I am glad you found the post(s) useful! To deal with your question first, I am fairly confident that it is best to take probiotics WITH food, as you rightly conclude.
I also agree with LadyBug's point about maintaining a healthy skepticism when it comes to paying out money for pre- and pro-biotic products. They represent a multi-billion pound industry and there are lots of people who are only too happy to take our money in exchange for worthless products. As LadyBug says, we CAN make our own probiotic drinks and foods (kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut etc etc) and this is clearly a sensible long-term strategy. But I also believe there may well be a case for kick-starting the process of healing our guts with a good pro-biotic product.
The strain I have chosen to try is Bacillus clausii, made by the Italian company Sanofi and marketed under their Enterogermina label. They have several products that all carry the Enterogermina label so it"s important to check the small print. Bacillus clausii is sold as a liquid suspension in packets of 20. Each 5ml dose contains 2 million Bacillus clausii. One takes a 5ml dose 3 times a day - dissolved into a bit of liquid and taken with food - for 4-6 weeks and then continues a maintenance dose of 5ml a day.
My rationale for going for Bacillus clausii goes as follows:
- 60% of our nervous system is controlled by our gut.
- proponents of functional medicine hold that everyone with an autoimmune disease has a leaky gut
- Microbiologist Kiran Krishnan relates a research exercise where a group of supposedly healthy students were given a highly inflammatory meal (a McDonalds breakfast burger). Their blood serum was then checked. 65% of the turned out to have a leaky gut. They were given spore probiotics for a month and the fed same inflammatory meal. No leaky gut. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG4_6NMmG4Y
- Kiran Krishnan mentioned three different spore probiotics. Of the three, further reading suggested that B. clausii might be the most promising.
Enterogermina is available to buy without prescription in Italy, where it has been freely available for 60 years. It should also be available to buy over the counter in the US. It is not licensed in the UK for some reason, so I had to order it from Italy: http://www.farmacia-ciarcia.it/en/farma ... results=12