When you’re on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, or SCD, to control gastrointestinal issues, it’s important to consume probiotics so you can replace the unhealthy bacteria in your system with friendly ones. According to the Harvard Medical School’s Family Health Guide, “Clinical trial results are mixed, but several small studies suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease.” Digestion-aiding Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most recommended probiotic for SCD, and bifidus strains should be avoided.
Many SCD followers believe that homemade SCD yogurt is the best and most effective way to get your daily dose of probiotics. This is because Elaine Gotschall, M.D., the creator of the diet, studied probiotics for a year and concluded that, while “Lactobacillus acidophilus had been shown to be very helpful for many schizophrenics, bowel patients, etc. over a period of 100 years,” patients on the diet should keep ingestion of probiotic supplements to a minimum in favor of getting helpful bacteria from SCD yogurt. SCD yogurt can be made at home with a standard yogurt maker, but must be left to incubate for a full 24 hours to remove all lactose. Store-bought yogurt can’t replace it, because no commercial yogurt is actually fermented long enough; yogurt forms after about eight hours of incubation, so manufacturers have no incentive to increase their production time threefold.
If you don’t want to make your own yogurt, several brands of SCD supplements are available, including GI Pro Health’s SCDophilus. It’s available in 3+ billion or 10+ billion CFU (colony forming unit) capsules, and is designed specifically to be used in conjunction with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Dr. Gotschall recommended starting with 3 billion CFU per day, and working up to no more than 9 billion for kids, although adults can monitor their own reactions and try the 10 billion formulation if desired. SCDophilus has a plant-based cellulose base that doesn’t contain any components not allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and is free of the allergens casein, milk, gluten, wheat, corn, rice, soy, yeast, starch, disaccharide sugars, maltodextrin, polysaccharides, MSG, stearates, artificial coloring, artificial sweeteners and preservatives.
Kirkman Labs Lactobacillus Acidophilus
Kirkman’s hypoallergenic L. acidophilus is also formulated to be SCD-compliant, and doesn’t contain any gluten, wheat, soy, milk, casein, yeast, gelatin, flavorings, colorings or preservatives. It contains 3 billion CFUs of L. acidophilus per capsule, and nothing else. It’s designed to colonize the intestinal tract to support immunity, and control diarrhea or constipation.
Klaire Labs SCD-Compliant L. Acidophilus
Klaire’s SCD-compliant acidophilus uses the same strain of L. acidophilus as featured in their regular multispecies blends of probiotics, which are certified by the nonprofit biological resource center, ATCC. It’s in a purified plant cellulose base, and contains 3+ billion CFUs in each capsule.
Lyo-San Acidophilus and Yogurt Capsules
Lyo-San’s probiotic capsules, which contain a blend of acidophilus and yogurt, are available at the online SCD store, LucysKitchenShop.com. Each enteric-coated capsule contains 3 billion CFUs of acidophilus. Lucy Rosset, the owner of the site and author of “Lucy’s Specific Carbohydrate Diet Cookbook,” follows the SCD herself and only features products that were personally approved by Dr. Gottschall.