I am getting pretty good results from taking high doses of PREBIOTICS, two or three times a day (along with some probiotics), and also cutting out most of the sugar from my diet. This prebiotic regimen has GREATLY reduced my anxiety levels, and and has also improved my mood (less depression), my brain fog, and increased my ability to concentrate. There are improvements in my energy levels as well. I believe that PREBIOTICS are much better than PROBIOTICS. Prebiotics Versus Probiotics A probiotics is defined as a live microorganism that confers health benefits to the host, typically as these friendly flora colonize your intestines. A prebiotic is defined as a food which provides nutrition to the only good bacteria in your gut, but not to the bad bacteria (or only provides very minimal nourishment to the bad bacteria, by comparison), so that the good bacteria flourish, and the bad bacteria starve to death. This very small scale study indicates that good bacteria rapidly flourish in the bowel when PREBIOTICS alone are taken, but that taking PROBIOTICS alone did not cause any improvement. This article also explains that prebiotics are much more important than probiotics. THE TAKE-HOME MESSAGE IS THAT PREBIOTICS ARE MUCH MORE BENEFICIAL THAN PROBIOTICS. Probiotic Overview Two well-known species of probiotics are: Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Bifidobacteria species usually outnumber the Lactobacilli species by 1000 to 1 in the colon. Lactobacilli are generally a little more fragile and more easily killed than Bifidobacteria. Some Benefits of Bifidobacteria: • They manufacture B-vitamins in the gut. • Prevent bad bacteria and yeasts from colonization of the intestine by protecting the intestinal lining. Some Benefits of Lactobacilli: • Prevent overgrowth of the pathogens: Candida species, E. coli, Helicobacter pylori, and salmonella. • Help prevent vaginal and urinary tract infections. Prebiotic Overview There are several varieties of prebiotic: Ispaghula husk (psyllium husk) is a prebiotic, and a relatively inexpensive one. It can be bought in bulk as a loose powder. A good dose is 10 grams (= 2 heaped teaspoons) twice daily. Ispaghula husk is a well-tolerated prebiotic: most people have no problems with it. Ispaghula husk may help with irritable bowel syndrome. It is advised to drink plenty of water while you are taking ispaghula husk. Ispaghula husk also helps draw out toxins from the body. Since people with CFS usually have a high toxin overload, this detoxification ability is very useful (it is similar to chlorella's detoxification abilities). FOS (fructooligosaccharides). FOS can be bought as a loose powder. A good dose is 2.5 grams (= 1 level teaspoon) twice daily. FOS is also called oligofructose. FOS promotes the flourishing of Bifidobacteria populations; but pathogenic bacteria like Klebsiella and Escherichia coli do not flourish on FOS, as these can only utilize FOS nutrition with very low efficiency. FOS increases butyrate concentrations in the large intestine; butyrate helps reduce intestinal permeability. The typical US diet contains about 2.5 grams of FOS a day. A typical Mediterranean diet provides 12 or more grams of FOS a day. A study showed that a decrease in Bifidobacteria population occurs within 2 or 3 week of stopping FOS supplementation. So the message here is to keeping taking your prebiotics, in order to maintain friendly gut flora populations, and prevent the bad bacteria from re-establishing themselves. Inulin. A good dose is 2.5 grams (= 1 level teaspoon) twice daily. Some people get stomach aches or bloating with inulin. Inulin is another prebiotic that also helps draw out toxins from the body. Inulin may be a better prebiotic than FOS. GOS (Galactooligosaccharides), and TGOS (trans-galactooligosaccharides). A good dose of GOS is 5 grams daily. GOS is naturally found in human milk. GOS promotes Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria populations. GOS can be helpful for irritable bowel syndrome. "Bimuno" is one brand of prebiotic based on galactooligosaccharides. Some Other Prebiotics Other prebiotics (and probable prebiotics) include: flaxseed (another good colon detoxifier), oat bran, burdock root (this contains a lot of FOS and inulin), slippery elm, rhubarb root, apple pectin, citrus pectin (pectins are detoxifiers too), agar agar, chlorella (good detoxifier), polydextrose (brands: Tate & Lyle's Sta-Lite, Danisco's Litesse), sorbitol and maltitol (sugar substitutes), locust bean gum (also known as carob gum), gum arabic, guar gum, lactoferrin, arabinogalactan (found in many vegetables including: radishes, carrots, tomatoes and wheat), beta glucans, most mushrooms, active hexose correlated compound (AHCC), colostrum. Notes Note: if you are new to taking prebiotics, start with lower doses for a few days, otherwise you may experience some constipation. Note: be careful with the antibacterial herbs or supplements that you are taking, which may inhibit the good bacteria as well as the bad. Note: there is a small chance of increased gut permeability with FOS, but this occurs only if BOTH of the following are true: (1) you are taking very high levels of FOS, around 20 grams a day; and: (2) you also happen to have very low levels of calcium. Increased gut permeability will not occur if: you keep to lower doses of FOS, say 5 grams a day; and this increased gut permeability from FOS will not occur anyway if your calcium levels are fine. The permeability may be caused by the lactic acid that results from FOS fermentation by friendly bacteria. Lactic acid can irritate the walls of the intestine. (Ref). Note: it may be wise to avoid probiotic supplements containing homeostatic soil organisms (HSO are bacteria from the soil), such as "Primal Defense" probiotic, as the long term safely of HSOs has not been well researched.