Do You Know What’s In Your Probiotic?
A Comparison of Human Strains Vs. Dairy and Animal Strains
A probiotic is a probiotic, right?
Not so fast.
Before we dive in to the most effective probiotics for your gut health, let’s review the three main origins of probiotic strains:
Now before you buy a supplement, you might be wondering:
Why do supplement companies use dairy or animal probiotics for human consumption in the first place?
The answer might surprise you.
Animal Strains Aren’t Just for Humans
Dr. Nigel Plummer, a doctor in microbial physiology who specializes in the use of probiotics to fight chronic disease, was involved in designing animal strains…for animal consumption.
Dr. Plummer explains1:
“I was involved in designing animal probiotics. This was particularly for the agricultural industry, where we were looking at designing probiotics for young pigs and young calves, to prevent diarrhea.
In a badly managed farm, you might have 20 to 30% of young pigs and young calves that actually die from diarrhea before weaning.”
The Case for Human Strains
Do human beings also benefit from animal-based strains?
It’s important to understand that one of the main functions of a probiotic supplement, on a cellular level, is to attach to your epithelial cells. If probiotics can’t attach to your cells, then you’ll reap less rewards in terms of your gut health.
Dr. Plummer explains:
“When we started to look at human probiotics, we compared the way they attach to human epithelial cells, to the way that the animal strains attach to human epithelial cells.”
“Although the animal strains did attach to human epithelial cells…the efficiency of colonization of the epithelial cells was much lower than the human strains.
“This was very good evidence…that human strains were more adapted to the environment of epithelial cells than animal strains.”
It might make sense to think about human strain probiotics as already adapted to your own human gastrointestinal tract. The animal strains just aren’t designed to attach to your cells–and improve your gut health–the way human strains can.
“The microflora in our GI tract is a very complex community. [Human probiotics are] adapted to the gut environment.”
What about dairy? Dr. Plummer believes that dairy-based strains, like yogurt, are also inadequate:
“Should we be using yogurt strains as probiotic strains? The answer is no.”
When choosing a probiotic supplement, you’ll reap more rewards in terms of your gut health, and relief from digestive discomforts, if you choose human strains over dairy or animal strains.
The Health Benefits of Human Strain Probiotics
If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, antibiotic resistance, C. Difficile, and other digestive discomforts, can you really expect that human strain probiotics will help?
According to Seroyal, a medical research firm, the science is promising2:
“Human-sourced, non-pathogenic, proprietary strains provide naturally strong adherence, and natural pH and bile acid resistance.
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human trials demonstrated that these probiotic strains are safe, and help to reduce symptoms of IBS, reduce incidence of C. Difficile, reduce antibiotic resistance, and maintain intestinal flora post antibiotics.”
Here at Good Gut Solution, a leader in gut health since 1998, we are currently looking towards manufacturing a human strain probiotic that’s purely a probiotic, and more effective for your gut than existing animal and dairy strains.
To get notified when it’s available, join 25,000 readers on our Good Gut Solution newsletter (on the left sidebar). You’ll also receive a coupon for 10% off all probiotics and other supplements store-wide.
- Modern Healthcare Professional: What are the Advantages
of Using Human Strains Over Dairy or Animal Strains?
- Seroyal: Human Lactic Commensals (HLC)/Human MicroFlora (HMF) probiotics
- Allen S.J. et al. Dietary supplementation with lactobacilli and bifidobacteria is well tolerated and not associated with adverse events during late pregnancy and early infancy. J Nutr 2010; 140: 483-488.
- Williams EA, et al. Clinical trial: a multistrain probiotic preparation significantly reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a double-blind placebo-controlled study. 2009; 29(1): 97-103.
- Plummer S, et al. Clostridium difficile pilot study: effects of probiotic supplementation on the incidence of C. difficile diarrhoea. Int Microbiol. 2004;7(1):59-62.
- Plummer SF, et al. Effects of probiotics on the composition of the intestinal microbiota following antibiotic therapy. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2005; 26(1); 69-74.
- Madden JA, et al. Effect of probiotics on preventing disruption of the intestinal microflora following antibiotic therapy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Int Immunopharmacol. 2005; (6): 1091