The Right Probiotic Will Make ALL the Difference

Re-balancing and replenishing your microbiome with probiotics gets everything back on track. The beneficial bacteria repair the barrier and increase nutrient breakdown and absorption, so you can get the most benefit from your food and supplements.

The trick is using the right probiotics to get that re balancing job done.  New research is now looking at evidence that points to spore-based/soil-based probiotics as being the ultimate powerhouse organisms to confer health benefits to humans. Remember we evolved in constant contact with the soil and the symbiotic communities of bacteria found in soil, which would catch a ride on the food (plants and/or animals) that we ate, and make their way safely into our intestines where they became our commensal “gut cleaners”.

What researchers discovered is that the body’s naturally harsh stomach acid, which is necessary for digesting all types of foods, kills off 99.99 % of the probiotic strains in the major sources of probiotics, long before those products could even get to the small intestine. (This is breakthrough information!)  Yogurts, Kefirs and the majority of probiotic products on the market do not survive passage through the harsh stomach environment and end up “dead on arrival” to the intestines.

Looking for a probiotic supplement that contains carefully selected strains that ensure natural survival through the stomach and into the intestines where they can colonize and do their symbiotic job in the GI, is of utmost importance. The soil/spore-based strains from the genus Bacillus have their very own protective spore covering.

A recent study comparing this type of spore-based probiotic to: 1) yogurt, 2) Greek yogurt and 3) the leading conventional multi-strain probiotic brand sold in health food stores, found that the spore-based Bacillus-strain was able to make it ALL THE WAY through the challenging stomach acid environment to the intestine, where our friendly bacteria were able to colonize for optimal digestive health and overall wellness. The challengers (yogurt, Greek yogurt and the leading probiotic supplement) did not survive the body’s harsh stomach acid and so, by definition, are NOT true “probiotics”.  In fact, the majority of products on the shelf are NOT actually probiotics; they are simply dead bacteria and do not fit the World Health Organization and accepted scientific definition of what qualifies as a “probiotic” = “pro-life”.

Not only will this team of spore probiotics repopulate your gut with beneficial bacteria and protect your intestinal barrier to put a stop to toxic streaming, but they also contribute to nutrient absorption and production in several important ways:

  • Creates teams of digestive enzymes that help your body convert food and supplements into nutrients it can use.
  • Produces short chain fatty acids, which play an important role in disease prevention.
  • Produces highly bio-available levels of B vitamins and vitamin K.
  • Manufactures protective antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin.

Most probiotic products on the market have focused on adding more strains and higher cell counts to help boost their marketing message, yet there is no scientific evidence that having dozens of strains at very high cell counts have any benefit at all. It is far more effective to have 2-4 verified, tested, high quality strains than to have a random mix of 15-20 different strains that have not been tested and verified.

A number of published studies have shown that many of these formulations with a dozen or more strains are often mislabeled where the wrong strains are shown on the label and strains that don’t appear on the label are in the product. They create these formulations where companies simply throw in everything to make the formulation look robust. If you look at any high quality, prescription probiotic, you won’t find one with more than 2-3 strains as it’s simply not necessary and, in fact, having a dozen strains can actually hinder the effectiveness of a probiotic product.

A healthy diet with the four pillars of nutrition (fresh and fermented foods, meat on the bones and organ meat), exercise, adequate hydration, restorative sleep are key components of a healthy lifestyle.  However, in today’s world, fermented food may not be enough to optimize our microbiome. This is because today’s model of food processing has (and continues to) drastically decrease the potency and effective nature of natural probiotic foods like kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and miso. Today’s food production processes (in particular pasteurization), make the potency, efficiency and effectiveness of these natural forms of probiotics virtually negligible. So, to combat the adverse effects of antibiotics, birth control pills, synthetic hormones, poor dietary habits, and environmental hazards and toxins, it may be important to add an effective spore-based probiotic as a regular part of your nutritional arsenal.

Personally, I recommend Just Thrive® as the spore-based probiotic of choice. It has been studied and found to capture the power of hundreds of thousands of years, of nature’s design, with a specialized bacilli formulation that guarantees survivability through the stomach and upper digestive system.  I have completed education and training on this product and its efficacy, which included third party gastric survivability testing and reports, details on reversing gut microbiome damage, and other clinical studies, too numerous to mention in this article.  Just Thrive® is as passionate about good health as we are, and they ensure the integrity and quality of their products.

Just Thrive® contains four gut commensal spore-probiotic bacillus strains:

Compost vs. Live, Intelligent Gardeners

When we consume the bacteria in conventional probiotics and fermented foods, our live, permanent microbial residents clinging to the gut wall are constantly examining the contents of the river of nutrients moving past them over the six to eight hours it takes food to travel through the entire digestive tract. Dead or alive, all bacteria contain microRNA within their body, each strain having its own unique genetic qualities and specific benefits. When the live bacteria see their dead cousins floating by, if they perceive something of benefit, there is a genetic exchange from the dead to the live. Since it’s the microRNA within those dead bodies that provides the temporary immune boost, I think of the bacteria in regular probiotics and fermented food as compost that gets tossed into my gut garden. Their dead bodies provide some nutrition, but we know from clinical studies they do not measurably reduce the population of harmful microbes already living there.

Consuming Just Thrive® spore probiotic, however, is like introducing living, intelligent, gut-cleaning gardeners to our microbiome. They survive the trip through stomach acidity 100% alive, remove their protective spore shell, adhere to the gut wall so they are not swept out by the river of food and begin cleaning up the entire microbial garden for the next three to four weeks, actively killing weeds while also nurturing and increasing the plants we want to thrive.