Probiotics for Dummies

Probiotics for Dummies
Probiotics For Dummies
by Shekhar Challa

This book is small, but packs in a lot of info. Much of it is presented in a straightforward manner, but there are small side boxes that expand upon the information in a more scientific manner, if that floats your boat. It starts off with discussions on bacteria and how there are good and bad types of bacteria in the world and how that bacteria behaves inside the human body.

Interesting note on this: there’s a paragraph in the book that talks about how an obstetrician in 1847 observed that women delivering their babies at the hospital were far more likely to die of “childbed fever” than those who delivered at home. The doctor noticed that babies were frequently delivered by people right after they had performed autopsies. So by requesting that the other doctors washed their hands in between the autopsy and delivery lowered the childbed fever death rate from 1 in5 to 1 in 50!

After that introduction, we are then taken through various conditions that can be improved or altered by the use of probiotics, starting with the most obvious: digestive health. (That’s how probiotics are marketed in this world, we all know that Jamie Lee Curtis stays regular by eating her special yogurt!) But then it moves into how they can help other ailments: allergies, urinary tract infections, women’s issues, children’s issues, skin care, oral hygiene, mood disorders

Probiotic Drinks
Probiotic Drinks (Photo credit: Jepster)

There’s a whole chapter on probiotic recipes… but I only glanced through them and the ones I did look at didn’t seem that appealing to me. I mean, I want to be healthy… but I don’t want to introduce mass levels of sauerkraut and kimchi to my life. I can do yogurt, but even with yogurt we’d have to eat a lot of it to get all the probiotics we need. (Jamie Lee, do you eat 3+ cups of that yogurt each day?!) I’m also completely down with using kombucha to get my probiotics in!

The last section of the book is 3 separate lists of 10s. Simple references about probiotics that cover topics like “The 10 myths of probiotics” and “10 famous bacteria”. (Nobody from The Jersey Shore made that list.)

The book is easy to read, whether you wanted to sit down and power through it (216 pages) or whether you wanted to just look up specific areas a little at a time.

*I kind of joke about Jamie Lee Curtis in here, but I think she’s pretty awesome.

Legalese: This book was provided to me for free to review, the opinions here are my own. I do not claim to be a dummy.


  1. Hi Jill,

    Thanks for reviewing the Probiotics For Dummies. I am looking to get to know more about them and was thinking of getting this publication. I found the other books from this series despite the title are pretty good. I am really interested in checking out the section with probiotics recipes. It might be fun trying to incorporate them into daily menu in a more sophisticated manner. Thanks to your informative review I decided to go for it. Thanks and keep your great work!

    • Oh cool, I’m glad it helped you. Dr. Challa definitely seems to know his stuff and I was surprised at the wide range of things probiotics can help. Of course, now I’ve learned that so many ailments seem to connect back to gut health it makes sense!

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