*Results may vary. The information in this site is NOT to be construed as medical advice. Cirrhosis of the liver is a serious condition and if you have it, you should see a doctor. I am not a doctor and am not able to dispense medical advice. My husband saw a doctor (many of them) and they were able to do things for him that I could not. However, they were unable to recommend alternative treatments, and in MY OPINION they were VERY beneficial to my husband, so I am providing some of that information here. My husband and I tried all of these alternative therapies at our own risk, and if you try them you will be doing the same. At your own risk. No promises are made in this blog. I am not saying there is a cure for cirrhosis or any other condition. However, I believe most people can get well, like my husband did. My husband is alive, happy, productive, functional and has his energy back. He no longer worries about having to go on disability or getting a $577,000 liver transplant. Cirrhosis is a serious condition. He is currently in the fibrosis stage (Stage 2 liver disease), which is still serious. I cannot guarantee you will have the same results. I just want you to know about what worked well for my husband. I hope you will share what you learned with others, and share your story with us as well. This blog was made for YOU! Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hepatic Encaphalopathy risk is cut in HALF for probiotic users!

UPDATE 5-15-15  I just learned that the water Jake hast started drinking is shown to greatly reduce ammonia levels, which is the primary reason people develop hepatic encephalopathy. To learn more about this water, CLICK HERE.


UPDATE 8/17/15:

My neighbor who taught me the value of probiotics, tried mine (pictured below... the Nature's Bounty brand) and she told me she actually didn't get the same results she was used to getting, with the brand she normally takes. She said her brand is somehow stronger (something about the way they grow it).  I asked her for the name of the brand so I could share it with you guys, and this is the type she got. I have not tried it but she said it's really good. If someone is at risk for encephalopathy I think the should get the strongest stuff possible, and I believe this is it:

Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics Original Formula 60 capsules 
Essential Formulas

Probiotics are shown to be very helpful for all kinds of things, including hepatic encephalopathy. Unfortunately most people don't know about them, or understand how effective they are for different conditions.

If you have cirrhosis, please try probiotics.  This is the one Jake is taking now:
Nature's Bounty Ultra Probiotic.  He said that more than any other pill he is taking, this is the one that he notices the most positive change with. He said it helps his stomach a lot, and it greatly reduces his stomach pain.

2019 Update: Please note, I am embarrassed to admit this but I JUST NOW realized that these pills contain 20 Billion CFU, IF you take TWO OF THEM. So, that means each pill is just 10 Billion CFUs. I had no idea till now. Somehow, I missed that part on the back of the box. So, just to tell you, the amount my husband took was typically just 1-2 pills a day, but given how low it is, and given that I've seen good reviews for amounts up to 50 billion, and that in the study about cutting encephalopathy in half, they were giving more like 110 billion CFUs, I would think a person might be able to take a little more.  But you would have to do your own experimenting. Please look at the article / study for yourself!

I noticed it's actually cheaper right now, to get the one with 60 capsules on Amazon ($11.10 via prime), than to get the one with 120 Capsules (which is $25.44 via Prime right now). More isn't always necessarily more expensive.

If you have a costco membership, it comes on sale about every 4 months. We get it there when it's on sale (if it's not on sale, it's cheaper through Amazon).

This is a link for the article that is pasted below. Thank you Daniel Keller for writing it!


If you REALLY want a lot of different strains of probiotics, you can try Dr. Mercola's brand, he has a LOT of varieties in his capsules.  You can see more about his probiotics on THIS PAGE. I am probably going to buy at least 1 bottle of this brand, and use his capsules as a "starter" when I make my own cultured probiotics.

30 Day Supply:
Dr. Mercola Complete Probiotics 70 Billion CFU - 30 Capsules

90 Day supply:
 Dr. Mercola Complete Probiotics - 90 Day Supply - Probiotic Supplement - 70 Billion CFU - Acid & Bile Resistant - Promotes Digestive Health and Supports Immune System

Probiotics Cut Risk for Hepatic Encephalopathy in Half

Daniel M. Keller, PhD
May 01, 2013
AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands — Probiotics were effective in helping to prevent a first episode of overt hepatic encephalopathy in patients with cirrhosis, compared with patients not receiving probiotics, according to a new study.
"The patients in the control group had 2 times the chance of developing overt hepatic encephalopathy in the follow-up period," lead author Manish Lunia, MD, from the G.B. Pant Hospital in New Delhi, India, told delegates here at the International Liver Congress 2013.
It is estimated that hepatic encephalopathy occurs in 30% to 45% of patients with cirrhosis, and the mortality rate is 20% to 30%. Because bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine leads to endotoxemia, the researchers reasoned that probiotics could prevent the condition.
For their open-label, prospective, randomized trial, they enrolled patients 18 to 80 years of age with cirrhosis and no history of overt hepatic encephalopathy. A battery of psychometric tests, the critical flicker frequency test, and the psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score were used to diagnose encephalopathy. Glucose hydrogen breath tests were used to identify small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and lactulose hydrogen breath tests were used to identify orocecal transit time.
Study participants were randomly assigned to the probiotic group (n = 86) or the control group (n = 74). The researchers used the commercially available VSL#3, which is a mixture of nonurease-producing organisms: Streptococcus thermophilus and various species of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus(110 billion colony-forming units, 3 times daily). (note from Ellie - I do think this sounds like a lot... please read this whole study to decide for yourself what you want to do, there were some mixed results, but my husgand had NO adverse effects from taking 20 billion CFU per day, and it made his stomach feel better... I DO think it's possible a person could have a greater benefit for reducing their risk for encephalopathy, by taking a higher dose, but don't have experience with it myself).
There were no significant differences between the probiotic and control groups in terms of baseline age (about 44 to 47 years), sex, cause of cirrhosis, proportion of Child–Turcotte–Pugh classes, and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score. The groups also did not differ in various baseline laboratory parameters, such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (38.4% vs 35.1%) and the proportion of patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy, defined as a psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score of 5 or lower (48.8% and 44.6%).
Patients were followed monthly for signs of overt hepatic encephalopathy or death (mean follow-up time, 38 to 40 weeks). Every 3 months, they underwent psychometric, arterial ammonia level, critical flicker frequency, glucose hydrogen, and lactulose hydrogen breath tests. Six probiotic patients and 5 control subjects were lost to follow-up.
More patients in the probiotic group than in the control group developed overt hepatic encephalopathy (8.8% vs 20.3%). Kaplan–Meier analysis revealed a hazard ratio for developing overt hepatic encephalopathy of 2.1 (95% confidence interval, 1.31 - 6.53; P < .05). There were fewer deaths in the probiotic group than in the control group (7.5% vs 11.5%).
A significantly greater proportion of patients with Child class B and C cirrhosis than with class A cirrhosis developed overt hepatic encephalopathy, but patients with Child class A and Child class B did not differ from each other (= .36).
Table. Child Class Effect on Development of Hepatic Encephalopathy
Child Class of CirrhosisProportion, %P value (vs class A)

In the probiotic group, there were significant improvements from baseline to 3 months in arterial ammonia (= .04), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (= .006), orocecal transit time (= .05), psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score (= .01), critical flicker frequency test (P = .02), and minimal hepatic encephalopathy (P = .001). In the control group, there were no significant differences from baseline in any of these parameters.
Factors significantly associated with the development of overt hepatic encephalopathy were minimal hepatic encephalopathy (adjust odds ratio [aOR], 3.1), Child–Turcotte–Pugh score (aOR, 1.6), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (aOR, 2.1), and critical flicker frequency (aOR, 1.44).
Dr. Lunia reported that 5 patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy or 31 patients without minimal hepatic encephalopathy would need to be treated to prevent 1 case of overt hepatic encephalopathy.
This study involved patients with a low level of hepatic encephalopathy at worst, and was therefore for prevention, not treatment, session moderator Isabelle Colle, MD, from Gent University in Belgium, who was not involved with the study, told Medscape Medical News. She explained that the use of probiotics is "certainly not" standard for such patients at this point.
She also questioned whether the use of probiotics in these patients is completely benign. "The gut permeability...is increased, so you can imagine that these bacteria can go through the intestine and cause bacterial translocation.... Do you see infections with this treatment?" she asked. It was a short study, and Dr. Lunia did not present any data on infections, Dr. Colle pointed out.
Dr. Lunia and Dr. Colle have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
International Liver Congress 2013: 48th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). Abstract 78. Presented April 26, 2013.

The effects of probiotic supplementation on lean body mass, strength, and power, and health indicators in resistance trained males: a pilot study


While growing evidence suggests beneficial effects of probiotics on the gut-brain-axis, only a limited number of studies have investigated the impact of gut microbiota modulation on muscle physiology (gut-muscle-axis). The probiotic BC30 (Ganeden Biotech Inc., Maryfield Heights, OH) has been shown to increase protein absorption and the anabolic potential of a respective protein source has been directly linked to peak plasma leucine levels. Post-workout administration of slow digesting proteins such as casein show inferior results on muscle protein synthesis in comparison to fast absorbed proteins such as whey. Thus, the purpose of this investigation was to determine if the co-administration of a probiotic with a slow digested protein has a beneficial effect on body composition, performance, and measures of perceived health.


10 healthy resistance-trained individuals volunteered to participate in this study (mean+/-SD; age: 22.0 ± 2.4 yr; height: 181.8 ± 4.1 cm; weight: 85.6 ± 12.9 kg). Subjects were randomly assigned to consume either 20g of casein (Control = CON) or 20g of casein plus probiotic (500M BC30, =BC30) twice daily. Subjects were instructed to consume one serving in the morning upon waking while the second serving was consumed after training or before bed on non-training days. With assistance from a dietician, macronutrients were controlled to 50% carbohydrate, 25% protein, and 25% fat between groups using the Mifflin-St Jeor formula. Subjects performed full body workouts 4-times per week for 8 weeks consisting of hypertrophy (8-12 RM loads and 60 seconds rest), and strength (1-5 RM loads with 3-5 minutes rest) under supervision of the researchers in order to ensure compliance. Body composition (Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry; DXA), quadriceps thickness (ultrasound), peak power (Monark Wingate Cycle), vertical jump power (Tendo unit), 1-RM bench press, and 1-RM leg press were measured at baseline and after the eighth week of supplementation. Perceived GI health (GSRS) was measured weekly and upper respiratory health (WURSS-21) daily. Consent to publish the results was obtained from all participants.


BC30 showed a trend (p=0.10) to increase vertical jump power (BC30: pre 2,136 W, post 2,262 W; CON pre 1,712 W, post 1,691 W) and might have a beneficial effect on peak power and fat mass. There were no significant differences between groups for body composition, or other performance measures. Due to an overall very low number of incidences in digestive and immune health in both groups no meaningful analysis could be done.


This pilot study indicated that probiotic supplementation in form of BC30 in combination with a slow digesting protein might increase athletic performance. However, further research with a larger n-size is needed to confirm these findings.


to learn about:

Please note: I am not a doctor and I am only able to tell you what I have learned by doing my own research on the internet, and share with you the things that have worked for my husband. Please remember that Liver Cirrhosis is a very serious disease so I am not saying, do not see a doctor. Doctors have helped my 
husband a lot. But I believe it is wise to do as much research as you can, and find out why 
they are giving you every one of the medications and treatments they are giving you. 
I believe they do not always know about or understand every treatment option that is available, 
and there are many good options out there that can help.
Your health is ultimately your own responsibility, above anyone else's.

Best of luck to you!!!
If you have something to share, please feel free to leave a comment on this blog.

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