My Experience With Megadosing Probiotics

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I’ve never really noticed much of an effect from probiotics.  About a year ago I started to take them in higher dosages and I started noticing some benefits for the gut, but not much else.

As I study the immune system more and these individual probiotic species that I’m ingesting, I started thinking that there is a gap between what I’m reading and what I’m experiencing.

Probiotics are good, but reading the research, I would’ve expected more from it.

So I thought it’s time to experiment with probiotics the same way I do with other substances: take more until I feel an acute effect.

The reason I wanted to do this was because I was getting some gas from my experiments with NAG, Sialic acid and Mannose.  I also couldn’t take NAC because I’d get gas from that, too.

I also wanted to do some experiments for inducing oral tolerance more.

My First Two Experiments: Ingesting 280 Billion Microbes

So, at first I decided to do a little experiment and ingest 280 billion probiotic bacteria in one shot, containing 15 different strains.  This is equivalent to two bottles of your run of the mill probiotics.

My result?  I felt high and blissful.  The effect was strong.

It felt something like a mix of butyrate, lactic acid and oxytocin (produced by L Reuteri).  Indeed, these are byproducts of these bacteria.

I also got a bit itchy  and red in some places, but nothing serious.

My results were confounded by taking 40X the dosage of Mannose earlier.  Normally they come in pills of 500mg.  I took 20g yesterday. I also took a lot of Black Cumin Seed Oil.

I did the experiment again and got a similar effect, but I still took a lot of Black Cumin Seed Oil.

My Third Experiment: Ingesting 660 Billion Bacteria

In the first 2 experiments, I took most of the bottle of a probiotic with a smaller count of 5 billion bacteria.  There were also some confounding variables.

I waited maybe a month between this and the last two experiments.

This time I took 10 capsules of a probiotic with 66 billion bacteria in each pill.  This equals 660 billion bacteria.  I made sure there was no confounding variables this time.

To take the amount that I took, you’d have to take 132 pills of your standard 5 billion species probiotic.  Many probiotics have only 1 billion bacteria, which means you’d have to take 660 pills of this to get the dosage I got.

I also had some gas from over-consuming these dried Blueberries (a pound) and too much brussel sprouts ( a pound).  Could also be because I was experimenting with lots of chocolate in the preceding days, which makes my gut act up.

Anyway, the effect was the same as the first two times, but stronger.  It was incredibly relaxing and made me feel really good.  It’s an incredible anti-depressant.

I experienced cognitive sensations the next day was pretty powerful.  Any stronger and it would’ve turned into a headache.

There was the same sensations in my skin as well.  I felt a bit of intestinal discomfort for an hour, but this went away.

In all three experiments, all gas went away when challenged with gas promoting supplements and food.

Honestly, most of the effects took place while I was sleeping because it hit me strongly an hour before bed and I felt it strongly still as I woke up and the next day.  My sleep was really good.

Also, my appetite was noticeably suppressed.

While it’s relaxing, it’s also wakeful-promoting.

I also seem to tolerate lectins better (not as fatigued after).

660 billion bacteria is too much for me.  I don’t know what the long term effects of this is.  I’d rather take 1 pill 2X a day chronically, which I would consider a minimum effective dosage.

Well, it was important that I knew it was working and how.

I used this one: Probiotic (Or Probiotic for international). After this experiment I found an even better brand of probiotics.

My Experiment With Prescript Assist

I also mega-dosed with prescript assist (15 capsules) and felt a similar effect.  It was slightly different, but not enough to be able to describe.

The Takeaway

The takeaway is that you need to hit things hard.  Don’t think you will be cured by taking 1 small pill of 5 billion probiotics.

I see people that can’t function at all in the day and they’re being timid.  If your body is broken, baby steps won’t fix you.  They’re better than nothing, but bold (but safe) actions need to be taken.

I currently have no health problems I’m still hitting things hard (more to see the effects).

If you have gut problems, then slowly ramp up your probiotic usage until you get side effects or the desired effect.

Don’t be timid.

Potential Side Effects

This approach isn’t risk free, but if done in a careful way, it’s relatively safe.

The only potential problem I see is imbalancing your immune system more.  So make sure you take probiotics that balance your immune system the way you want it to.  This is why you should start small.

See the species you should take to lower Th1 dominance or Th2 dominance.

For myself, I just wasn’t concerned about my immune system becoming imbalanced.  But everyone is different.

I had a client who felt more than a half of a capsule of 5 billion species was too strong for her.   She reacted to every supplement she took.

If you’re in a precarious state, then your risks are greater, but your potential rewards are also greater.

Overall, though, probiotics are pretty safe.

Future Experiments

I’m going to experiment in the future with creating tolerance to eggs.  To do this, I will take megadoses of probiotics – probably the same dosage of 660 billion bacteria together with my eggs.  I will make sure to add Cod liver as well.

Other Probiotics

A commenter has pointed out there are more bacteria per a capsule in VSL-3.  However, there are only 8 strains versus 14 for the swanson version.  When you compare the prices, the Swanson brand comes out to be cheaper.

They sell an alternative product of 450 billion bacteria in a sachet.  I may try this out in the future, but I’ve gotten good results from the Swanson one.  A benefit of VSL is that it’s always cool, which preserves the bacteria better.

Comments

  1. Jason

    Hi Joseph,
    I have suffered from CFS for 15 years. Can you recommend a probiotic if one is TH2 dominant? I’m looking at Prescript Assist,but am unsure if it would be appropriate for Th2 dominance?

    • Natcha M

      Hi Jason,
      You should consult a practitioner because the picture is always more than what it seems. Many people with fibromyalgia have SIBO, which makes supplementation with any probiotic other than Prescript Assist and Megaspore Biotic a bad idea. I personally am TH2 dominant and have been recommended this product: Genestra HMF Forte. Also, NFH Probio SAP is good, too, because it has quite a few strains that breaks down histamine. However, I have never personally experienced any significant shift from supplementation with any probiotics. I still take them, but I don’t expect them to cure anything.

      • Jason

        Thanks Natcha,
        I was hoping that prescript assist would be ok to take. I tested negative for SIBO. I will have to look into Megaspore. Those other two supplements actually have certain strains that can increase Th2 cells according to a page on this site. Prescript assist sounds like my best move at the present time. Do you take Prescript Assist? Any feedback?

          • Jason

            Really? I have read such great reviews on different sites. I have some good success with Primal Defence for gut issues,but am not sure if it’s safe to keep taking due to the th2 dominance.

          • Natcha M

            That’s just my personal opinion and experience though. It differs for everyone. One thing for sure is that just probiotic supplementation alone won’t solve the problem. You need to look at other things as well.

        • Claire

          Joe, please, why is it that probiotics seem to cause me constipation. I do feel well (normal) emotionally when I take them, but the constipation is terrible and stop them every time. I have taken Dr. Mercola’s, the brand that Dr. Perlmutter does and others more and less expensive.

          Any suggestions are most welcome.

          • Natcha M

            Maybe you are just sensitive to those strains. Possibly (the most likely explanation) is that you have SIBO and introducing these bacteria make it worse. Also, people who have SIBO usually feel worse in response to prebiotics and many brands of prebiotics make it worse. Just don’t megadose the probiotics if you don’t do well with them. ~Team SelfHacked

  2. Hi Joseph, i make home made saurkraut. Allegelly, 2 ounces of home fermented sauerkraut has more probiotics than a bottle of 100 count probiotic capsules. I get a real sense of well being when I eat this stuff. Just put chopped cabbage in a sealed container with regular salt, topped up with fresh water, then leave. Longer the better

  3. Bhaskar

    Hi Joseph,
    I have been on Ads and antopsych. drugs for about 3 years. I stopped prozac Aug,15 when I thought I was doing ok and not need it in job. But the results were I end up leaving the job.
    I had various events where I ended up in scuffle while on effexor or prozac or paxil.

    So I tried to quite medicine in Dec,15 C.T and 3 months later I saw a doctor which has put me on Sertraline. I again stopped sertraline.
    Now I am off medicines for two months. Now my life is completely halted with lot of anger, brain fog and other symptoms.

    In this period I tried to apply for job but I was not able to frame and answer. So I am not having one right now.

    Now please help me if you can. And how can I contact you if I need your help for consultation?
    Bhaskar

  4. Jon Busch

    Your erudite posts continue to amaze me. From this one I gather that you know a good bit more than most about probiotics. I have read that the gut contributes dopamine to the nervous system. Could that be part of the euphoria you and readers have found from megadoses of probiotics?
    Is there any of gut bacteria that could be singled out as producing dopamine?

  5. Mallory

    This thread is hilarious! Getting high off of probiotics! You should try making 24 hour yogurt with raw milk- it has over a trillion Per Serving If you make it properly. I may down a handful of my perscript assist to get a happy high. Not sure if it will work but you all make it sound so tempting.;-)

  6. Dee

    Hello Joseph M. Cohen,
    Have you decided to take the Kombucha Mother? And if so what was this result? And if not, why? Thanks!!

  7. Kamille

    Anybody have any idea of how long it is safe to megadose on probiotics? I am currently taking 500 billion-900 billion

  8. David

    Dan,
    Have you attempted to build tolerance to eggs? Either in conjunction with mega dosing probiotics or through egg shells or egg shell supplements? Just curious how it went.

  9. Jim

    Small question about the Lee Swanson Probiotics. I live in a foreign country and would need to wait 3-5 days for it to arrive. It obviously won’t be refrigerated on its journey. However, I’ve heard that most probiotics need to be refrigerated. Does this one as well?

  10. Fritz.Harber

    Interesting. Sorry for my ignorance, but what happens when you digest more than 50g of Hi maize at once? What happens for the extra hi maize that your body can not digest? Will you get its calories?

      • Fritz.Harber

        Did you find what is the maximum amount you can process in one day ~15 hours? (I think you wrote somewhere that you can do up to 120g a day if you separate to small dosages every 2 hours but Im not sure and cant find it)

  11. vera

    Took 1 trillion bacteria (seanson brand) three days ago with 270 g hi maize in a period of 4 hours. Next day – got an extremely strong high ; a mixture of bliss and deep love and complete panic. Tried several drugs in my life but this was on a different level. It felt pike my brain was constantly trying to decide whether it is having a good or bad trip. I would not try it again but the good thing was thst three days later I still feel like I am 70 percent less sensetive to lectins.

    • vera

      1 trillion was arounf 16 pills of swanson brand. I did feel like my skin became really dry and itchy. Took imit with three pills of lactoferrin to isolate the type of bacteria I wanted

    • Joseph M. Cohen

      Thanks. Your gut isn’t going to process more than maybe 50g of hi-maize at a time.

      Can you imagine the guy that took 30 pills and didn’t feel anything, lol. Probably a troll.

      • Mark

        Lol I heard that. Also, I have never been called a troll so I don’t know what to make of this 😛

        I did another experiment with a different brand which had 100 Billion CFUs per capsule. Took 20 and didn’t really notice anything. I would love to try again but I may have to spend a lot more money to notice anything :/

        • Steve

          Geez your not doing something right I suppose. Hmm, try a bunch on antacids to knock down the stomachs aggressiveness, then Follow with a resistance starch and a trillion count Ensure nothing touches your saliva If that doesn’t work you must be getting a bad batch or you have an amazing amount of colonized bacteria killing all the new guys.
          Good luck homie.

  12. Ad

    Heah Jo. Another interesting post (aren’t they always :-)).

    So I ordered some VSL3 last week and it arrived on Friday. Decided to go for a double dose (900 billion), as I have had a pesky cold for a few weeks and am aware of immune system connection to the gut. I must say I did notice and improved sense of mood and generally happier.

    Yesterday prior to the gym I had a single dose and again could feel the positive effects. Actually took it alongside my preworkout.

    I’m hoping and fairly optimistic that it will be able to knock this cold on the head. Will report back in a few days

    • Joseph M. Cohen

      What are you trying to accomplish? Try 30 capsules on an empty stomach with lots of water first thing in the morning and don’t eat for 2 hours and get back to me 24 hours later.

      • Mark

        All experiments were done on an empty stomach.

        I wanted to feel blissful and high like you experienced. Also, anxiolytic, anti-depressant, and cognitive effects.

        • Joseph M. Cohen

          Mileage may vary. I think not feeling any difference with 30 pills will not be common. Which supplements have you ever felt a difference from?

  13. Sandrine

    Last week I took 5 pills of the Swanson probiotic around 3pm and felt amazing for the rest of the day 🙂 I felt really positive and had much more energy.
    I was upset and sad that day so that really helped, thank you !
    I am a bit intolerant to eggs too so I am curious to know if it would work.

    You mentioned taking black seed oil and cod liver oil with probiotics, can I please ask what the benefits are ? Thanks !!

  14. aribadabar

    Tried your experiment with 5 caps of the suggested brand followed by 3 more ~2 hrs later – nothing too noticeable to report.

    Some slight random itchiness which may or may not be related.

    That being said, that has been my daily 1-cap probiotic supplement for almost 1 month so the intestinal microbiota has already been somewhat similar to the one introduced with this experiment.

    How long has it taken to start feeling the strong effects?

    • Joseph M. Cohen

      It takes maybe 5 hours. Try 15 capsules and report back. Keep upping the dosage until you take 30 capsules. If you still don’t notice anything then that will be very interesting.

      Realize that the noticeable cognitive effects lasted for up to 48 hours by me.

  15. Have you tried Bacillus Coagulans? Its spore forming and survives well, Thorne Research sells a good one and top review on Amazon says to ferment it. I’d imagine fermenting in sugar water or milk would increase the quantity to significant amounts.

    • Joseph M. Cohen

      yup, I’ve taken 60 billion of that one alone. No noticeable effect. The recommended brand has 1 billion bacteria of B coagulans in each capsule.

  16. Tbh that is still not very high and number of strains is very low. Even kefir has around 50 bacterial strains. Fecal transplant as ultimate probiotic clearly shows enormous healing potential for the gut.

    Vsl 3 contains more in 2 caps.

    U need to redo it correctly.

    Take home message is that mainstream probiotics r useless

  17. A few month ago, because I had a lot of kombucha mother and didn’t want to waste them, I ate them.

    I felt as you described above. High and fully awake.

    Do you know a way of knowing how many probiotics there are inside the mother (and how many different kind) ?

    Thank you.

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