Soil Based Probiotics versus Others
If your microbiota is pretty decent, it's possible that because these are stronger bugs that it can get in and out-compete your good bugs and become a pathogen and then start to cause issues.
Hello, and welcome back.
Today, we're talking about soil-based probiotics, and I'm sure you've seen all the buzz online, there's a lot of confusion as well that comes with that buzz for understandable reasons, because with most things in nutrition, it's not black and white.
So this topic, I am creating it to help talk about that grey area, and clear up confusion for you so you really have a better understanding as to whether soil-based probiotics might help you or whether maybe you should avoid them.
I think the information I'm going to share on this topic is going to be really helpful.
I'm Ashley Oswald I'm a registered dietitian, and founder of Oswald Digestive Clinic, where we help people improve and eliminate bothersome gut issues like diarrhea and/or constipation.
So this topic is right up our alley. And I can't wait to discuss it with you about it.
So let's just go ahead and dive right in.
What is a Probiotic?
Let's start out by talking about what is a probiotic, the world health organization defined a probiotic in 2002 as any microorganism that when provided in adequate amounts, confers a health benefit to the host. So in layman's terms, it basically means if you take enough of this, either in capsule form, maybe in powder form, maybe in food form, you take enough of it, it's going to have a potential health benefit to you, or it's at least been shown to have a health benefit to somebody or in studies.
Soil-based probiotics versus the others
When we talk about the core soil based versus the others, it's simply that mostly a soil-based is coming from the soil, the others are coming from other places and by taking these bacteria from the soil, they are going to be more spore-forming and more resistant to things like heat, acid, and just environment. So the environment in your gut, the environment outside because that's how they evolve, they've been in at the outside, they've evolved to be more resistant, more spore-forming.
And that basically means the spore kind of creates this protective barrier around it and so it's more likely to travel through your stomach acid without being killed and more likely to take hold in your gut, like hold on and actually be effective. But again, this could be a bad thing because what if it takes too good of hold?
And then it's more likely to possibly be antibiotic resistant. Like what if it creates an infection in your gut? And then we need to try to create some balance.
So maybe we're going to use antibiotic herbs that have antibiotic potential or real antibiotics to get you some balance. And it might be more challenging because there's just more likely to be in these spores and more resistant to even that. And so in the soil, we have over a hundred different diverse species and we have some research on some of them.
And so that's what we're going to kind of walk through next. What are we looking for when we look at a probiotic and what should you keep in mind when you're buying a probiotic?
What should you keep in mind when you're buying a probiotic?
When you're looking at a probiotic and you see on the label, you should see Genus species strain. So for example, it'd be something like Clostridium butyricum CBM 588 which is actually a specific soil-based probiotic that's been known to help increase butyrate production in the gut, and that butyrate's that really powerful, anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acid that we've talked about in other topics.
And so knowing that for example, soil-based probiotics can adhere better. If somebody is really having challenges, getting that butyrate production up, we could try this probiotic because of those specific unique traits that it has something interesting that you've probably noticed is that on the bottles, they don't have the strain. So that CBM 588, and half of the probiotics on the market don't have that.
But what's really important to know what research we have to show if is it possibly effective. Is it possibly not effective? Because different species, so the genus and the species that you know is on half and missing the strain on the other half, there could be the same type of those, but because you don't know what strain it is, those two different products like Clostridium butyricum in that example, those two words, you can see that on two different products, but they could be two different probiotics having two different potential benefits.
And so the research in "are soil-based probiotics good or bad"
It really comes down to the type that you're going to be taking, and the research that we have behind that type, because some of them, yes, we have some proven potential benefits, but others we don't.
And so when we come back up to the big picture, soil-based probiotics versus non-soil-based, it's really not as simple as saying, which is better because you have to get down into the weeds a bit to say, Hey, would this specific genus species strain, be good for this specific issue. So it's all personalized nutrition, right? It's kind of what we do at our clinic and why we can, we have a client coming in with a very specific issue.
Like maybe it's Crohn's disease, we can say, okay. So this is what the research is that we have on probiotics for Crohn's disease. And then kind of decide for that particular person, cause sometimes there's other challenges or symptoms going on. Might this be potentially beneficial? And should we try it?
Also, it's really important to understand that when we look at research about whether a probiotic work or doesn't work? There are a lot of limitations to doing that research because as you might have learned in our other topics, even just changing the foods that you eat can change the type of microbiota or the bugs, et cetera, in your gut. So if you are eating like the standard American processed eating plan for a week, and then all of a sudden you switch all over to a real whole foods eating plan, your gut bacteria are going to change because of that within a day or two.
And so when we talked about doing research on like a specific strain of probiotic, we can not possibly have all those other factors that can change the microbiota stay exactly the same because even exercise, even sleep as you. If you're in the Heal Your Gut Course, you're learning that those things can positively or negatively influence the microbiome, the microbiota in the gut.
So next let's talk about whether Are they safe?
So there are a few things we want to talk about here. The first thing is you want to trust the company you're buying from and you want to look into where are they sourcing this probiotic from and what are their manufacturing methods.
And then also what's the research they really have on the strain. So genus species strain that letter-number like the CVM 855, what research do they have? Because honestly there are a lot of companies out there making really over-exaggerated claims on the probiotic they're trying to sell for obvious reasons.
And then the next thing is if you are somebody who's considering this is immunocompromised, maybe they're on have like IBD, on certain medications, or they're struggling with cancer, or they have really extreme kind of intestinal permeability gut issues, you're going to want to avoid supplementing with probiotics because there are case reports of people honestly dying from supplementation of probiotics, even food-based forms like kombucha when their immune system is that compromised.
And then lastly, sometimes these products on the shelves have inactive ingredients. So it's not the probiotic in them, but it's the other ingredients that you might know this exacerbates, your symptoms make your symptoms worse.
So for example, some of them have lactose in them. And if you're sensitive to lactose, or have lactose intolerance, it can make your symptoms worse. Or there might be a prebiotic in it. But because of where your gut is, you're just not able to tolerate that. And you notice that you get worsening of the gas and bloat that you're struggling with. So just be aware of that.
So what to do?
Ultimately it comes back down to, if you want to get exposure to soil-based probiotics, you can just get outside and walk in the soil. And a lot of people now don't do that, especially if you're living in cities. So try to make more of a conscious awareness around doing that at least many times a week, and you can get the exposure that way instead of having to supplement.
And then the other thing is to buy local organic produce, farmers that you trust when you're buying it. It was maybe picked the morning or the day before. And you're still getting produce some that those probiotics from the soil exposed to you via way of the produce-type that you are eating.
And then lastly, there are some fermented foods that have soil-based probiotics in them. So some kombuchas like there are GT kombuchas that have soil-based probiotics naturally in them. So you could have that regularly.
You just need like a tablespoon a few times a day of different fermented foods to get trillions of bacteria and probiotics.
And so I hope this topic helps clear up the conversation of soil-based probiotics versus other probiotics for you.
If you're interested in working with our clinic one-on-one so we can really assess what you're going through and what kind of probiotic might or might not be helpful, you can just schedule an initial interview. We do accept insurance!
Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH
So thank you, everybody. I hope you're having a great day and I'll see you on the next topic.