Specific Carbohydrate Diet and Probiotics

The Book

If you are following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or SCD as it is also commonly known, as a diet for Crohn's Disease, bacterial or fungal gut dysbiosis, food intolerance symptoms, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, celiac disease, chronic diarrhea and/or constipation, or cystic fibrosis, you may well want to supplement the diet with additional probiotics.

Of course the diet already includes a natural food source of probiotics in its use of homemade yogurt. You can also add in more probiotics to the SCD in the form of additional probiotic foods (made using SCD yogurt) or probiotic supplements. Take care though to choose only those products which adhere to the rules of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

Which Probiotics Are Safe to Consume on The SCD?

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet allows the following strains of probiotic bacteria:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus in its homemade yogurt.

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus in probiotic supplements.

If you are following this diet therefore, the only yogurt you should eat is homemade yogurt, which you make using the SCD recommended starter and which you ferment for at least twenty-four hours. If you wish to increase your intake of probiotics foods, you can add in fermented vegetables made using the yogurt.

As far as probiotic supplements are concerned, you should consume only those that contain Lactobacillus acidophilus. However you must take special care when selecting a probiotic supplement to choose one that is compliant with the rules of the diet. This means that it should not contain any ingredients, which are prohibited on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The following probiotic supplements are SCD legal:

Product ManufacturerCFUs1 per Serving (Billions) Form
Acidophilus and YogurtLyosan3Capsules
Lactobacillus AcidophilusKirkman Laboratories row 33 Capsules
Lactobacillus Acidophilus SCD CompliantKlaire Labs3Powder
SCDophilus 3+Pro GI Health3Capsules
SCDophilus 10+Pro GI Health10Capsules

Be sure to compare the prices of these products to ensure you get the best value for money. Use our cost comparison tool to help you!

There are also many other supplements which contain only Lactobacillus acidophilus. However, these do not comply with the rules of the SCD diet. They should therefore be AVOIDED! Also please be aware that in the USA, there is a range of probiotics manufactured by Sustainable Community Development or SCD. Please do not assume these are legal. They are not! Nor are they connected in any way to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

Beginning Probiotics on The Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Probiotics should only be introduced into the SCD following completion of the starter diet period. It makes sense to begin with the homemade yogurt and then to add in the probiotic supplements if you like.

Whatever your choice regarding SCD probiotics – be it SCD yogurt only or SCD yogurt and SCD compliant probiotic supplements - you should start with small amounts only and ramp up slowly.

For the homemade probiotic yogurt, this means initially trying a teaspoonful and for the supplements, a fraction (e.g. a half) of the manufacturer’s suggested dosage. If the amount proves too much and provokes symptoms, allow your system to recover. Then try again but reduce your intake. If this reduced dose is still too much, then again allow yourself to recover and halve your intake again, taking the probiotic perhaps every second day as opposed to every day. If after taking these measures you still find that ingesting probiotics flares your symptoms, take a rest from the probiotics but continue on the diet. Try again in month or so.

Good luck!


1. The abbreviation CFUs stands for colony-forming units and refers to the number of live bacteria in the probiotic product.

Return from Specific Carbohydrate Diet Probiotics to Probiotic Supplements

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