Zing — when a probiotic is TOO good!

Last week my wife tried Yakult with excellent results for reducing histamines, but the Lactobacillus casei Shirota also was too too much for her. All bacteria, including Lactobacillus produce antibiotics against selective other bacteria.  If you get too lucky, you can effectively get in a die-off / Jarisch–Herxheimer reaction that is out of control. With antibiotics, the substance will wash out of your systems in hours. With probiotic, the bacteria may take hold and keep pumping out it’s antibiotic endlessly! Not quite endlessly, but easily for 1-2 weeks of non-stop herx or longer.

Today I got pinged by a reader who had this type of reaction to Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 (it is still going on weeks after stopping), a different friend also reacted similar with a different L. Reuteri species.

As a point of reference, L.Reuteri produces the following antibiotics:

So what kills Lactobacillus? The answer appears to be Penicillin, clindamycin and gentamicin, the antibiotics generally not recommended for CFS (because it kills Lactobacillus!)

The second path was taken by my wife, “Probiotic vs Probiotic”, she loaded up on other probiotics that she knew was safe and effectively starved out this species by over-populating her gut with other probiotics fighting for food.

Bottom Line:

There is a risk of a herx with any probiotic, and the duration may be much longer than that of an antibiotic, and the intensity may increase over time until it has finished it’s job.

Above I have described why it happens and why it is different than regular prescription stuff — you are using a living organism that may become resident.