I've spoken before about the digestive health benefits of taking probiotics. Now, new research shows you don't have to take a probiotic every day to get the full benefit (every other day is OK).
Scientists from the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Nantick, Massachusetts, conducted a study with 18 people, giving nine of them a daily dose of a probiotic (Lactobacillus reuteri) and the other nine an every-other-day dose. After two to three weeks, the level of intestinal "colonization" of the probiotic was similar in both groups.
The bottom line is that long-term intake of probiotics is great for your gut, but you don't have to take them every day. You can maintain the same benefits at half the cost! (I find the best "every-other-day" regimen is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, rather than odd-even days — that pattern seems to make it easier to remember). And the probiotic supplement I recommend is Probiotic Pearls Elite — the probiotics in this brand have a much higher survival rate as they pass through the digestive tract than most others on the market (the nature of probiotics bacteria is that a portion is destroyed by the stomach before they are able to do their beneficial work).
Another important point is that every-other-day use is fine if you've already been using probiotics for a gut infection like Candida or other heath issues, and you're feeling pretty good. But if you're in the midst of therapy, daily use is best for four or five months. After that, you can switch to the maintenance dose.
"Persistence of lactobacillus reuteri DSM17938 in the human intestinal tract: response to consecutive and alternate-day supplementation," Smith TJ, Anderson D, Margolis LM, Sikes A, Young AJ. J Am Coll Nutr. 2011 Aug;30(4):259-64.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.