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Ask a Microbiologist: 7 Surprising Scientific Facts About Probiotics

7 surprising facts about probiotics

When it comes to probiotics, there are plenty of marketers clamoring for attention. From billions of strains to special coatings–we’ve heard it all. But if you ask for scientific proof, those voices die down. What gives?

Kiran Krishnan, a renowned microbiologist, is a part of a group of doctors and researchers hired to investigate and conduct clinical trials around the “next generation” of probiotics. Just in time, too. Their 10-year intensive study coincides with the Human Microbiome Project (HMP), a massive nationwide research project with a focus on microorganisms’ effects on human beings. Krishnan is the scientist behind Perfect Pass Probiotics.

We recently sat down with Krishnan and he gave us an inside look at 7 scientific facts about probiotics.


Fact #1 Probiotics Shouldn’t Have to Stay Cool

Some probiotics must be refrigerated to keep stable and alive in the capsule. Doesn’t sound too crazy, right? But Krishan points out, “If they can’t survive in room temperature, it’s 98 degrees in a pH1 stomach. How can they make it past the stomach if they don’t survive at a comfortable room temperature?”

Incredibly, 100% of Perfect Pass Probiotics get through the gastric system, and they’re alive and viable inside the intestines–without the artificial coating. How?

“Certain types of bacterial endospores are nature’s design for probiotics,” Krishnan says. “They have a natural, ultra-stable conformation [(dormant)] when they are outside the body, and they remain in this confirmation as they pass through the gastric system…then they become functioning, vegetative probiotic cells in the intestines…we don’t do anything to them.”

In other words, these strains are able to exist inside and outside the body, without special handling and treatment. They are hardy enough to stick around for 21 days within your intestines.


Fact #2 Billions of Cells aren’t Better

Pop quiz: one probiotic capsule contains 50 billion live culture cells. Another contains 14 billion. Which is better?
Neither, actually. According to Krishnan, “There isn’t a single shred of evidence that shows [that many billions of cells] make any difference at all. In fact, most of the studies for probiotics…[are dosed] in tens of millions.” Why is this a problem? More cells often equals lower quality cells.

“So many of these multi-billion cell cocktails [are] completely mislabeled, they don’t have the right strains in the label on the product…and nobody is checking these things,” Krishnan says. Perfect Pass Probiotics contain not 50 billion – but about 3 billion high-quality strains, handpicked for their resilience and unique functions.


Fact #3 Probiotic Strain Variety is Overrated

Are more species of bacteria better? You’ll notice some products on the shelves that have just one species, and some have up to 30. However, Krishnan says, “There is zero scientific rationale behind…[30] multiple species in a product.” So is there a sweet spot for a number of strains?

According to Krishnan, the sweet spot is around 3-5 unique, high-quality strains that play well together. Anywhere above 10, and you start to lose quality control.“[Perfect Pass Probiotic] strains are so effective, they were actually sold in the prescription drug market since 1958–and are some of the most widely used probiotics in the world.”


Fact #4 Man Cannot Live on Probiotic Foods Alone

With the popularity of “primal” diets and macro nutrients, it’s no wonder there’s a common assumption that we can ingest our probiotics naturally. However, as crucial as a healthy, probiotic rich diet is, it’s not possible via diets alone Krishnan says. There are two big differences between your average Paleo dieter and their ancestors–the low level of probiotic bacteria on food today, and the way most foods are processed.

Krishnan worked in the American food industry for around 9 years, evaluating the safety of their production systems, and he notes that “One of the biggest focuses of the food companies is to keep this bacteria out of the production plant.” Why? Because they ferment and break down food easily–meaning your average grocery store food would spoil much too quickly.

Additionally, whereas our ancestors were able to eat tubers from probiotic-rich soil and around mineral deposits, our food system is now “completely sterile,” says Krishnan.


Fact #5 Probiotics Help More than Guts

Perfect Pass Probiotics have been shown to have a rapid positive effect on those with chronic bowel disorders like Crohn’s disease, which isn’t surprising given the fact that these disorders have to do with the intestines and bowels. But did you know that recent studies have shown that immune dysfunctions (like asthma, allergies, eczema, and psoriasis have been linked to gut dysfunction?

And it doesn’t stop there – probiotics can even help improve mental health.

According to Krishnan, “Upwards of 90% of serotonin [(the “feel-good” hormone)] in the body is found in the gut…and over the last month a study has come out to show that…spore-based bacteria (which are in Perfect Pass Probiotics) are the type of bacteria that affects serotonin production the most.”

More exciting news is in the works. Krishnan says, “We’ve set up a fairly large scale clinical trial with a psychiatric group…and we’re looking at the benefits of these same strains and being able to measure improvements in mood disorders.” Hope is on the horizon – and we haven’t even mentioned the potential weight loss benefits. “People’s sugar cravings tend to go away pretty quickly [with Perfect Pass],” Krishnan mentions. Raise your hand if cravings derail your diet–now, keep your hand up, and wave those cravings goodbye.


Fact #7 Not All Probiotics Create Lasting Change

What’s the difference between Perfect Pass Probiotics and so many other transient bacteria strains? “While [the probiotics are] there, for about 21 days” Krishnan says, “They colonize and multiply and perform valuable functions.”

Unlike other transient strains, Perfect Pass Probiotics are actually capable of shifting the balance of good and bad bacteria. They’ll identify bad bacteria and produce compounds to increase your own good bacteria. Of course, that balance can be thrown off by antibiotics or poor diet choices, which makes taking a pill regularly so effective.


There you have it–7 surprising scientific facts about probiotics–and there’s more to come. If you were surprised by all of these facts, you’re probably in the majority, but not for long. With the advent of HMP, scientists, doctors, and microbiologists like Krishnan are breaking news virtually every day.

“We are all extremely lucky,” says Krishnan, “We can focus on the gut, and we now have the tools to start fixing the gut…it’s a great time to be alive, and in touch with what’s happening in the research world.”

We couldn’t agree more. Want to change your gut for good? Get a head start, and start using scientifically-backed Perfect Pass Probiotics today.


About Kiran Krishnan

Kiran Krishnan Headshot

Over the last 15 years, Kiran Krishnan has been involved in the research and development of several natural health products, and owned a clinical research organization where he designed and conducted several human clinical trials for the nutritional industry. Currently, Krishnan is the Chief Scientific Officer with Physician’s Exclusive, and is an investigator in several ongoing clinical trials focused on probiotics and overall health. Krishnan met Dr. Nathan at the National Oriental Medicine conference in San Diego last year, where they connected on the importance of the gut health.

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