Probiotics are a great thing. Right? In some cases, maybe not. I’ve tried taking probiotics several times since the 1990’s. One would think they are a helpful supplement given the latest research on the gut microbiome. One would also believe that they are imperative for someone such as myself, working to heal a leaky gut that contributed to the diagnoses of celiac disease, Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis, and multiple sclerosis.
You’ll think twice after you see this recent article in the New York Times, Many Probiotics Taken for Celiac Disease Contain Gluten. That article has personal relevance as every time I’ve attempted to take probiotics I’ve had stomachaches and severe digestive distress. Of course, I’ve only purchased probiotics at the doctor’s office (or an incredible local shop, Pharmaca). Still, it made no difference. Now I know why. Even high-end probiotic supplements have been found to contain gluten. According to this New York Times article:
The authors of the study found gluten in probiotic supplements that carried “gluten-free” claims on their labels, and they discovered that the most expensive supplements were just as likely to contain gluten as the cheapest products.
According to Dr. Peter H. R. Green, the author of the study and the director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, “the results suggest that people with celiac disease, or those avoiding gluten for any reason, should be cautious about taking probiotic supplements.” I’m beyond relieved that I attempt to listen to my body. Because of this, I spared myself a daily dose of gluten, something I work diligently to avoid. What do you do when a doctor, naturopath, or healer advises you to continue taking a supplement or medicine that makes you feel ill?
If you’re looking for a safe delivery method of probiotics, check out my homemade fermented pickles recipe!
seeking health does not contain gluten:)
Peg in Kensington, California says
I read the New York Times article. While I was disappointed that the article did not name names, I think that had to do with the original study. I could not find links to the study. All of you who state that their probiotic is gluten-fepree, I would like to know how you are sure. Many of the so-called gluten-free probiotics were not. I am really cutting back on supplements.
Elana Daley says
I work for a health and wellness company that produces a certified GF probiotic. I have been using it since March and have had superb results. Keep in mind that your digestion changes so it’s always good to stop and start a new on any probiotic. Additionally my herb doctor warned me to steer clear of fermented foods as they can produce similar results in the digestive system and cause gas, bloating, and leaky gut. I’ve cleaned up my eating tremendously and have lost inches over weight and dropped 2 sizes in my clothes.
Just made brown rice pancakes this morning. YUM. GF, DF, SF, Non GMO.
Thank you to Elana as we share our name and many experiences and conditions. You have been an inspiration and help to guide me to healthier living.
Hi Elana Daley, would you be willing to share the name of the probiotic that you use? Any info. Would be apreciated :)
Uugh, sorry for the typo – any info would be appreciated
doTERRA makes a fabulous probiotic as well as supplement line that is completely free of gluten
Now this is s serious conundrum for me… I have serious gluten intolerance. I take probiotics to heal my gut and reflux which has caused Barrets Disease. Now I’m afraid to take them. I’d been wondering why my stomach was always “distended” and not quite right. Wow! I am shocked by learning this (yet sadly somehow I’m not). I cannot eat fermented foods. They are high histamine foods and they trigger my rosacea to flare. Are probiotics altogether out of the question for me? Is there a third probiotic option besides the pill form or eating fermented food?
…or perhaps there is a pill-form probiotic supplement that truly, absolutely, positively contains no gluten?
Thank you so much for reading this article. Perhaps it sounds like an overreaction but I cried after reading it. I try so hard to stay positive and not comment on how Celiac Disease affects me physically, emotionally, financially, socially, and the amount of time and thought it takes for me to simply survive. But this article really gets me down. However I am glad to know that my probiotics were not giving just a side affect of the digestive distress and they are actually “glutenizing” me! UGHHH!!!!!!
In the comments below the article is a phone number and email address listed to contact the National Science Foundation about their accurate list of gluten-free certified probiotics.
Pamela R says
Here in Wisconsin, our local probiotic Florajen has on the label that it does not contain gluten, among many other allergens. As a gluten free family for one kiddo that has celiac, this probiotic has worked really well for us.
Thank you for the information, Elana. I consume organic sauerkraut, plain yogurt, kefir, and kimchi for my probiotics (they taste so good). And thanks for the link to your homemade fermented pickle recipe – I only just recently learned that unpasteurized pickles contain probiotics! Yum.
Hi everyone, this is certainly of interest to lots of people. I use Ultimate Flora By RENEW LIFE and supposed to be gluten free. I hope it is true. Thank you for all your posts
This is a scary thing, good grief. I had to check the ones I have been taking and haven’t had a bit of trouble with….
They are the Shaklee brand, Optiflora Prebiotic and Probiotic Complex. They come in a 30 caps size for convenience.
They state they are gluten free. Shaklee is very big into quality control and they test, test test. I trust this company.
Jarrodophilus from Jarrow formula is labelled gluten free and allergen free. So far it has been ok for me.