Did you know when it comes to probiotics, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing? This is because some those bacteria, viruses and fungi that comprise your microbiome need to maintain a thriving ecosystem. This powerful ecosystem provides a strong immune system support that can protect us from cancer, infections and viruses.
Unfortunately, we’ve all been duped into thinking that our bodies need some help with the microbiome in the form of added probiotic supplements. These probiotics have become so popular that they’re being pushed in foods, capsules and even beauty products. Probiotic marketing has been incredibly effective, making the probiotic industry worth $28 billion dollars. Additionally, the shocking truth is that probiotics are regulated less tightly than drugs. This means that companies do not require to list all the ingredients that are actually in the bottle.
Let’s take a closer look at why probiotics are a waste of money and potentially harmful.
Despite the marketing claims, a review of seven random control trials found that there was no evidence that probiotics benefit the intestinal microbiota of healthy people.
The researchers also point to a lack of quality studies or any standardization regarding the positive outcomes that studies on the effects of probiotics are looking for.
Potential Health Dangers of Probiotics
Various studies warn of potential health dangers of probiotic use such as:
- When it comes to people with serious medical conditions, those who are very weak, or have serious infections, probiotics can harm.
- Possible toxic effects of probiotics include infections, production of harmful substances by the probiotic microorganisms, and transfer of antibiotic resistance genes from probiotic microorganisms to other microorganisms in the gut. (study)
- Some probiotics contain microorganisms that haven’t been listed on the label.
- Long term safety has never been studied or proved. Most studies have focused on just two types of bacteria, namely, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.
- Probiotic fermented carbs can lead to bacterial overgrowth, resulting in d-lactic acid production, increased gas, and bloating
- Probiotics in dietary supplements can establish a reservoir of antibiotic resistant genes in the human gut. These resistant genes can be easily transferred to pathogens that have the same intestinal habitat thus resulting in serious issues. (study)