Using probiotics if suffering from yeast reactivity

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probiotici_lievitiWhen we engage in curing a food-related inflammatory condition caused by yeast and fermented substances (as for many years we have been doing at SMA, by offering specific therapeutic programs), we are aware of the possibility of using precise dietary schemes along with useful supplements to control the inflammation and allow tolerance recovery.

Probiotics (that many called simplistically “milk ferments”) are among the supplements that could definitely be used for our purposes, but it is often necessary to guide their consumption with special care during the first phase of integration. The reasons for such prudence will become clearer throughout the reading.

In the case of yeast-related reactivity, the guidelines about probiotics provided within the food inflammation test are as follows: «it is possible that the use of probiotics could be contraindicated during the first phase of the cure (but allowing the consumption during the days of free diet), unless a specific recommendation by the doctor suggests their implementation in the therapy». Surely, these substances present great therapeutic benefits; however, the choice of using them regularly during the first part of the treatment should only come from the doctor.

It is indeed possible to find indications in line with what stated above in many of our webpages and past publications: «Usually, after the first phase of nutritional treatment (2-4 weeks), the use of probiotics will be suggested and supported. In certain cases, probiotics may also be useful from the beginning of the program when suitable with personal features of the patient». Therefore, we confirm the usefulness of this type of supplements, but their continuous intake since the beginning of the dietary regime may be contraindicated. Let’s see why.

Past history

The “yeast file” has been written gradually over the years, by identifying substances that people were perceiving as reactive, or instead simply by skimming through reports about the existence of persistent reactivity despite being “on a diet” and looking for the potential disturbing factor by exclusion.

For instance, such process has happened for a group of substances that nobody considered initially (more than 25 years ago) as part of the great cluster of the fermented substances, meanwhile today these substances have gradually made the “yeast file” more complete:

  • Black tea (as we discovered that this type tea is characterized by a fermentation process undertaken on the harvesting location, while green tea is simply dried).
  • Chemically fermented products (in theory what should happen is not fermentation but only air bubbles production, yet sensitive people present typical symptoms when using them).
  • Honey (only after a while we discovered that it contains a great quantity of osmophilic yeasts).
  • Final products of fermentation (whiskey, for example) even though these should not contain yeasts remainders anymore.
  • Some probiotics.

Facts linked to probiotics

We have verified that the reaction against fermented substances could remain intense in certain cases and when using some specific probiotic strains, despite following a diet correctly set up. This fact is exemplified by those cases of women suffering from candida despite their prolonged intake of probiotics, which seems to be completely useless (while the use of probiotics when affected by candidiasis may usually prove very useful).

We have not been able to understand a priori WHICH type of patient and WHICH strain may cause or preclude such a reaction. Therefore, the correct choice should be to use probiotics only in the diet-free days (within the first 2-4 weeks of nutritional regime), then aiming to restore a daily intake afterwards.

It would certainly be interesting to develop a scientific study on a large population to rationally evaluate various probiotic strains to understand the response likely to be generated in various dietary profiles.

There is no real contraindication to probiotic use, this is only the recognition of a possible interference that we identify as solely temporary, together with the absence of clinical and epidemiological data able to resolve all the questions. The longstanding clinical practice suggests employing probiotics carefully, with a modulated initial use when the new diet is started.

Though it is obvious that the use of probiotics is strongly in line with an action targeting the reduction of food-related inflammation; indeed, the therapeutic indications for those suffering from changes in their intestinal mucosa are often oriented towards the probiotic direction. Yet, today it is still possible to account many cases of negative interference of probiotics as well as many others with a clear-cut evidence of their beneficial action.

The existence of the Great Food Clusters helps us understanding the reasons behind such a diverse action of the different bacterial strains. Each of these strains is able to trigger an immunological reaction involving a small sub-group of antibodies that represent part of the entire reactivity for one Great Cluster; such reaction could be similar or instead different from the one triggered by another bacterial strain. Sometimes this results in a full reactivity, sometimes not.

This is not surprising. There are many cases of people presenting direct reactivity against wine but not against parmesan (or vice versa); in any case, we suggest checking for sensitivity to both substances (and to all the others of the panel) to be able to achieve full recovery.

After an adequate period (usually 2-4 weeks but in certain cases even more) the effects given by probiotics tend to become beneficial for everyone.