When selecting a probiotic to combat Ankylosing Spondylitis, or related autoimmune diseases, we have several key goals:
- Supporting the population of anti-inflammatory microbes already present
- Suppressing potentially harmful species of bacteria and yeasts (in the case of AS, Klebsiella, E.coli and Candida,)
- Restoring the gut barrier
- Calming the immune system.
For more details on how disruptions to the microbiome cause autoimmunity, Download a free PDF of the first chapter
The best all-around probiotic species for these goals are found in the level 1 probiotics listed below. For slightly more potent activity against pathogens, you can turn to a level 2 probiotic. The probiotics I categorize as level 3 are typically used short term for even more aggressive treatment of resistant pathogens such as Candida, E.coli, and Klebsiella.
Level 1 Probiotics:
At the introductory level, it is best to choose a probiotic combination that includes at least one of the preferred Bifidobacteria species, namely:
- B. infantis
- B. longum
- B. breve
These species excel at supporting our resident anti-inflammatory microbes, restoring the gut barrier, and directly calming inflammation. Recommended products with these species and no inflammatory species include:
- Jarrow-dophilus AF (Allergen Free) US, UK, CA
- Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Metabolic Formula US
- Probiotic Pearls Digestion and Immunity US
- Nature’s Way Primadophilus Bifidus US UK CA AU DE
Culturelle Health & Wellness and BioGaia Protectis are also good entry-level probiotics. These single-strain lactobacillus probiotics have been studied extensively and are typically well tolerated by even the most sensitive individuals, including newborn infants. They are also widely available in many countries.
Level 2 Probiotics
For stronger activity against the undesirable bacteria that can drive inflammation, we can select a probiotic with a higher potency and broader range of Bifidobacteria species. Good options include:
- Gut Pro and Gut Pro Infant US
- Jarrow Bifidus Balance US, UK, CA
- Renew Life Adult 50 Plus Go Pack US
- Kirkman Bifido Complex US, UK, CA
Because these probiotics contain B. bifidum, they may be slightly more effective than the level 1 probiotics at combating pathogens. Yet once pathogen overgrowth is brought under control, this potent species is likely no longer required. Because B. bifidum may theoretically spur immune activity, it may be preferable to return to a milder level 1 probiotic for ongoing maintenance. (You can of course continue taking a level 2 probiotic long-term, if you find that you respond well).
Level 3: Advanced Pathogen- Fighting Probiotics
For those with particularly severe inflammation, an overgrowth of persistent species such as E.coli, Candida, or Klebsiella, or a diagnosis of SIBO, you may see the greatest improvement by starting with 30 to 60 days of treatment with one of the advanced pathogen-fighting probiotics:
Note that the refrigerated beverage forms of BioK+ have shown slightly better results in clinical trials than the capsules. These drinks can be purchased at WholeFoods market and other health food stores.
[For more detail on the rationale behind these probiotics, see the book excerpt below. ]
NSD-Friendly Probiotics for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Probiotics without fillers containing starch, prebiotics, or maltodextrin:
- Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Metabolic Formula (US)
- Probiotic Pearls Digestion and Immunity (US) (also available in UK).
- BioGaia Protectis (available in US. UK. CA AU*)
- Gut Pro and Gut Pro Infant (US)
- Renew Life Adult 50 Plus Go Pack (US)
- Florastor (US) (Also available in AU, CA , UK)
- BioK+ (US)
For more information, see The Keystone Approach on Amazon