Friday, 8 July 2011

Yakult and Kimchi Experiment

After the discovery that the Ginseng shop is actually a kimchi emporium I decided to embark on an experiment. Drinking Yakult every morning and eating kimchi with every meal.

All of July 2011

Why Yakult every morning?
I've looked at and sampled all the other alternatives to get lactobaccilus into my body and yakult looks like the best.
Meiji LG21 comes in a delicious Aloe flavour but LG21 is for fighting stomach ulcers and gut cancer. I am looking to strengthen my gut and have no symptoms of ulcers or cancer. Don't think I need Lactobacillus Gasseri OLL 2716.

Bulgarian yoghurt and its double whammy of Lactobacillus Bulgari 2038 and Streptococcus
Thermophilus sounds like it fits the bill, but the way it is sold in sugary yoghurts or with a little packet of sweet-and-lo stuck to the top, it's sending out the wrong message and I don't trust it.

Caspian Sea Bacteria Yoghurt is the gloopy one, contains Streptococcus cremoris and Gluconobacter, but is it getting through my stomach acid to the gut?

Kagome "Rabure" no idea what's in this which is why it didn't make the cut.

Takahashi Dairy Keffir Yoghurt contains all sorts of stuff. When I found it I went out and knecked a 400g tub and straight away had to rush to the bog. Saving this one for another experiment involving a kefir starter kit.

Morinaga "Bihidasu" is too sweet. The recipe must be related to Activa and Danone. Although the blurb sounds good: "It helps in the production and absorption of B complex vitamins, blocks the growth of harmful bacteria by lowering pH in the intestine through production of acetic and lactic acids and boosts the immune system".
It also is from the Bifidobacterium family of gut bacteria and lives in the large intestine. A place where the Yakult and kimchi Lactobacillus strain does not live.
Acidophilus yogurt-R1 1073 contains Lactobacillus bulgaricus 1073R which is supposed to protect you from influenza. Well I haven't had a cold for 3 years so I'll pass on that.

Koiwa Farm "100% raw yoghurt" or "Jersey Yoghurt" is just yoghurt, come on, is that going to beat Yakult? A product specifically designed to beat stomach acid and get into the gut?

Contains less sugar than yoghurt.
Is the biggest selling probiotic drink in Japan and in the world
Has more bacteria in it:

"Probiotic products are required to contain at least 1 million beneficial bacteria per gram. Few yoghurts contain  this  much  bacteria  but  Yakult contains  100 times  more  than  the  minimum  amount.  That’s an impressive 6.5  billion, live  beneficial  bacteria in one tiny bottle" - still, it doesn't matter how many live bacteria are in the bottle if they all die in the gut right?
Contains Lactobacillus casei Shirota which is exclusive to yakult.
Survives through the stomach into the gut:

Here's more from the same yakult FAQ page.

So that's why Yakult is chosen to try first.

Why Kimchi with every meal?
Other probiotic foods that I can get my hands on either come in jars or are not Paleo.
Sauerkraut comes in jars, I tried making it myself and failed.
Natto is a legume, shame cos I love it.
Kefir is not in my possession right now, and the supermarket kefir infused yoghurt is not Paleo.
The ginseng man on my street sells over fermented kimchi, brimming with life, 100 times stronger than the supermarket.
Contains Lactobacillus kimchii which is good for you and that.
"Lactobacillus family exist happily in the small intestine, whilst some such as the Bifidobacterium family prefer the large intestine. Others can be found in the mouth and other areas."

How did it go?
Straight away I noticed more farts. A neolithic diet means lots of smelly farts. When I changed to a Paleo diet last year one of the first things I noticed was the farting had gone. No more "easing one out" at my desk and hoping it's an SBD that people will politely ignore. No more filling lifts with gas, gambling on nobody getting in and knowing for sure that I was the one who "cut the cheese". One of the godsends of the Paleo diet: no more farting. Leave ginseng man kimchi in the fridge in a tupperware box overnight, and in the morning the Lactobacillus kimchii has fermented more increasing the amount of gas in the container causing it to bulge. Same thing happens in my body. Kimchi for breakfast, lunch and dinner puts kimchi all through my intestines filling it with great Lactobacillus kimchii. This is alive and releases gases as part of it's lifecycle causing the need to "pump". It's not like a Neolithic pump though, oh no. For starters they are few and far between; a good string of pumps in the morning and you're mostly good for the rest of the day. And Lactobacillus kimchii is so clean and good they don't stink. The change from no pumps to some pumps is also good feedback, it let's me know that something is going on in there.

The odd spicy brown trout gets chucked downstream every now and again because kimchi is spicy.
I noticed that poo went up a grade. Poo is made up of bacteria, and when you have more in your system you can make up a better poo. Strict low fiber Paleo makes smaller dense ones at about type 1 or 2 on the bristol stool scale. This can lead a Paleo dieter to resort to more fiber intake and become an addict to fiber. One thing I have noticed from drinking yakult every morning and eating kimchi with meals is a transition towards the middle of the bristol stool scale without having to resort to the evil menace that is fiber.

Appreciation for a New Food Group
I was never bothered about these fermented foods before, and there are so many here in Japan. It's great to try different kimchi, kateki, and other fermented foods.

Conclusion after 10 days
Better poo.
Didn't really notice an increase in energy, or any other good effects. I was expecting a bit more to be honest, but I won't give up on probiotics! I have plenty more experiments lined up in this department.

Both Yakult and Kimchi contain a strain of Lactobacillus that only lives in the small instestine.
Some farting.


stephen said...

just randomly stumbled across your blog googling for "lactobacillus kimchii" and just had to say I was amused by the detailed results from your awesome experiment

kie said...

Thanks Stephen! I'm still eating a little bit of kimchi with every meal even now. The experiment convinced me it's good for your gut flora. I try to stay away from beans, with the exception of natto, which is another good source of gut bacteria. That reminds me, I need to go and buy some kefir.

Jen said...

Found you searching for yakult and paleo. Great post I will be reading more :)

kie said...

Thanks Jen!