BCCT plans to write a summary on probiotics. While our summary is in development, you can visit About Herbs: Probiotics

Clinical Practice Guidelines

The Society for Integrative Oncology’s 2009 guidelines on botanicals cite research indicating that probiotics are useful in reducing enteritis related to radiation therapy and Fluorouracil (5-FU), as well as reducing diarrhea induced by 5-FU and Irinotecan.1


The About Herbs summary on Probiotics lists contraindications to taking probiotics as well as adverse events and herb-drug interactions.

Neil McKinney, ND, and Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, do not give probiotics if the absolute neutrophil count is 1.5 or less.23

BCCT advises consulting with your physician before taking probiotic supplements. It may also be a good idea to work with a healthcare provider experienced in using probiotics in people with cancer, as many different types of probiotics are available, and taking the appropriate probiotic for your particular situation is important.


BCCT does not recommend therapies or doses, but only provides information for patients and providers to consider as part of a complete treatment plan. Patients should discuss therapies with their physicians, as contraindications, interactions and side effects must be evaluated.

Dosage recommendations are available from these sources:

Integrative Programs, Protocols and Medical Systems

For more information about programs and protocols, see our Integrative Programs and Protocols page.
  • Programs and protocols
    • Alschuler & Gazella complementary approaches for prevention4
    • Alschuler & Gazella complementary approaches for after cancer treatment:5
      • Enhancing immune activity
      • Reducing inflammation and systemic inflammatory diseases
      • Reducing anxiety and depression
      • Improving insulin sensitivity
      • Improving digestion and detoxification
      • Reducing cancer risk
      • Reducing risk of dysbiosis from antibiotics
      • Colorectal cancer
    • Block program6
      • Core diet plan
      • Preventing/managing diarrhea from antibiotics
      • Radiation-induced enteritis
      • High-intensity nutritional support diet for cachexia (wasting)
    • Lemole, Mehta & McKee colorectal cancer protocol7
    • McKinney protocols8
      • Post-op diarrhea
      • With radiation therapy to protect gut and immune competence
      • Treatment-related diarrhea
      • With platin drugs (such as cisplatin) to prevent gut bacteria translocation to liver/blood
      • Protocol for better nutrition
      • Side effect alleviation protocol
      • Health restoration and creating healing conditions—detoxification
      • Cancer risk reduction plan
      • Reducing dysbiosis risk from antibiotics
      • Breast cancer
      • Colorectal cancer
  • Traditional systems

View All References

More Information

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