Best over the counter probiotics for Crohns

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 9/1/2011 6:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone, just wanted to update on my daughter, Caitlen. She was on the 6mp for about nine months and as some of you may remember, we knew it seemed to not be helping. She had surgery three months ago for a blockage of her small intestine and a fistula on her large intestine. She had 13 inches of her small intestine removed and three of her large, due to the fistula. She is no longer on the 6mp and her doctor said we were going to treat her as if she does not have Crohns at present and to just take a probiotic, Culturelle. She is maintaining bi-monthly checkups for her Crohns and last week had a small bowel series.

She has been doing great since then, other than she has to go to the bathroom immediately after eating "anything". She has gained from 83 to 107.

My question for any of you with experience is what do you find to be the best over the counter probiotics? Caitlen has been taking Culturelle since surgery but she doesn't feel it is doing what it should because she still has the fast urgency immediately after eating. I also notice that it does not contain many ingredients so I wonder if it is too low powered for her.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3074
   Posted 9/1/2011 6:42 AM (GMT -7)   
If it is your doctor's idea for her to take probiotics then ask him for a prescription for VSL#3DS. It is the most powerful probiotic around. Very expensive but health insurance should help if it is by prescription. It is powder in a packet that she could mix in liquid or spread on cold cereal. You don't have to empty the entire packet at one time.

There is also regular VSL#3 which is half the potency of the prescription form. Florastor, Udo's Probiotics, RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care, and Primadophilus Reuteri are all good probiotics.

BTW I find Culturelle to be a very effective probiotic. I take it on trips and vacations because it doesn't need to be refrigerated. I take more than one capsule a day. Culturelle and Align are not quite as advertised. This is from

"# Align claimed to contain 1 billion live bacteria when manufactured “and an effective level until as least the “best by” date. testing revealed that only 530 million bacteria were viable. However, a clinical study of the bacteria (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624) in Align showed that it could reduce symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) at a dose of just 100 million. found that the product exceeded this amount, so the product’s claim to provide an effective dose is correct. Whether or not a higher dose might offer greater efficacy is not known.

"# Culturelle claimed to provide 10 billion cells in a daily capsule through the “best used by” date; found only 5.8 billion viable cells. It is not clear whether this is a sufficient dose. Most clinical studies with Lactobacillus GG have used 10 to 20 billion viable cells per day. A dosing study (Saxelin 1991) using the bacteria in Culturelle (Lactobacillus GG) found that a daily dose of 1.5 billion cells was not able to colonize the gut, but a dose of 15 billion was. The amount found falls between these two dosages."

Male/59 DX ulcerative colitis Feb08, possible Crohn's colitis DX Mar10.
No Meds, allergic to Mesalamine. Remission since Mar10. Psyllium seed mixed with VSL3 especially helpful. Food journal instead of SCD.

Watch gluten, lots of fruit & vegetables (but no plums or kale), no soda, no HFCS, no trans fat, tea instead of coffee, no shellfish, few processed foods, no carrageenan.
Probiotics, fish oil, multivitamin, extra D3, K2, high gamma E, glutamine, magnesium, phos choline, resveratrol, S. Boulardii, boswellia, curcumin.
Nature created all of the locks, therefore Nature has all of the keys

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/1/2011 6:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Culterelle was the probiotic they gave me while I was in the hospital. It worked well for me. VSL#3 like Babe said is the one lots of doctors prescribe. But I have heard it is pricey. I think you will get lots of opinions on probiotics, as we all have ones we prefer and that work well for us.

I think it is a big mistake that your daughter is not on any meds. I did the same thing after my first resection (no meds afterwards) and I ended up needing another surgery only 3 years later. I hope the same doesn't happen to her, but I feel pretty confident we will see you here again talking about how sick your daughter is again. This is a chronic and incurable disease that must be treated at all times. I think she should at least be on one of the lesser meds like Asacol. You need something to keep the inflammation in check. Good luck! jmho
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease
Crohn's Disease for over 35 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, Folic Acid and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1120
   Posted 9/1/2011 8:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I make SCD yougurt and it has abuot 1 trillion live active cultures per cup. I eat about 2 cups per day. I believe this is way stonger and I know it is way cheaper than VSL #3DS.

Also, somehow I feel better taking probiotics I know are grown in organic milk vs taking more pills (This part might be all in my head).

Also, I found the Probiotic Revolution bu Huffnegal a very intereesting read that taught me tons about probiotics.

Pentasa (1,500 per day for the last 10 months), Vit D and B complex, fish oil and SCD vit. SCD since Nov 2010. Amitriptyline for sleeping
Feeling good to great, almost every day!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 9/1/2011 2:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I took Align for a couple of weeks. After I started taking it, I experienced overwhelming nausea 'round the clock. Since the only thing I'd changed (in diet or medication) was the Align, my family begged me to stop taking it. I did, and the nausea disappeared almost immediately. A few months later, my daughter started taking it. She doesn't have IBD, but she generally takes a probiotic. She'd run out of hers, so I gave her my Align. Within two days, she, too, experienced horrible nausea, which disappeared when she stopped.

My GI says many of his patients have had great success with Align. But I hate the stuff.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 373
   Posted 9/5/2011 9:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad you posted, my g,I. Gave me a list and said the very, very best probiotic is "florastor" I got it at the pharmacy behind the counter.. I have trouble gaining weight and since I have been taking it I have managed to gain about 5 ponds which is remarkable for me. I also have found to have a more "formed" stool..
I also have had many fistulas, I know your daughter is young Now, but if I can give any advise..if she decides to have children (which most crohns pts go in remission during pregnancy) make sure she has a c-section. I have had 13 surgeries to repair tearing and fistulas from natural childbirth. Hope it helps, good luck.
Crohns dx,Pelvic Floor Tension,Pelvic Adhesive dx,Interstitial Cystitis,Ileostomy,Severe Scoliosis,Chronic Pain,Arthritis,BP1,Anxiety/Panic attacks,Several reconstructive surgeries..
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