My experience of probiotics has only been good. Last year I was diagnosed with a nasty little condition called SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) which had been exacerbated by, mostly stress, but had most definitely manifested itself in symptoms such as brain fog, extreme tiredness, terrible skin, thinning hair. I mean, really, it was absolutely ghastly. As part of my healing process, I had to take some big guns probiotics. My nutritionist recommended Ultimate Flora Critical Care which were amazing, but super expensive. To cut a long story short, my symptoms disappeared after three months of having to cut out various food groups, and now I am pretty much back to normal. But, whilst going through this process, it occurred to me that I never wanted to feel as horrific as I felt a year ago, ever again, which led me to investigating regular probiotics for myself and my children.
I regularly give my children vitamin and omega 3 supplements, but haven't been as hot on the probiotics. But, arguably, the probiotics may be the most important supplement of all. Last term my children were all in classes at school where children vomited very close to where they were sitting. Paranoid mother kicks in again and I visited a shop called Peak Health which I am so lucky to have near me. I was recommended a product called Kidz Biotix which included a strain of probiotic which is especially good in preventing nasty sick bugs. I religiously gave these to my children during the sick bug period and my children escaped it! The logical part of my mind says, would they have escaped it anyway and could I have saved myself the money? But my heart is convinced that these little sweet/sour pills enabled my children's little guts to fight off the sick bug and other nasties, and they have become stronger as a result.
So, I conclude, in light of my experience, probiotics above all other supplements, are essential and absolutely not a waste of money. For me, my priority is always peace of mind regarding my children's health and whilst we cannot prevent them from ever getting ill, I'm absolutely going to give it a good old go!
One last comment - when I experienced the brain fog last year, I went to see my GP and he prescribed anti-depressants. I knew I wasn't depressed and I was alarmed at how easily I was given a set of pills that I simply didn't need. Please, if you or someone you know has complained of tiredness, brain fog, lacklustre hair etc etc, just encourage them to perhaps visit a nutritionist, or at the very least, buy some good quality probiotics.