to significantly improve digestive health and improve symptoms of people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.

The strain included in this probiotic also has been shown in clinical studies to have many other benefits!

They help improve the cardiovascular system, improve vitamin D levels, increases fat loss and boosts mood.

Although it only contains one type of bacteria, you are getting a large dose compared to many other supplements which tend to have multiple strains with lower amounts of each.

The good thing about this probiotic is that the strain of bacteria has been clinically tested and has shown to be effective for many health problems.

Features

There are a few reasons why you might want to go for this probiotic.

  • Clinically tested probiotic – Few if any supplements have 7 billion of L. Reuteri 30242, a type of bacteria used in clinical studies and found to be effective.
  • Good for people who have allergies –  If you want a supplement which is hypo-allergenic, then this is a good choice. It doesn’t contain any common allergens, like gluten.
  • Low cost – Each bottle contains 56 servings, so it is great value for how many you get and the cost.

The probiotic has fewer reviews, but overall they are quite positive.

See more information here


Are there any side effects to taking probiotic supplements?

As with supplement or medication, there is always a risk of side effects. Probiotic bacteria like the ones in these supplements have been shown to be safe for human use.

The most common side effects might be a change in bowel habits or movements and things will normalize over time.

If you have any concerns about taking a probiotic, speak with your doctor.

References

Improvement of digestive health and reduction in proteobacterial populations in the gut microbiota of cystic fibrosis patients using a Lactobacillus reuteri probiotic preparation: a double-blind prospective study.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24636808

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gut Microbiota, and Probiotics
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3155061/

The efficacy of a synbiotic containing Bacillus Coagulans in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized placebo-controlled trial.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4129566/

The effects of probiotic, prebiotic and synbiotic diets containing Bacillus coagulans and inulin on rat intestinal microbiota
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4782696/