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Yakult or Actimel - which is better to take with long term antibiotics?

(20 Posts)
mears Mon 25-Aug-08 11:18:19

Does it matter? Elderly Dad has been on low dose antibiotics since January as he has been on increased dose of steroids and GP doesn't want him to develop an infection - he has poor health and chest condition.

He has been troubled with thrush infection recently and also diarrhoea.

Yakult is acyually prescribed in hospital now with long term antibiotic use.

Is it better tha Actimel or much of a muchness.

Am happy for him to have the drink reather than tablets as it contributes to increasing fluid intake.

Any thoughts?

misi Mon 25-Aug-08 15:01:22

go to your local health food shop and get proper friendly bugs in pills. (quest, solaray and solgar are all good ones and make sure they are kept in the fridge instore, one particular large health food chain keep their bug products on the shelves in warm shops, nothing like warmth to allow the bugs to die off!!) on average there are only 2 million bugs in a yakult but in the trillions in your gut. most friendly bugs are alkali loving and so if not in the safe confines of an enteric coated pill, they have to negoiate their way through the highly acidic stomach and upper digestive tract, not many actually get through! also look on the pots, in many, sugar is a main ingredient, sugar feeds the unfriendly bugs hmm
short term, although I don't like yakult and especially don't like actimel, they are better than nothing, long term use of AB's really need a good dose of bugs only available in pills. I often use/prescribe a solaray brand variety that has 20 billion bugs per pill. whatever you take, make sure the bugs are taken half way between AB doses, so if taken every 6 hours, take 3 hours after last pill/3 hours before next pill otherwise the AB's kill off the friendly bugs too.

notcitrus Mon 25-Aug-08 23:04:20

When my stomach bacteria were wiped out, my GP recommended any of the drinks you can buy - I used to take 2 a day of Yakult or Actimel, generally whichever was on special offer, but Actimel tastes like normal yoghurt. Also a bioactive yoghurt, but lots have lots of sugar in which I was advised to avoid.

Activia prune flavour is the only Activa without sugar or sweeteners, for example.

The pills weren't as readily available back then and probably too expensive for me, but as bacteria in your gut can double in 20 minutes, I don't think the absolute quantities are much of an issue.

misi Mon 25-Aug-08 23:18:24

they only double if they have perfect conditions. when friendly gut flora are reduced, then the unfriendlies proliferate and produce toxins to kill off even more friendlies. Very few people in the west have a perfect gut environment purely cos of the food they eat, if you tested everyone in this country, at least 50% of people would have elevated levels of candida and other fungi, with another 25% with greater problems.
but it is not the quantity when it comes to pills, it is the delivery method. most decent freindly bug pills are enteric coated which means they are not touched by the acid of your stomach or upper intestinal tract, the pill casings dissolve in the alkali environment further down meaning more survive. with enteric coating, out of the average of 2 million bugs in a drink, less than a few thousand will make it and those will have been damaged to some extent which again is not the perfect conditions needed for division every 20 mins. bugs will also only divide and grow if they have something to eat and although they break down food, they actually eat what is known as ''pre biotics'' and this is a form of fibre that is seriosly lacking in our diets.

mears Tue 26-Aug-08 00:35:23

I see the reasoning behind pills. Will investigate health food shop. Thanks for the posts.

misi Tue 26-Aug-08 00:37:56

where abouts are your mears?

mears Tue 26-Aug-08 00:43:45

South west scotland near Ayr

mears Tue 26-Aug-08 00:43:47

South west scotland near Ayr

zippitippitoes Tue 26-Aug-08 00:46:36

boots do a probiotic and prebiotic combined pill usually on that three for two business

misi Tue 26-Aug-08 00:49:51

ah, bit out of my knowledge area for shops

try this though

FlightAttendent Tue 26-Aug-08 07:27:45

Mears please insist on having him tested for C diff every so often if he is having diarrhoea. This is very common among elderly patients and having just had it I know how hard it is to shift - early intervention is important. It is something that is very hush hush in some hospitals etc but you must insist that they test and treat it if it is present.
If someone is on prolonged or high a/b doses they are vulnerable to it...a decent probiotic will probably help to prevent it so you are wise to start this now.
I can fill you in on some treatment info if it does occur, which I really hope it doesn't for your Dad xx

FlightAttendent Tue 26-Aug-08 07:30:57

Misi - may I ask - can you get a mixture of friendly bugs rather than just l-acidophilus alone? Also have you any idea where they sell saccharomyces - the yeast probiotic - as I cannot find it here (Canterbury)

Sorry for hijack Mears! Saccharomyces Boullardii is the same sort of thing but is a yeast rather than a bacterium so you can take it with the a/b's, as they don't kill it off in the same way.

I am looking to begin it asap as I am recovering but still on a/b's, once you kill off everything down there it is a race to see which ones grow back fastest - the goodies or the baddies!

misi Tue 26-Aug-08 09:58:52

many good brands have more than one type of bug in them. in your gut there are around 8 resident types of bug and around 500 transitory ones.
solaray, the brand I use the most have up to 12 strains in them, all the resident and a couple of others. for balance, you need at least one acidopholis type, a bifidum type and a strep type (not the nasty streps you will now be thinking of!!)

Proprietary Probiotic Blend (Supplying over 20 billion organisms) (B. lactis, B. bifidum, B. infantis, B. longum, L. acidophilus, L. brevis, L. bulgaricus, L. paracasei, L. planatarum, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius and Streptococcus thermophilus)

(this is the US website, the UK one doesn't allow copynig and pasting for some reason)

I have only ever seen Saccharomyces boulardii on sale in america not over here, had a google of it and only US websites came up but then I only looked at the first 2 pages of results!. I am wary of this any way as it is still a yeast and candida is a yeast type fungi too and candida will be the first bug to re colonise your gut after strong or long tern AB's. the solaray brand I mentioned is extremely good and the one above is what I recommend to anyone I have done a yeast cleanse with (I also use the solaray yeast cleanse formula as it is probably one of the best on the market that doesn't cause ''die off syndrome'' like your caprylics and other treatments do. sorry can't help with the Saccharomyces boulardii.
if you have had major AB's then don't only supplement with bugs, go for a pre biotics (FOS - fructo olisaccharides)too, these are the fibre type things that the friendly bugs live on; (not one I have used but the first website that came up to show you what I mean)

FlightAttendent Tue 26-Aug-08 10:20:45

Misi thankyou very very much, I have bookmarked those links smile

mears Tue 26-Aug-08 18:55:02

He will be getting tested if he has any more - the specimen bottle awaits!

FlightAttendent Tue 26-Aug-08 19:43:37

Oh that's good smile

Remember - make everyone wash their hands before they tend to him.

Alcohol gel doesn't work on c-diff - not everyone knows that!

Prevention much better than cure. Wishing him well xx

whatever1 Thu 06-Nov-08 06:44:34

Okay just one question, where are you getting your facts about the number of bacteria in Yakult?

There's more than 6.5 billion in Yakult and around 10 billion in Actimel. This was verified in an independent study. So it's way over the required amount and should reach your gut.

Don't believe me? Read this:

Me personally? I eat home-made yoghurt and have taken the little guys in a pill.

Philthunder Fri 20-Jan-17 16:33:53

Natural Gut cures.
Apparently Actimel Yakult and other probiotic drinks only
Has anyone tried the natural way of keeping your gut in good health this web site gives a good insight on gut health and recovery after antibiotic use.
But amazingly one of the bast foods are fermented pickles like Sauerkraut and Gherkins, not the vinegar pickled variety though.
This chap has some good information:

Philthunder Fri 20-Jan-17 16:40:44

That should read only actimel or yakult targets certain strains of gut flora there are between 300 and 1000 different species, good and bad.

FrizzBombDelight Fri 20-Jan-17 16:40:50

I make my own kefir, much cheaper and with many more benefits!

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