Intestinal Health and Yogurt

Momatpop: Hi Polly, thank you for your response to my message about loosening up the diet. You suggested 2-4 weeks of yogurt with added acidophilus. About the yogurt, is goat milk preferable to cow? Have you tried the 48-hour yogurt? Or do you just buy good quality yogurt? Thanks so much for your help.

Polly: Goat milk might be less allergenic. Making your own yogurt is ideal. In Elaine Gottschall’s book Breaking the Vicious Cycle (SCD diet), she goes into detail on how to make your own yogurt, and states:

“While this yoghurt may not be as thick as commercial yoghurt, it will be a true yoghurt since virtually all of the lactose has been digested by the bacterial culture and further lactose digestion will not be required by intestinal cells.”

Not only will this homemade yogut have less sugar, but it will be fresh, and there will be more live bacteria in it. Personally, I don’t want to spend the time making yogurt, and I don’t really need to now. I can easily tolerate milk sugar. I like Brown Cow and Mountain High brands because they aren’t full of weird additives. However, yogurt products usually contain the bacteria S. thermophilus. Some people claim that it isn’t a good idea to include this bacteria. In large quantities, this bacteria will push your body more towards the Th2 side. [6] Read the labels. Some manufacturers have the audacity to kill the good bacteria after the yogurt has formed. These dead yogurts have labels stating they contain pasteurized-cultured-milk instead of cultured-pasteurized-milk.

There is a milk-culture product called Bio-K, which is carried in some vitamin shops. It tastes a bit like sour cream and yogurt. If your vitamin shop doesn’t carry it, you can probably call the company and ask where to purchase it. (800) 593-2465 It contains fresh live cultures of L. acidophilus and L. casei, with a minimum guarantee of 50 billion live active cells per serving. (It doesn’t contain S. thermophilus, and yet it tastes good.) Getting your probiotics in such a medium helps keep the probiotics alive. It sounds better than taking a capsule of probiotics.

The Bio-K company suggests that you start with smaller quantities and gradually increase the dose to avoid any adverse GI symptoms. Results may appear after 15 to 30 days. The catch? It isn’t cheap. $4.00 per serving. One minor caution. If you are rich (sure you are), and could afford to eat a ton of this product, it wouldn’t be a good idea to go overboard, at least not at first, because of the high potency. You could make yourself sick. I don’t know how it would turn out trying to use this as a starter culture. However, I wouldn’t reuse any homemade product as a culture for extended periods. There is the potential for eventually growing a strain that is not good for you. I’d purchase the starter culture from a reputable company every so often.

Here is another option. Custom probiotics is now offering yogurt starter cultures with the bacteria of your choice. phone (818) 248-3529. Website:

Lynn of Virginia: Go to the health food store and buy yogurt. You can make your own from that…no need to buy a starter. Four tablespoons to a gallon is what you use. There is a lot of info on the net about making yogurt. Do a search! Once you make your own, you will never want store bought again. I just bought a cookbook from, Recipes for Yogurt Cheese. I had originally checked it out from the library and liked it so much that I bought it.

MM: I make my own yogurt and kefir. Storebought stuff is not cultured for long enough, and so, has TOO much remaining lactose. Cultured veggies may work also, but storebought cabbage has spent too much time in transit and in stores, and so does NOT have sufficient LIVE lactobacillus remaining to produce a good culture process. In other words, I’ve made sauerkraut with home-raised cabbage and it WORKS, but it doesn’t work well with store-bought cabbage. I tried several batches with cabbage bought at different stores, and the result was always the same — MOLDY, spoiled cabbage. One batch, I finally “spiked” by adding some of my probiotics. This batch, and this batch only fermented correctly.

Dhyan: May I add another perspective on dairy? In Chinese medicine, diary is “moistening” or mucus-promoting. In mucus, many yeasts can find safe sanctuary, since by its nature (mucus), things can “stick” to it (as it sticks in you). Consider dairy from its “damp” and mucusforming properties, and whether you are compatible with that day-by-day, season-byseason or not. As one young woman indicated, yogurt is not working for her right now, and this would be true of the late summer humidity in which I presently find myself. Yogurt is an obviously beneficial way to reintroduce friendly bacteria, but consider your particular situation — whether you are eating enough “drying” foods to compensate, whether the weather is too “damp” for more interior moisture. There are other ways to ingest probiotics if it is not a good day for dampness.

Polly: Dhyan, What are some of the drying foods? Or where is there a good list of damp versus dry foods?

Dhyan: Dampness is caused by acid-forming foods such as meats, oil-bearing nuts, rancidity in food, poor food-combining and eating late at night, or eating too much — anything which slows down digestion. (Many people here are meateaters, so I do not wish to offend the use of meat as protein source.) Drying foods are: rye, amaranth, corn (drying, but one must remember its sweetness), aduki beans (and other small legumes—split peas, lentils, mung), asparagus, apple cider vinegar, celery, lettuce, pumpkin, scallion, alfalfa, turnip, kohlrabi, white pepper, and all bitter herbs such as chamomile, chaparral, micro-algae. The reference is Paul Pitchford’s book, Healing with Whole Foods: Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition.

Pitchford claims that contrary to most modern candida-control diets, a larger variety of grains are possible, such as millet, kasha, rye, oats, barley, amaranth, quinoa. These are valuable for their lignans and other factors that inhibit anaerobic growth. In order to tune into the nature of food in this way, one must realize that a stalk of celery, though watery and sweet, actually produces a drying effect on the body. Once one’s intuition is able to take over from all the facts and figures, you will be able to tell yourself which food is making endemic conditions for you (fluid, mucus), and which foods are not. It is also important to understand the dampness of things around you so that you can adjust with nature in its constant flux. Baths are actually drying! Many of us remember what happened when we drank a cold milkshake. The throat becomes coated with mucus! “Cold” produces a defending mucus. The yin/yang, damp/dry, excess/deficiency, heat/cold conditions are configured individually in everyone. This is why building intuition is important to this approach and why everyone responds differently to things. There is far more to this method of understanding than I can possible do justice to here.

In terms of the probiotics discussion, Pitchford recommends spore-based products such as L. sporogenes and B. laterosporus as more “effective” than L. acidophilus for their “transient” as opposed to resident effect on the digestive tract. These spores are supposed to not only kill candida albicans, but also to help eat some of the waste left behind. I only felt “ready” to begin doing this in the past two days and can say only that die-off reactions again occur.

Pitchford’s book was the only thing to put “me” all back together and give me back to myself for healing. I understand this condition from a more intuitive level, now. I can flex with its manifestations daily without thinking so hard or consulting resources. I can look at food and know whether it’s the right thing at the right time. I can live more “naturally,” as it were, believing in my own ability to claim this yeast that’s in my body as mine and “negotiate” its taming. Finally, I have begun healing “from the ground up,” with more die-off and more headway, returned energy, and the tears and happiness of full-cleansing than I have with any other approach. When there are setbacks, I know exactly why. I wish for everyone also an intuitive approach to each of their individual conditions, whether it’s through this book or not. It’s like Plato and the huge beast: if you can only see one foot or leg of it because of its sheer magnitude and size, then you know not the nature of the whole beast. In candida and fear of it, it becomes too large and too frightful to “see” and thus needs brought back “inside” where it can be witnessed “whole.”

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