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Q&A with Dr. Shekhar Challa

Dr. Shekhar Challa
Topeka, KS 


Shekhar Challa, MD, has over 25 years of experience as a Board Certified Gastroenterologist, treating thousands of patients for their digestive concerns. He is passionate about delivering cutting edge solutions and educating patients and works to help everyone achieve the best quality of life. He is an award winning author of several books and his most recent one is Probiotics For Dummies by Wiley. 

What does a typical day look like for you? 

  • Wake up around 4:30 am 
  • Perform endoscopic procedures from 6:00-11:00 am
  • Interview with various media throughout the day
  • Office visits from 1:00-5:00 pm
  • Rounds at the hospital starting at 5:00 pm
  • All while being on-call at the two area hospitals

What are probiotics? 
Probiotics means “for life” and are “good” bacteria. Out of the hundred trillion bacteria in your gut, 90 trillion are the “good guys” which are your indigenous probiotics. The yogurt commercials have made probiotics a little more popular in the last few years. Probiotics can be taken as supplements, too.

How do they work?
Probiotics replenish the “good bacteria” in your gut.

What should you look for in a good probiotic?

  • Multiple strains are better than a single strain 
  • Prebiotics are fiber which act as food to the “good bacteria” while in the capsule and also when it reaches your colon.  
  • Acid protection technology – as probiotics are live bacteria, most of them are destroyed by the stomach acid and never make it to your gut. Hence, the new generation in probiotics include acid protection technology which prevents the stomach acid from destroying the bacteria.

Why Probulin?
Probulin is gastroenterologist formulated and fulfills all the criteria of a good probiotic mentioned under #5. 

Who should be taking probiotics? 
In Dr. Challa’s opinion, probiotics are the next vitamins and “everyone” should be taking them. At the very least, everyone with digestive problems should be on probiotics.

How long do you need to give probiotics a chance? 
At least two weeks

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