Everyone and their dog seems to be taking either CBD or probiotics nowadays. Unfortunately most of what’s out there is absolute crap. One thing I learned early on in my career, back in my R&D days…. white labelling means half of what is on shelves is BS. Between mass produced, “private label” large batch production, buzz word sucker punches and improper handling/ packaging…. most of what you are getting isn’t what is listed on the label.
When a patient comes to me saying they buy their probiotics form the ND or functional medicine doc and it’s their “own” line, I chuckle. I’ve even developed a few of those lines for some well known names (I won’t kiss and tell though). In face I have even developed some of my own products, however I create the formulations I won’t pick from a mass batch of mass produced garbage.
So how do you know which is a good one? Multi strain? More is better? Glass bottle? Enteric coating? Cold stored?
Let’s dispel some myths to start. Enteric coating was this big buzzword to sell so called shelf stable probiotics. It doesn’t work. The thought that it might perhaps protect your probiotics from stomach acid is a theory at best…. and what about bile? Nope It’s BS.
What about Multi strains? After spending years studying probiotics, the human microbiome (and being certified), I came to realize that a multi strain is about as useless as a multivitamin. We aren’t multi people – we are unique and our supplements should be too. When testing patients I get to know certain patterns, some things show on diagnostic tests, however we still know very little when it comes to the microbiome. What we do know is that bacteria are antagonistic in nature, so when we throw a bunch together they are going to compete for food. We need to separate them if they are going to do their job, but also we need to see what we need. We may need more or less of one or another, this is why testing is great (click here to test)
Popular brands used by hospitals, famous ND’s or functional medicine peeps, even GP’s are not always what they are cracked up to be. Just because your favourite “expert” uses something doesn’t mean it’s top notch. I’ve had conversations with many experts and by the end they have swapped brands simply because they never knew half the info I shared. Even hospitals who push certain brands doesn’t mean they are tested as top notch. Remember a cookie will make the body feel full but it won’t actually FUEL the body.
We need to ensure that we have cold packed, glass bottles, heat and sunlight protected and of course moisture protected. Bacteria are sensitive little shits and temperamental – so let’s ensure we meet their needs.
I’m also commonly asked about SBO’s (soil based) – personally I am a fan in the right scenarios…. Some clinicians don’t like them but if the quality control is there I have seen great success using them, the circumstance needs to be the right fit. I wish more clinicians actually understood how they can be used. We were raised eating dirt and a little dirt won’t hurt. It’s part of what creates diversity and boosts our immune system.