A review of supplements asked by readers.

A reader asked me for an opinion on Adrenal Rebuilder which contains

  • Proprietary Blend of Porcine glandulars (Processed to Remove Hormones) (Gonad, Adrenal Cortex, Hypothalamus,
    Anterior Pitutary), Calcium Glycerophosphate, Inositol)

It had no role in terms of my model.  Adrenal supplements have been tried for decades by CFS suffers without any significant success for remission. Some people find that it does help some symptoms for a few hours. Do not (probably) waste your money.


What about Symbioflor-1, the other probiotic from symbiopharm.de? It claims to help with upper respiratory infections — how can that be?

If you have pneumonia, you may take antibiotics and it clears respiratory infections. Probiotics produce antibiotics (in fact many antibiotics come from species that are in some probiotics). The claim is very reasonable, many CFSers have persistent coughs. What does pubmed say?

So the evidence says yes, it does help!


 

“What about RechtsRegulat? Dr. K believes that it works better than heparin.”

Well the ingredients are listed as

“Controlled biological cultivation of fermented fruits, vegetables and nuts, date, fig, walnut, coconut, lemon, soybean, celery, artichoke, millet, pea, saffron. Drinking water, lactic acid and Glycerin. Free of preservatives, alcohol and sugar.” – this reads like a classic “tonic”

On PubMed, there are no studies at all, this immediately raise alarm bells if something have been on the market for any length of time. Typically a study will be attempted (it pays back many fold to have a positive study) — if none are published, it implies that the study failed to show statistically significant results.

With no studies and no listing of the bacteria in the fermentation, AND high cost, I would discourage it’s use. The bacteria could be Bacillus Subtlis (which would be good) — but there is no transparency into this product. If you have some, can afford it, and it works for you fine! I simply have reservations about recommending it to anyone without studies or even a listing of the bacteria in it. I did find one study on it (not on PubMed) which reports “In microbiological tests i.e. breeding on different nutrient agars with different inoculi for different time scales gave no indication of living Lactobacillae. ” Heparin was not mentioned in this paper.


 

What about Pro-Symbioflor? A third product from the same company…

Well, “contains the natural intestinal bacteria Enterococcus faecalis and Escherichia coli, in inactive form.”

We have a 2013 study on it. “an autolysate of cells and cell fragments of E. faecalis (DSM 16440) and E. coli (DSM 17252) called Pro-Symbioflor. 1.5 mL of Pro-Symbioflor contains 3.0 to 9.0 107 CFU of living bacteria before inactivation.”

I recall reading articles of significant benefits from inactivated probiotics. The main positive aspect is that they will have an effect and then be washed out. With living probiotics, there is a risk of full bacteria warfare happening between probiotics and dysfunctional bacteria — a battle that can keep going for weeks — hence stopping does not result in a herx fading quickly.

If you are sensitive to probiotics, you may wish to consider this.