Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Jarro-Dophilus Allergy Free/Vegetarian/Vegan Probiotic and Inulin FOS (prebiotic)

Let me first say that I am a lot of things (all good of course :-), but I am NO doctor. I do not have any training in the medical field whatsoever. I am not making and recommendations to you whatsoever. I am simply sharing my experience and product use here on my blog, in the hopes that something along the way will help someone else along this most bumpy allergy free road. With that said, please consult your doctor before adopting any part of my regimen that involves medicines, or even foods that may be harmful to your child. While I cannot think of anything I do that is dangerous, we all know that each child is different and it is our responsibility as parents to take gentle care as we inject new things into their diets (and lives for that matter), especially for the child battling allergies. Whew! That was a mouthful!! So as you read, keep in mind that I'm about as much of a doctor as this guy:

Okay, so one of the things that stresses me most as a mom of a child with many allergies is making sure he gets as many vitamins and nutrients as he can from food sources. I would say 50% of this limitation is the food allergies and the other 50% is because he is now the picky toddler from Hades. Oooops, did I just say that? Bad mommy!

One of my other major concerns is the long term implications of the medications he has to take when his allergies erupt. His symptoms include eczema with itching, and severe itching with no eczema. He wakes approximately 5 nights a week in the wee hours of the morning with itching, relentlessly scratching his head, back, underarms, tummy, legs, feet, toes, you name it. In those moments as I fend off the meds for as long as I possibly can, I inevitably feel guilty that I have the only thing I’ve found to give him comfort, yet I’m withholding it from him. So I relent and dope him up, and in 1-2 hours we have peace again.

I’ve been to grad school and earned my Masters with a 4.0 GPA, which means I know what it means to work superhumanly hard for an education. But, the education that comes with this allergy situation trumps that experience on any given day. The stakes are much higher. Back then it was my overly obsessive compulsive need to prove to myself that I was as smart as I thought I was, whereas now it’s literally life or death. Not for me, but for my son – the most precious gift God has given me.

There’s so much learning and there’s such a big learning curve. There’s so much trial and error, with little room for a mistake. Don’t get me wrong, not all of Jace’s allergies would end in death, but I treat them as though they would because it is critical to understand how to manage allergies so that you don’t one day get a phone call you never imagined because you failed to educate those who care for your child, for your own lack of education. That would be such a shame.

Back to what I was saying, because I have gotten a bit off track. One of the things I liked about Jace’s first doctor (whom we absolutely LOVED) was that he conducted ongoing research in the area of allergies. He was an allergic child himself, suffering from severe eczema (and other symptoms). So he was qualified by way of experience, on top of his years of study and practice in the area of allergies. He always had an abundance of information to share with me and things for us to try.

Jace was born with an underdeverloped digestive system, and since birth we have had issues in that area. From infancy, his doctor encouraged me to give Jace probiotics (to put good bacteria back into the gut), accompanied with prebiotics (to multiply the bacteria in the gut). He talked of the importance of maintaining a healthy gut flora level. This was right up my alley because it was just what we needed.

The doctor was a fan of Jarrow products and recommended the Jarro-Dophilus Probiotic +FOS (the FOS is the prebiotic). HOWEVER, this probiotic contained dairy and soy (both of which Jace is allergic to). Being the determined woman I am I wasn’t going to stop there. I called the lovely professionals at Provitaminas and spoke to a representative at length who helped me piece together a solution that would meet the same needs.

We figured out that if I purchased the Jarro-DophilusAllergen Free/Vegetarian/Vegan Capsules  (that’s right ALLERGY FREE, BABY), along with the Inulin FOS powder (which is also allergy free), I would have essentially the same thing! PAY DIRT!! So I did just that, and each morning I would empty one probiotic capsule into a spoonful of Jace’s oatmeal and add 1/8 teaspoon of the Inulin FOS powder (prebiotic), mix it well and give him his gut flora goodness in one bite. Voila! A probiotic and prebiotic masterpiece.

That was in 2010. Over the last 3 years I have fallen in and out of phases with it, doing my worst when things were toughest with our allergy battle, but all in all I have stayed with it, and I am glad. Because I know medication is one of the things that hurts our gut lining, I have continued to try to take extra care of Jace’s tum tum. This can be done through food (which is preferred) and also the probiotoc/prebiotic supplements. There is a lot of debate about whether the probiotic in yogurt is active or whether it is enough to make a difference. I’m not so concerned about that since I don’t depend on yogurt for our probiotic at all.

Keep in mind that when we started out brands like Culturelle did not have an allergy free supplement. Many people also take Florastor, but that contains traces of soy so it is not an option for us. Since we want the pro and pre biotic combination, what continue to use what works for us - Jarrow brands.

This same recipe is great for adults. In fact, I take it myself every morning. I feel great knowing I am doing what I can to equip myself with a healthy gut. Knowing that most diseases originate in the colon, it is in our best interest to do this work. Having gotten a better handle on Jace's allergies, I have been able to become consistent with his daily dose, so we are well on our healthiest path.

Provitaminas has great pricing. I purchased my Inluin FOS from them here. I did not see the Allergen free capsules still on the site (as of 8.19.13) so they may not sell them any longer, but you can call to be sure before taking my word. Both products, however, are available on Amazon at these links – Inulin FOS and Jaro-Dophilus Allergen Free Probiotic. Please keep in mind that both of these need to be kept refrigerated.

What probiotic and/or prebiotic do you take? Do you like it? Please share your (or your munchkin's) healthy gut regimen.

Wishing you a healthy gut...


  1. Glad to see you found a pre and probiotic combo that works for your son. Unfortunately, for my wife, those products wouldn't work for her because she is allergic to inulin. Inulin is made from chicory root. Chicory is in the aster family of plants. My wife is allergic to most every plant in the aster family. It seems other people have trouble with inulin, too, because several probiotic makers have come out with inulin-free lines, including Kirkman Labs with their Pro-Bio Gold products and Organic 3 with their GutPro line of zero filler probiotics that contain nothing but bacteria in a capsule or powder form. So, the term "allergy-free" still must be taken with a grain of salt followed by a call to the company to ask for a complete list of ingredients, including individual ingredients that make up a filler or complex ingredient made from more than one thing. That said, congratulations again on finding products that work for your son. I wish only best of health to both you and him.

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