3 reasons why probiotic supplements don’t build gut health
I‘ve gone back and forth with the idea of probiotics supplementation during our journey – to do or not to do – and this post is a summary of what I’ve learned about whether or not probiotic supplements would help with building a healthy gut.
Ideally, the human gut needs about twenty to thirty thousand species of bacteria in order to thrive. No one has this nowadays. Antibiotics in our food chain, antibiotics from your doctor’s offices, herbicides, pesticides have all devastated and depleted the bacteria population. Everyone is walking around with a very depleted microbiome.
But probiotics supplements are NOT the answer, for two main reasons.
Probiotic supplements can in fact do the opposite of nurturing gut bacteria diversity
A typical probiotic product contains 8 strains of bacteria, give or take a few. This is a far cry from the twenty thousand strains that we need. Don’t be fooled by the billions of CFU that these products brag.
When you see that big number, such as 50 billions strains of bacteria, all it means is you’re just giving your body billions and billions of copies of the same strains of bacteria, which eventually does the opposite of microbiome diversity in your gut. Populating your gut with billions of copies of the same bacteria creates monoculture, which can lead to real problems in the long run.
The bacteria in probiotic supplements are mostly from cow intestines and cannot optimally colonize the human gut
The most typical species of bacteria in probiotic products and supplements are extracted from cow intestines, grown in large batches, and then put into long term cultures from where massive quantities of bacteria are extracted and then put into probiotics products for yours truly.
Those cow bacteria cannot colonize the human gut due to different environment between human and cow guts – different pH, different digestive enzymes.
When a product says that it contains live strains of bacteria, we don’t know if they are in fact live. There is usually no testing done to prove that, or prove that these probiotics actually do anything positive for your gut.
So, if you have a really screwed up gut, with your biome being so severely narrow, probiotics supplementation may in fact make you feel a little better and provide that temporary relief, for a very short time. But you will not get to an optimal health point by consuming cow bacteria probiotics. And I personally wouldn’t entertain the idea of taking these probiotic supplements for the long term.
Probiotic supplements tend to contain a lot of other additives
As with most supplements in the market, if you look at the back label, you’ll see that they contain a number of other unwanted additives. This also goes for probiotic supplements. This, in fact, is the reason why I tend not to use most supplement products in the market, and I make my choices very carefully.
Some additives that are common in probiotic supplements are starches, sugar, synthetic compounds like ascorbic acid, dairy byproducts, preservatives, synthetic flow agents, and many more.
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