Sorry, I forgot to answer the other questions you had. The bottle states to take 1 pearl daily but, in my desperation along with some common sense, I was taking anywhere from 2 to 6 pearls in a day. I never exceeded two pearls on an empty stomach.
I don't work on the weekends so, I was able to eat three meals on Saturday & Sunday. I would take 2 pearls with breakfast, 2 pearls with lunch, and 2 with dinner. On the days that I was working and "fasting" I was taking 2 - 3 pearls with my late dinner.
I don't take them daily anymore. Now I just take them whenever I remember or see the bottle on my computer table. These probiotics are truly remarkable though, they do not need to be refrigerated. All you have to do is keep them in a cool dry place and that is all.
One pearl has 4 billion CFU (colony forming units) so, they were definitely working their magic.
I did try other probiotics but none of them had the timed release delivery system that my research led me to believe. I tried some probiotics from the Vitamin Shoppe and even one specifically designed for candida called "ProFase" but, it wasn't until I tried the pearls that I truly felt and saw a difference. I am glad I stayed the course because I was about to abandon my probiotic research when I saw that the first probiotics I was taking had no effect on my EC condition.
The only problem was the delivery system of the probiotics, that was all. These probiotic pearls even have a small dose of prebiotic that actually feeds the good bacteria in your intestines and totally bypasses the bad bacteria. I am still in awe of how that is actually so but, the world of bacteria is crazy like that.