Before we dive in, let’s talk about what a probiotic is.
At basic, a probiotic is a beneficial living organism in the body. The word probiotic translates to for life. There are two main types of bacteria that make up the human body, the pathogen bacteria and beneficial bacteria.
If you look at things very simply you’ll see it only makes sense that we want more healthy bacteria than we do harmful. It is pathogenic (disease producing) that causes physically eats away at our body once we are 6 feet under. They are the decomposers, they are necessary for life. However, too much of them and we experience degenerative disease, early aging and death.
With over 80% of American’s suffering from digestive problems and plenty of people experiencing a host of disease, you would think that probiotics would be a savior. However, I’m going to hit you with some facts about probiotic supplements. I will also tell you why I stopped taking probiotics in supplement form and do not recommend them to friends, family or clients. I’ll also tell what I recommend instead.
Why Probiotic Supplements Don’t Work
- Probiotic Supplements Are Proprietary Strains. The first reason is that probiotic supplements are proprietary strains. Which essentially means they are formulated in laboratories by companies so they can be patented and then sold for profit. In other words, a bunch of scientists, hired by sales people attempt to patent and sell mother nature’s living organisms. This isn’t necessarily the case for every probiotic supplement company. On one hand, they think they are helping. on the other hand, they lack the information I am about to share with you. I will also say that there are a few companies put out quality probiotic supplements, which fit criteria of an effective probiotic. However, they still do not compare to what Nature intended.If you are to take a probiotic supplement for connivence purposes, it must fit the following criteria…1. It’s native to the human gut.
2. It bypasses digestion and thrives in the human gut.
3. It’s still living.I recommend trying Prescript Assist, Custom Probiotics or even better would be just to purchase a probiotic liquid.
What about scientific studies?
Most of all the studies we see done are observational studies. Which means they cannot determine the true cause, only the effect of something. Which is important because the cause of digestion problems is not a bacterial balance, there is indeed causes of bacterial imbalances. Such as, stress, weakened immunity, poor diet, poor sleep, toxic chemicals, chlorinated water and an overall unhealthy lifestyle. Additionally, most of the studies done on probiotic therapy only show the effects of probiotic supplements — with few studies having ever been done with fermented foods (probiotic foods). Why? Because you can’t patent fermented foods or any food for that matter.
- They are not genetically stable. “We know more about the stars in the sky than about the soil under our feet” says microbiologist Elaine Ingham. The funniest part about this is we are more bacteria than we are human. Are bodies are 10:1 bacteria cells to human cells! So it’s no wonder we don’t know ourselves. Bacteria is essential for the evolution of life and are more influential to our lives and all life on this planet than we realize. We are one with bacteria, we are evolving together and our bodies could not exist without them. This planet couldn’t!On a primordial level, our genetics are greatly influenced by the bacteria in and on our bodies. The study of Epigenetics shows that genetic expressions can be turned on and off via lifestyle — most of our genetics are influenced by our bacterial biome. As I said, the human biome is a hundred times larger than our human genome.This is why bacteria can adapt quickly and become resistant to things like antibiotics, which sets the stage for new diseases.Some microbiologists believe bacteria are not distinct species but exist as a continuum across the planet, exchanging and utilizing genes which makes them highly adaptable to many vastly different living conditions.Therefore, consuming only a specific strain of bacteria doesn’t do much good in the grand scheme of things.
- They do not bypass and thrive in the human digestive system. Due to reasons number 1 and 2 most probiotic supplements are weak strains that do not resemble the human biome. Probiotics are living organisms, how would you feel if you were stuffed into a capsule with no air, or light and minimal to no food – were shipped across the world and then sat on a shelf for months?While some supplements are formulated to handle these conditions better and prove to stay resilient, in contrast to living probiotic foods, they don’t hold a candle. Probiotics co-exist and need a diverse group of bacteria to survive. Patented stains of probiotics are going to survive and thrive as well as two individuals trapped on an island compared to a wonderful co-exiting community. They’re weak and this causes them to not bypass the harsh environments of the stomach and digestive acids. If they do, let’s say due to enteric coating or something, they will rarely thrive in the human gut because again they lack diversity and the ability to co-exist with the human biome.The human biome contains trillions of different strains of bacteria and even more individual bacterium. This is why it’s more important to feed the good gut bacteria in our own bodies than it easy to consume probiotics. If we eat the right foods, such as raw vegetables, the healthy bacteria in our bodies will thrive because their food is fiber and cellulose! No probiotic supplement will come close to this diversity. The closet thing would be cultured foods, which contain sometimes 60-100 different strains of bacteria and trillions of cells of bacteria.
Learn to Make Fermented Vegetables at Home
The bottom line, probiotic supplements lack bacterial diversity, weak – sometimes dead – and do not address the root cause of digestive problems. One serving of fermented vegetables has 100 times more beneficial bacteria than an entire bottle of a high potency probiotic product. Not only that, but they are rich in polyphenols, which are food for your gut bacteria. Which is far more important than supplementing with probiotics.
You also get the benefit of eating actual food, which brings a whole new element of health into the picture. You won’t ever find health in a pill because health is connection. You can stress out, disconnect and intoxicate yourself with working all you want on a pill but sitting down to a nice meal means being with yourself, addressing the root cause of digestive problems.
And let’s not forget that fermented foods are a traditional food that are apart of every other culture aside from the American diet. They have been around as long as humans have been on earth. Even animals in the wild will let fruit ferment on the ground before consuming it because they know of their benefits! It is only recently with the invention of refrigeration and the birth of the industrial food industry that many societies stopped using traditionally fermented foods.
While you certainly can find good sources of fermented foods in your local health food store, it’s a lot more rewarding (and cost efficient) to make them at home.
All my clients learn about the health benefits of fermented foods. And my best-selling course is actually an online tutorial where I teach course members how to make one of the easiest and cost-effective probiotic beverages, water kefir.
If you want to learn you can check it out here.
You can also check out two of my other blogs:
Finally, if your digestive issues are still present, I must say that there’s a lot more to healing your gut to do than just consuming fermented foods. Therefore, I’ve created an online program called, Perfect Digestion, which is a comprehensive course with a step-by-step protocol that will help you get at the roots of your gut issues once and for all.