Because of the recent information explosion on the importance of gut health and good bacteria, probiotics have become a massive field in the world of supplement production. Many of them though, are barely worth the packaging costs.
When you are looking for a probiotic it is likely because you are wanting to make long-term changes to your microbiome so you can experience the benefits of a healthy gut. Such as, good digestion, proper elimination, weight loss, lower stress and anxiety levels, and any other benefits we know one can reap from a healthy internal environment.
The problem with probiotics is limited research involved in the creation and production of them. There is also a lot of confusing information. One of the poorly orchestrated ideas, like with many supplements, is that any probiotic “will do.” This is unproductive thinking, because many probiotics don’t “do” much of anything. One reason for this is the fact that the majority of probiotics available on the market are capsules full of dead bacteria. Dead bacteria cannot perform all their metabolic processes in your gut that will result in the changes you are desiring. Most companies that produce probiotic supplements are not performing post-production tests to evaluate whether or not the bacteria are still alive by the time they are put in the bottle, much less by the time they reach your gut. You can have a trillion CFUs (colony forming units) listed on the bottled, but if the majority of those bacteria are not living, the amount listed on the bottle is not impressive. They will not create lasting change.
Another prevailing idea is that if probiotics are refrigerated, it is because they are alive and the refrigeration will preserve them. Sometimes this can be true, but it is important to verify this by locating their post-production testing. Otherwise, you are still only refrigerating bacteria corpses.
Still, there are those who purchase cheap probiotics (or sometimes expensive ones) that say they experience benefits, even if there is no testing showing they are living organisms. This is likely because even when dead bacteria are ingested their cellular material can create small changes in our gut. These changes however, are short lived and not near as expansive as they could be if the bacteria were living and therefore able to perform all their metabolic functions or reproduction. Did you know bacteria play a roll in the creation of some hormones? While bacteria cells may increase bowl movements to a degree, without properly going through their life cycle within your gut (as they should) they will not get the opportunity to complete the functions necessary for hormone genesis or make other lasting changes.
If you remember from high-school biology class, bacteria or other living species are much more resilient if they are in spore form, compared to a non-spore form. The spores make the bacteria able to handle harsher environments, such as low pH, extreme temperatures, and in our case the stresses of supplement production, dry storage, etc. Because spore formed bacteria are so much stronger than their non-spore companions, they have a greater chance of changing the terrain of your microbiome by replacing less effective or harmful strains of bacteria that are currently residing in your gut. The idea of a probiotic is that lasting changes will be made to the gut. This means that bacteria are not just put into the gut, but they are reproducing and performing all of their metabolic processes that are necessary for a healthy microbiome that effects your hormonal health, immune health, and even brain health.
Microbiome Labs is one of the only companies that not only produces a spore-based probiotic, but also does post-production testing to guarantee that the bacteria you are purchasing are alive even after all the stresses of packaging. This means when you take your daily probiotic you are changing what is happening inside of your gut and how it functions by supplying living and resilient organisms, instead of just a memory of those.
Check out Microbiome Labs Megaspore Biotic by registering here with my Physician code.
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