Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Day 2852 - Not all probiotics are created equal

Do you take probiotics?

Last week I discovered that poor gut health can contribute to obesity. It can also contribute to diabetes, eczema and depression.

Plus I learned there is such a thing as fecal transplants and that all probiotics are not created equal.

How did I learn all this?

I attended a breakfast at the Botanic Gardens in Sydney with guest speaker Dr Peter French on the importance of gut health.  The event was hosted by Bioxyne.

Meeting new people

Listening to the experts

Sharing stories about gut health (or perhaps we were talking about soccer ... or something)

As we ate our salmon, mushrooms and beans Dr French chatted about gut microbiota and how they discovered its link to obesity.

A study was conducted with a few sets of identical twins, where one twin was obese and the other was slim.  Samples were taken from their gut and inserted into mice.  The mouse that received the gut microbiota from the obese twin became obese, whereas the mouse receiving the gut microbiota from the slimmer twin did not.  Even though they were kept in the same environment with the same food choices and exercise options.

Many studies have been undertaken into other conditions with results suggesting our gut health could well contribute to more than just gut related problems.

According to Dr French our gut bacteria can dramatically affect our weight, bowel health, asthma and allergies, mood or even some types of cancer, and our gut microbiome can be altered by dietary changes, stress or exposure to antibiotics. 

The good news is we can positively influence the composition of our gut bacteria.  

Probiotics are well touted as the answer to good gut health, but it turns out that not all probiotics are created equal.

Apparently what we need to look for to get the best results in a probiotic is:

  • human origin
  • acid and bile resistance
  • colonisation and
  • clinical evidence.
Human origin you say?  

The best thing for us humans is to find a probiotic that has been harvested from the gut of another healthy human.

An example of how they get an effective probiotic of human origin is to take a fecal sample from someone who has avoided gastro intestinal problems when everyone around them has become ill.  One such incident occurred when a big group toured Morocco and everyone but one woman got very ill.  So they took her poo, checked it out, liked what they saw, extracted the good bits and harvested  it to grow heaps of good stuff to put in pills for us*.

(I know right. It's enough to make you bring up your beautifully presented Botanical Gardens breakfast.)  

The reality is that finding good poo is like striking gold! Good poo could well be the gift that just keeps on giving. 

In all seriousness, this is really interesting stuff.  The studies that have been undertaken strongly suggest that good gut health could well be the answer to many chronic conditions in our world today. 

For more information and interesting facts you can check out the studies here

There are many probiotics to choose from, some of which are of human origin such as the new Bioxyne PCC range.

How's your gut health? 

Have you ever wondered where probiotics come from?

Did anyone scream EWWW when I casually mentioned fecal transplants? 

Let's leave that as a story for another day. 

*Let me clarify: I should point out that although the "human origin" component means the bacteria was first discovered in a human. the source of the original culture is countless of generations removed. Bacteria can be grown and isolated in a laboratory so that none of the surface from where the bacteria was originally collected remains. You probably figured that out already but I thought I should clarify. These probiotics do not contain poo. 


  1. Yes, eww eww eww. I won't be having probiotics with human origins thank you very much :)

  2. Ok, I am not yet ready to get on board the fecal transplant idea, though I am working very hard on the gut health. We have several different probiotics we take here for different reasons. We have had great success keeping the Winter colds and flu away using them.

  3. I wish I hadn't read the bit about fecal transplants when I was eating breakfast! Double ewww!

  4. I've heard the link between gut and depression but not obesity and diabetes. How interesting....So much we don't know. And pass on the fecal transplants!

  5. Very interesting!! I knew gut health was KEY to good health. Didn't know about fecal transplants though - ewwww! lol I'm actually taking Inner Health Plus since my recent surgery to help get my gut health on track. I'm also having daily Yakult shots. I hadn't heard of probiotics from a 'human' source. I'll definitely be having a closer look at the Bioxyne PCC range!

  6. Sorry but this is definitely EWWWWWW!!! I can't see myself trying any human origin probiotics!


  7. I've just heard about fecal transplants (from my mum!) a couple of months ago! My son has Coeliac disease so probiotics are a big part of his (and our) lives. I might be going against the grain a bit here but I'm not grossed out about the "human origins" bit, as long as they're effective.

  8. I read it as facial transplants initially and got confused!

    I must admit I know little about probiotics but used to have a lot of stomach and digestive issues before my weight loss surgery. I don't seem to struggle as much now - even with my reaction to accidental gluten (given that I'm coeliac) which is weird.

  9. Fecal transplants does sound gross. But I learned a lot about probiotics from your post. I do know not all probiotics are made equal, but I've never taken the time to read it in depth. Thanks for the links. I will check them out.

  10. My gut health is something I'm working on after so many antibitoics and illnesses this year. I'm currently trialing different probiotic brands to see which work best for me. It's an expensive and slow process though!

  11. Fascinating!! You know I'll be looking in to this!

  12. Let's be honest. My gut health would not be great - and perhaps you have just helped me understand why I have put on 4kg so far this year eeeekkk!

  13. Okay it does sound a bit gross but I have boys and a strong stomach :) it's all atoms in the end and if it works, then why not try it?

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