No (Supercharged) Guts, No Glory? Another Healing Experiment, with Yogurt

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*Hi friends! Before you read this, a quick bit of info: I first wrote this post about two weeks ago and I’ve since had this yogurt that I write about daily. However, before I post a recipe for something that’s loaded with microorganisms, I thought I’d give it a full month, for safety’s sake. After all, I’m not a medical professional and not telling my tales as medical advice for anyone else. That said, assuming all continues to go well and I don’t make any bad/sketchy batches, I’ll follow up soon with the recipe. In the meantime, I’ll also post a two-week update on any good/bad results since I’ve started eating it, too.* Hi, friends! In my quest to reverse an autoimmune disease, alopecia areata, it’s time to add one more thing to the dozens I’ve tried over the years. (If you’re new to this blog and want the backstory, start here.) A couple of weeks ago, I’d mentioned that I’d read some of the studies of a particular probiotic, lactobacillus reuteri (l. reuteri) on skin and hair health. Granted, the tests were done on rats and mice, but the results were encouraging: based on probiotic supplementation alone, as well as a probiotic yogurt, both of which had l. reuteri, it seems the critters ended up with lovelier, shinier, thicker fur than those on the control diet. And, importantly, there were way more active hair follicles, too (here’s a link to one of the studies and there are more that you can look up). Now, if you’re like me, any one of those results would be reason to celebrate and apparently there are about a million more benefits, too. So, of course, the first thing I did upon reading this was run to our local co-op and get some multivitamins that contain l. reuteri (among other things). I got Garden of Life’s Women 50 and Wiser, which I like to think just means it’s got 50 good things in it but which, in reality, may be for those of us at, near or past 50 years of age. (Note: Links to products are included so that you can see what I got; I don’t get any kickbacks). The second thing I did was track down one of the particularly promising strains and it seems that it’s made, in tablet form, by a company in Sweden called BioGaia. It’s the Gastrus supplement. So, I ordered a couple of boxes. Alas, while I’d been taking the Garden of Life supplements pretty regularly (about three a day and usually all at once for the last month or so), almost every day, I forgot to take the BioGaia supplements. I was, however, eating yogurt or kefir everyday (yogurt, because although none of the brands that I’ve found included l. reuteri in them, I would open up the Garden of Life capsules and sprinkle the powder into it and kefir, because the Lifeway brand from our co-op has l. reuteri in it). The problem is, I felt like I might be overdoing dairy (I’m a little sensitive to it, as I learned from an elimination diet) and I was ingesting too much sugar from the kefir. In the BioGaia reviews, I noticed that at least half of the reviewers mentioned a yogurt that they made with the Gastrus tablets and eventually, I found out that this yogurt is (anecdotally) reported to be something of a wonder-of-the-world for many people: a veritable fountain of youth and vitality, all in yogurt form. With these tales was a recipe by Dr. William Davis, who is known for his book, Wheat Belly. I decided that if I made this wonder yogurt that included the BioGaia tablets, I’d have a better shot at getting a healthy dose of l. reuteri while also lowering the amount of sugar and dairy I’d be eating, too, as I’d only be eating a 4oz. jar daily (the recommended amount, since this is supposedly so pre- and probiotic dense that you really don’t want to ingest more: think of it as a supplement, rather than a meal). Several years ago, I made yogurt all the time, based on a very simple New York Times recipe: no special equipment, few ingredients and it worked perfectly every time.  So, today, I took a chance and made some homemade l. reuteri yogurt (aka, BioGaia yogurt, aka Wheat Belly yogurt). I combined the New York Times recipe with the extra ingredients that I needed to make it an l. reuteri yogurt, including the BioGaia tablets and a prebiotic — I used a modified tapioca starch called Ultratex 3 that Scott uses in the gluten-free things he makes me, so we have it on hand. I made a dozen small (4oz) jars and marked one as my future starter (in other words, as a warning to myself not to eat that one — otherwise, you have to start from scratch and that’d get pricey and inconvenient, given the 10 BioGaia tablets you’d need). I wasn’t going to try my first one until the next morning, but realized that I should open one to see if it was doing its thing (thickening well): if not, it would need to stay out longer, possibly overnight and if so, I could refrigerate it. I opened one jar, it didn’t move; I stuck a spoon in, it was thick and lovely; I tasted it, it was delish. All this said, I’ve since made a second batch and soon, I’ll be on my third batch, meaning that by the time that’s done, I’ll be through more than a month in this experiment. In a couple of days, I’ll post any results I’ve noticed so far, though it’s early into the process (even the rats and mice were given 20-24 weeks!). Best wishes! Cheers and thanks again for following/reading. xoxoxo {Photo from, although there wasn’t a photographer credit with it, thank you.} {Note: These are my own experiences with holistic healing, which clearly aren’t meant as medical advice for anyone else. But, I know a lot of friends and family members are grappling with a huge variety of autoimmune issues and other ailments, so I’m happy to share my experiences. And if this is your first visit and you’d like to follow chronologically, click here. Otherwise, enjoy!}

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