Have you ever eaten five billion of anything?

I have.

I just ingested five billion (give or take a few million) freeze-dried cells. Sarah suggested I try Florastor to counteract the bad results of the antibiotics in my system. She gave it to her seven-year-old, who proclaimed it, “nasty.” So I went to the drugstore and asked for a probiotic, and received a blank stare from the young woman behind the counter. Who then talked to the pharmacist, who said, “Here,” and handed her a package. The package he gave me is for kids. I said, “Don’t you have anything for grownups? Like a pill or something?”

“Nope.” (It does come in caplet form. I was just unlucky.)

So tonight, after the evening regimen of horse pills, I mixed a package with a glass of orange juice. Y’know, Nate wasn’t exaggerating. I couldn’t really taste the stuff, since I filled the glass (8 oz.). But it has a really nasty smell, and the smell didn’t go away when mixed.

The package says it contains 5 billion live freeze-dried cells of Saccharomyces boulardii. But a quick trip to their website discovers several lies on the main page.

Lie Number One: “Great tasting fruit flavor.” See “nasty smell,” above.
Lie Number Two: “Dissolves completely in juice or water.” Tell that to the cells on the side of my glass (currently soaking).

Well, okay. If it works, they can lie about those two things. Tomorrow morning, though, I’m mixing it with chocolate milk. Maybe the chocolate will overpower the nasty scent.

In any event, my great experiment with the various bacteriology of my digestive system continues. And in another eleven days, with any luck, H. pylori will be dead, dead, dead. And I won’t get my too-frequent stomach ailments.

You know, if you really think about it, right now, there’s one hell of a war going on in my stomach. Good bacteria. Bad bacteria. Acidopholus. Saccharomyces boulardi. (Oh. My. Gd. I just discovered a website called “Doctor Fungus.” And discovered that I’ve been waxing poetic about — Brewer’s yeast.

Well. In any case, the war continues. And I can hear them fighting as I write this. Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle. Take that, bad bacteria! Die! Die!

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13 Responses to Have you ever eaten five billion of anything?

  1. The Doctor says:

    Doctor Fungus…I like it. I’ve been using “Dr. Thanatos” as my preferred nom de guerre, but this sounds even better!

  2. There are more palatable options. You can buy live organic yogurt that is quite tasty and has live probiotics in it. Any health food store should have it. Most large grocery chains do as well.

  3. I salute your boldness. I mean, not many people would agree to turn themselves into a human Petri dish. Wow!

  4. Hootsbuddy says:

    Brave woman, indeed. Last year I posted a probiotic grace before meals you may wish to use. It may not help with the taste but might be spiritually empowering.

  5. great unknown says:

    Something that works well is yogurt with active cultures. Highly recommended by physicians of the “pre- 100 dollars/day medications” era.

  6. I drink milk with acidophilus in it. I don’t like yogurt.

    But if I can drink this smelly yuck, perhaps I can down a cup of yogurt.

    On the other hand, I’m going to discuss Amoxicillin with my doctor today, and see if we should change it out to another antiobiotic that isn’t so hard on my system.

    Ten and a half more days of this stuff. Ugh. Have to keep telling myself that if I don’t do it, I may get ulcers, which is far, far worse.

  7. The Doctor says:

    According to my references the antibiotic choices for helicobacter are:

    #1 a 2 drug regimen of amoxicillin and biaxin
    #2 backup antibiotics tetracycline, flagyl, or rifampin
    #3 in some cases Levaquin and rifabutin

    All antibiotics should be accompanied by an acid suppressor such as Prevacid as well as a bismuth-containing compound such as Peptobismol.

    Yeah, the “pre-100 dollars/day” era used a lot of active cultures to treat the side effects of medications; however you still need the medications to get rid of the helicobacter. The yogurt, buttermilk, and other tasty goodies only treat the side-effects of the real treatment and are not a substitute…

    Hope you feel better soon,

    Dr. Fungus

  8. chsw says:

    Try mixing the probiotic into the yogurt. Seriously, the yogurt will tend to mask the smell, and you will get to down both the acidophilus and the brewer’s yeast at one time.

    As an alternative, drop the brewer’s yeast into a mug of stout. If anything, a pint of stout will make it go down easier!


  9. Yeah, I’m taking the PrevPack, the #1 recommendation. I’m wondering if swapping out the Amoxicillin for another antibiotic will be any better on my digestive system, or it won’t really matter, what with flooding it with antibiotics that are going to kill all the good bacteria no matter what I do.

  10. Hootsbuddy: That blessing is WAY too long. By the time I finished it, the probiotics would lose their effectiveness.

  11. Jason: Not that there’s anything like a prize involved, but yours was the 5,000th comment since this blog went WordPress.

    That, a couple of bucks, will get you a cup of coffee.

  12. Wohooo! Good thing I have the couple of bucks! :-)

  13. Scott says:

    Your antibiotic medication is killing the probiotics too. You might have a few left alive for a bit if you take the probiotics half way between your twice daily dose of antibiotics and thus reep some benefit. The advice about the pepto and previcid is good.

    Once you get off the medication have a few meals of good steak and a few doses of the probiotics and you’ll be good as new.

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