Ask A Doctor

Ask a Doctor: Which Probiotic is Right for You?

BY Dr. Ann Corson TIMEJune 22, 2014 PRINT

Q: These days the shelves are full of different probiotics. Do you have any guidelines for choosing among them? Do you recommend any brands in particular?

Dr. Ann Corson: Probiotic choices depend on the individual patient’s needs.

Diagnostic stool testing can reveal deficiencies in different classes of probiotic organisms. Diet plays a huge role in which probiotics may be needed as does prior medical history and medication usage, especially antibiotics.

The American diet is high in processed foods full of sugar, inflammatory fats, and GMOs. This often leads to yeast, fungal, and abnormal bacterial overgrowth. The widespread use of gastric acid inhibitors can result in bacterial overgrowth of the stomach. Low fiber diets can contribute to imbalances in normal colon bacteria.

If you are considering buying a probiotic, first examine your own diet. Eat fresh organic vegetables, fruit in season, and dairy. Eat only grass-fed meat, free-range poultry, or wild-caught fish. Drink pure water. Do not eat any processed foods, grain-fed factory-farmed animals, fish, or dairy.

Fresh fruit should be your main source of sugar. Use other sweeteners such as organic honey sparingly. Limit grains and use only organic non-GMO varieties. Eat naturally fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir. Eat lots of fiber.

If you still want a probiotic, buy one with a large variety of strains with high potency.

Dr. Ann Corson is a board certified family medicine and integrative holistic medicine doctor who specializes in treating chronically ill patients.

Email your questions to

Epoch Health articles are for informational purposes and are not a substitute for individualized medical advice. Please consult a trusted professional for personal medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. Have a question? Email us at

Dr. Corson obtained her MD degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA in 1982 and is board certified in Family Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine. Her solo practice in Philadelphia, PA is devoted full time to the treatment of patients suffering from all forms of chronic disease. In 2008, Dr. Corson joined Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) to help raise awareness of China’s live forced organ harvesting of innocent prisoners of conscience, primarily Falun Gong practitioners. Since 2016, she has been editor-in-chief of DAFOH’s newsletter.
You May Also Like