What I Wish I Knew About These Soil-Based Probiotics
OrthoSpore IG and Microbiome Labs MegaSporeBiotic are both formulas I wish I could have had access to and used for my own health decades ago. The forefront of medicine and more particularly, digestive health, is in probiotics. Yes, your diet matters, but your probiotic make-up --- known as your microbiome --- matters even more.
Misconceptions Surrounding Probiotics
Have you heard that probiotics don’t work? That they are a sham and they die in the acidic environment of your stomach acid. This is true, some probiotics don’t work and do, in fact, die in your stomach. But if you take the right probiotic strains they will arrive safely in your small intestines, where you need them the most. Probiotics can be tricky to maneuver, especially when one probiotic might work wonders for some and just do adequately for others. Spore-based probiotics can survive 100% in the dangerous and acidic environment of your stomach.
There was even a study done on spore-based probiotics in 2017 where they found that the spore-based probiotics reduced symptoms of leaky gut syndrome. Thanks to strains like Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus clausii, and Bacillus subtilis, GI discomfort can subside and you can enjoy your day bloat-free. Another reason to stock up on spore-based probiotics? They do not need to be refrigerated. A spore-based probiotic ultimately has four goals:
- Supporting and creating a healthy gut pH
- Encouraging microbial diversity
- Producing short-chain fatty acids
- Ensuring the growth of health-promoting commensal bacteria
Taking the right probiotic supplement for you is the most important decision to make. What worked for me may not work as well for you. To read more about how to find the right probiotic for you, read my blog post about it here.
Stomach Aches & A Leaky Gut
If you’ve ever gotten a stomach ache from eating too much, you know how painful that is. The bloat, the discomfort... It's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Some people, unfortunately, have to deal with those feelings constantly with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or leaky gut. SIBO occurs when there is an overwhelming amount of bacteria in your small intestines that does not belong there. This can lead to chronic diarrhea as well as constant bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort. Leaky gut describes what happens when your intestinal cells are too far apart and leak large food particles into your bloodstream. Both of these conditions are tied to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which haunts millions of sufferers worldwide.
Product Spotlight: Ortho Spore IG by Ortho Molecular
This formula takes spore-based probiotics to the next level. Included in this probiotic are serum-derived bovine immunoglobulins. In simple terms, this is serum taken from blood from cows more than 12 months old. Did you know that fetal bovine serum taken from young calves is used in vaccine creation? There are numerous uses that we humans have for this serum, and this product is no exception. The immunoglobulins bind to any toxins that are recognized to be a cause of SIBO and eliminate them from the body.
Dealing with a dairy sensitivity? No problem. This is a dairy-free formula. Along with this added benefit for SIBO, this formula also helps provide gastrointestinal balance, maintains GI barrier stability, and supports overall digestion quality. The suggested dosage is 3 capsules per day, or as directed by your healthcare professional.
The notable strains in this probiotic are:
- Bacillus coagulans: People take probiotics with this specific strain to decrease pain related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome along with diarrhea, gas, and airway infections. The impressiveness of this strain comes from the fact that it can be dormant, which protects it from getting destroyed by harsh conditions in the intestines. If you are a fan of sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt, you are getting a hefty dose of this strain.
- Bacillus clausii: There has been increased attention on this probiotic strain in the previous years regarding its usefulness regarding respiratory illnesses and instances of diarrhea. The results have been promising especially for those children who spend time in day care centers and are frequently exposed to respiratory infections. The Bacillus clausii treatment was significantly effective in reducing the amount of time children had the respiratory illness. Additionally, the severity of the respiratory illness was reduced. To read more on this fascinating study, click here.
- Bacillus subtilis: For those of you who are passionate about Japanese cuisine, you would probably recognize the soybean product, “Natto.” Bacillus subtilis is in this product, and is a great source of the probiotic strain. Like mentioned above, this strain can also survive harsh conditions in the body while still providing gastrointestinal support.
Catee, one of our customers who bought this item from healthyhabitsliving.com in February of 2021 said, “I assume this is working for SIBO related issues because in 2 weeks there’s been a noticeable reduction in a mystery abdominal pain spot. Several long standing symptoms are improving.”
The Push Pull of it all
You can think of Ortho Spore IG as having two separate actions. The bacillus probiotic strains act as the Push. They detect and push out pathogenic (bad) bacteria. Once in your small intestines the helpful bacillus strains begin to multiply and leave less room and resources for the bad overgrown species causing SIBO. Some species that cause symptoms in your small intestine can actually be helpful in your large intestines. As the helpful bacillus probiotic strains populate your small intestines, they will push some of the other microbes into your large intestines where they belong. The PULL comes from the highly concentrated immunoglobulins. They act like a sponge to soak up toxins and dead bacteria and carry them out of your small intestines. The immunoglobulins attach themselves to harmful lipopolysaccharides (lps) and gram negative bacteria to ensure they leave your small intestines.
Here are other toxins that the immunoglobulins in Ortho Spore IG will bind to and eliminate from your digestive system:
Product Spotlight: MegaSporeBiotic by MicroBiome Labs
MicroBiome Labs has forged new frontiers in the spore-based probiotic industry. By leading with proper clinical and scientific evidence and studies, they have provided a multitude of products for everyone from yourself to your dog. MegaSporeBiotic is one of their bestsellers. Their ingenuity and hard work regarding spores are reflected in the many testimonials and reviews their happy customers have left on our website.
Suggested Schedule for Dosage
Week 1: One capsule every other day (starting at a low dosage at ½ or a full capsule is recommended to see how well your body responds).
Week 2: One capsule daily
Week 3: Two capsules daily
The side effects may be uncomfortable at first with the loosening of stools and changing bowel movements. This signifies that the formula is doing its job. If you are experiencing these side effects, it means that the formula is effectively reconditioning the gut by encouraging diversity of microbes and keeping healthy gut bacteria present. Keep dosages steady and at a low level at first; these side effects should pass after 2-3 days.
Notable strains include:
- Bacillus indicus: The true powerhouse of this formula is the Bacillus indicus strain. Resistant to acidic conditions in the gastrointestinal tract, this strain has been used in many different probiotics to ensure successful results. The first product this strain was used in was MegaSporeBiotic.
- Bacillus licheniformis: Commonly found on bird feathers and in soil, this bacterial strain has had many uses in the fermentation processes of chemicals and antibiotics for decades. Did you know that this strain is used in producing detergent? Safe for human use, this strain is one of the more notable and scientifically-referenced ones in the Bacillus gene family.
- Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, and Bacillus clausii, discussed in the previous section above.
Looking for a more thorough program to follow? Try taking these three products together for a thorough cleanse.
- MegaSporeBiotic ~ Recondition
- MegaPre ~ Reinforce
- MegaMucosa ~ Rebuild
You can buy this trio of gut-health heroes in a kit: Total Gut Restoration Kit
Don’t just take it from me - here’s what a happy HHL customer said about this product: “My Integrative doctor recommended this product. It came very quickly. It doesn't need to be refrigerated. I am looking forward to great results!" - Janet W.
Brief History of Spore-Based Probiotics
Both Ortho Spore IG and Microbiome Labs MegaSporeBiotic are spore-based probiotic formulas. A brief history of spore-based probiotics: Spore-forming probiotics are also known as spore-based probiotics and soil-based probiotics. These strains of bacteria are naturally found in healthy soil. They get into your body when you eat food from the soil, breathe in dust, or wipe your mouth with your hand.
When you really think about, spore-based probiotics have always been around. Over the centuries, the human diet has gotten more and more removed from the soil. Before the 1800s and the Industrial Revolution, all people grew their own foods, hunted the animals they ate and didn’t have access to bleach or hand sanitizer. In simpler times people grew their own food, picked it straight from the garden and enjoyed it immediately.
Even as late as the 1940s, Americans were growing victory gardens because of World War II. You better believe they were getting plenty of spore-based probiotics. But as our food system has been industrialized we have less natural access to spore-forming bacterial species. Now our food is grown in nutrient poor soil that has been sprayed with Monsanto Glyphosate, picked before it's ripe, and trucked to us from many states and countries away from our locale. It is no wonder that 62 million people are diagnosed with digestive diseases every year. We are missing crucial species of bacterial probiotics that help us maintain our gut and overall health.
Other interesting historical facts about spore-forming probiotics:
1942: During World War II, German troops were occupying North Africa and dying from dysentery, while locals had no illness from drinking the water. Scientists discovered spore-form bacillus subtilis was present in the camel dung that local Bedouins ate when they had diarrhea. The bacillus subtilis was isolated from the camel dung and administered to the suffering German soldiers who quickly recovered.
1960s: All probiotics, including soil-based, lose favor in the United States due to increased popularity of antibiotics.
2008: Bacillus coagulans is the first Bacillus strain to receive GRAS (generally regarded as safe) approval in the United States.
2015: Microbiome research proves that Bacillus spores increase diversity and beneficial bacteria in the gut.
The link between mental health and gut health is strong and complex. Learning how you can improve your gut health and emotional wellbeing can be a possible solution to various forms of discomfort, pain, and depression as well as digestive disorders of all types. There’s a whole world of information on this topic and I am still learning new things everyday. While it may seem like a daunting task to address your gut health, taking small steps to establish new routines can be the start of major lifestyle changes.
Looking for more information on spore-based probiotics? Schedule a consult with me, Carly Neubert BA, NC.