We recently received this reader question, and it was so good I just had to share it with ya’ll in case anyone else had a similar question. It reads:

Hi guys. I’ve had an ileostomy done, which will be reversed in a few months, so at the moment I don’t have a functioning large intestine. But for now, I want to start Natren probiotics. I’ve read the Megadophilus (step 1) is good for the small intestine, Bifido Factor (step 2) is good for large intestine, and Digesta-LAC (step 3) is good for the whole digestive system. So should I skip out step 2 for now?

I’ve been working up my dose of step 1 to about half a teaspoon now. Should I go straight to step 3? Also, as step 3 is in capsule form, should I take 1 capsule or break it open and take a pinch and build up the dose? Any help is appreciated.

Now, we do have a probiotic cheat sheet you can reference – but you know I had to go straight to the Natren team for their expertise on this one! They were kind enough to come back with this detailed response:

Thank you for reaching out to us for some suggestions. I would continue to use the Megadophilus ½ tsp once a day to support the small intestine. You can add the Bulgaricus (step 3) together with the Megadophilus. One capsule is the same as a ½ teaspoon of loose powder so you can use the entire capsule if you want to.

Hold off on step 2 Bifido Factor until the ileostomy is reversed. At that time, I might suggest starting with the Bifidus infantis. It is a mild strain that we use for babies or for people recovering from surgical procedures and might have some sensitivities.

I've Had An Ileostomy Done - Which Natren Probiotics Are Best?As I’ve mentioned in some of my previous blog posts on probiotics, if it’s your first time I also recommend starting with the infant species of bacteria B. infantis, then gradually work your way up to the adult species like L. acidophilus, B. bifidus and L. bulgaricus. Some people find Natren to be TOO potent, so they must gradually work their way up to tolerance.

Here are the target spots for each strain of bacteria:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus: NAS super strain, to optimize beneficial activity in the small intestine
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum: Malyoth super strain to support the function of the large intestine
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus: LB-51 super strain to police the transient flora, which is part of the 40 percent of dry-weight fecal matter. Active in both the small and large intestine.

We don’t have much info on ileostomies except for this blog post, so this was a great question – and the response is a great resource for anyone else who has had an ileostomy done and may be wondering which probiotics are best for their gut. Thank you Natren team, and thank you to our wonderful reader as well!