By Walter Sorochan

Posted June 22, 2012; updated October 2021.   Disclaimer;   The information presented here is for informative and educational purposes only and is not intended as curative or prescriptive advice. The statements of this web-site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Nothing stated here should be considered as medical advice for dealing with a given problem, or to diagnose / treat / prevent / cure any disease.

Update June 29, 2020: 60 Minutes reviewed all the hype about probiotics and concluded that almost all the commercial probiotic supplements have no evidence that they really work. Dr. Patricia Hibberd reviewed hundreds of studies in the medical literature about probiotics. She concluded that there is not enough high quality research to recommend off-the-shelf probiotics at this time. But there are hundreds of researchers working on how probiotics may help humans. Lapook: Probiotics really work? 2020


Probiotics involve bacteria.  It may be a surprise to learn that the human body is made up of 90% bacteria and 10% human cells.  Different bacteria have adapted to live in different places of the body.  Most of these bacteria live harmoniously with us.  We give the bacteria a place to live and they return the favor to us by maintaining order and keeping harmful bacteria and other invaders from disrupting the digestive system.  Andrews: Probiotic food  Market Research: boosting immunity   Pearl: immune-dif connection 

 Bacteria in the Large intestine 

probitic bacterias

Researchers since 2000 have discovered that there are over 500 good and bad bacteria living in the large intestine or colon. Axe: Best probiotics 2016   Monastyrsky: restoring good health  If the normal balance of 80 - 85% good and 15 - 20 % bad bacteria is disrupted, then the bad bacteria multiply and can cause many of our illnesses and diseases.   Each person's mix of bacteria varies.  Today, most of us show the reverse ratio; therefore, it’s no coincidence that the incidences of chronic and degenerative diseases have multiplied dramatically since World War II.  Common everyday symptoms of not feeling good [ intestinal dis-balance of bacteria ] are bloating, abdominal cramping, constipation and diarrhea.

good_bad_bacteriaThe good and friendly bacteria in the large intestine are essential to good health.   It is in the gastrointestinal tract, or GI tract, that good bacteria help the body systems work.   [ illustration on right  Andrews: Probiotic food ].  Pearl: immune-dif connection

Beneficial bacteria found in the large intestine, as intestinal flora, are often referred to incorrectly as probiotics. an umbrella term given to any live microorganisms that is beneficial to its host.  The term probiotics is misused by marketers!


There is no legal definition of the term "probiotic." Article by Guarner: International review probiotics 2008 is no longer active.  Probiotic means “pro life.”  Probiotics is the use of 'cultivated' live bacteria to restore the balance of depleted similar bacteria in the large intestine or colon; resulting in beneficial effects for humans. 

Besides helping us to digest our food, probiotics also:  Axe: Best probiotics 2016

  • compete with unhealthy bacteria for food

  • produce antibacterial substances

  • help to manufacture vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, A and K

  • help us to extract minerals from our food

  • help us to produce essential fatty acids

  • eat excess sugar

  • stimulate cell repair

  • increase number of immune cells

  • combat allergies and inflammation

  • transform toxic metals and chemicals into useful compounds

 List of Friendly bacteria:  There is a lot of misinformation and hence, confusion about which organisms are probiotic.   Below is a partial list based on a review of related literature. 

Partial List friendly bacteria
By Walter Sorochan

Microbe Location Function
Lactobacillus acidophilus Mouth, intestines, food Helps absorb vitamins, Ca, fatty acids
Reduces lactose intolerance
Decreases allergic responses
Bifidobacterium bifidum
Majority in colon
Colon; vagina yogurt, cheese Control pathogenic bacteria
Enhances the immune system
Aids digestion
Aids absorption Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn
Bifidobacterium Animalis colon Irritable bowel syndrome or chronic constipation
Lactobacillus rhamnosus colon Aids digestion
Aids immune system
Lactobacillus casei   Promote growth other bacteria
Prevents overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria
Decreases tumor recurrence in adult bladder cancer
Lactobacillus colon Fights pathogens
Lactobacillus reuteri colon makes B12 [cobalamin]
L. amylovorus
L. Brevis
L. delbrueckii
L. gallinarum
L. johnsonii
L. plantarum
L. salivarius
L. ansporogenes
  Synthesizes Vitamins D and K
Decreases pathogens
Helps with lactose intolerance
Protects the small intestine
Saccharomyces boulardii colon Restores intestinal flora;
Controls diarrhea


Breaks down lactose; makes yogurt
Prevent traveler’s diarrhea
Streptococcus faecium and infantis    
Enterococcus faecium colon Kills pathogenic microbes;
Lowers bad cholesterol
Acilact colon    Fight radiation & chemotherapy

References:  Article by Bennett: list probiotic bacteria is no longer active.

 Stressors disrupting normal colon flora: 

Everyday stressors deplete the supply of good bacteria in the digestive tract. These stressors include:  Axe: Best probiotics 2016

-- poor dietary habits
-- lack of sleep
-- insufficient sunlight
-- birth control pills
-- stress
-- unhealthy beverages [ e.g., coffee, alcohol ]
-- use of antibiotics
-- smoking
-- poor bowel habits
-- pesticides
-- chlorinated water
-- fluorides
-- radiation

It is apparent that many of our behaviors and good intentions can disrupt the bacterial balance in the digestive system.  Our lifestyle also often compromises our immune system.  Article by Mazmanian: symbiosis health and disease is no longer active.  Pearl: immune-dig connection

Fortunately, along with being maintained through a healthy probiotic diet [ like cottage cheese ] and eating fermented foods [ saurkraut, kifir ], the good bacteria [ probiotics ] are also available as supplements. The growing probiotic industry provides supplements in the form of capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids. There are a multitude of choices, manufacturers, and information out there, and it can be difficult to know which supplement is best for your needs and which company to purchase them from.

 Basis for selecting good Probiotic 

There are no universally established and/or enforced standards for content and label claims on supplement products.  Article by Guarner: International review probiotics 2008 is no longer active.  Here are some guidelines that can help.  Not all of the probiotic-containing products found on store shelves provide the health benefits they claim.  You need to read the labels and do your homework.  Look for the following label information: Axe: Best probiotics 2016

1. bacterial type: listing the [minimum] amount per billion bacteria of each individual strain:
Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, the basis for any probiotic program.
Lactobacillus casei
Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Lactobacillus salviarius
Lactococcus lactis
Bifidobacteria infantis
Lactobacillus plantarum
Bifidobacteria bifidum
Bifidobacteria longum
Bacillus coagulans
Enterococcus faecium
Streptococcus thermophilus

2. Packaging: Probiotic supplements should be sold in HDPE [ high density polyethylene ] plastic or glass containers, which prevent oxygen from affecting the supplement.  Capsules are best to transport live bacteria into the colon.  Bacteria in liquid supplements do not remain viable for more than a few weeks. Powders are exposed to moisture and oxygen every time the container is opened.  Label should also certify that they were “not centrifuged.”

3. Potency or Quantity: Each dose should contain minimum of 20 billion live bacteria. More is better.

4. Quality: live bacteria;  frozen or dead bacteria are useless.

5. No prebiotics or bacteria food included with bacteria.

6. Storage: Live probiotics need to be kept cold in a refrigerated shelf.

7. Dosage: e.g. 1 or 2 capsules per day

8. Expiration Date: The fresher the better. The amount of organisms listed in the product information is the amount of viable organisms on that expiration date. 

9. Contact: manufacturer address and phone listed on label

If the above information is not specified on the label, then search for another supplement.

Probiotics must be alive when consumed and able to reach the large intestine alive to have an effect. The required amount of probiotics must be present at the time of consumption and not when the product was made.  Many supplements will not include all of the bacteria listed in the list above.  You may have some slack in this list but research is definitely not available at this time to verify the bacteria needed in a master supplement.

Probiotics in any form should not be mixed with or taken with chlorinated water, as the chlorine will kill the bacteria. The same observation may be true for those ingesting iodine and silver supplements.

Capsules have a built-in defense against moisture, oxygen, and other harmful contaminants. Capsules are also the preferred form of probiotics supplements for the same reasons they are the preferred form of other supplements and medicines—they require no measuring, travel well, and are easy to use. Chewable tablets are often the best choice for children and the elderly. Vegetarians and vegans will also favor chewable tablets over capsules, whose coating is often made from gelatin, an animal product.

 What Are the Benefits of Using Probiotic Supplements? 

There is a lot of new information about the benefits of probiotics and natural colon bacteria.  For more information go to: Probiotics, bacteria and immunue system links

The value of probiotics is becoming more widely accepted by the medical community. Article by Guarner: International review probiotics 2008 is no longer active.   Reid: Probiotic uses in medicine 2003  Article by Minocha: Probiotics & preventive health is no longer active. Article by Guilliams: Probiotic Use in Clinical Practice 2011 is no longer active.  In the foreword to Probiotics: Nature’s Internal Healers, Dr. Michael McCann writes, “Probiotics will be to medicine in the twenty-first century as antibiotics and microbiology were in the twentieth.” As more research is conducted, it is becoming clear that probiotic supplements are not just an option for a healthy lifestyle, but a necessity.

Despite all of these well known and thoroughly studied facts, the American medical establishment adamantly refuses to recognize the role of intestinal flora in health and longevity.

 Using Probiotics to Fix a broken digestive system 

Use probiotics to re-balance the bacteria in the large intestine. This is a tricky fix as there may be many factors contributing to the bacterial disbalance at the same time.  Not only do we need to restore the good and bad bacteria inside our body with probiotics but also control the environment outside us.   Doing both at the same time can muddy the progress of the fix and can be counterproductive.  Buying the hype advertized supplemental probiotics and ingesting same may not be the best way to fix a broken digestive system! 

So lets start with the food you eat and try to restore the good and bad guys in the gut and thereby restore at least part of our immune/digestive system.  Most of us will probably have more control of the internal body ecosystem than our external environment. 

What you put into your mouth may help determine the type of bacteria that thrive in your gut, according to a new study.   Researchers have found that a person's intake of meat, fat, carbohydrates, and alcohol appear to influence the type of bacteria that will set up shop in their intestines—but the study also suggests that dietary changes won't quickly replace one microbial population with another. Bork: Bacterial balance & health  Jones: 3 types of gut Another overlooked factor is eating a diet that can affect the growth of intestional flora.

Finally, it is difficult to know whether the probiotic supplement you ingested is really helping you!  Your medical doctor and health insurer are usually reluctant to check with a blood or fecal monitoring test.  So .... your next best way to monitor the benefits of ingesting a probioitic supplement is how you feel.  Do you feel bloated, diarrhea, constipated, or have gas or stomach cramps?  Do you get sick often?  Use common sense!

 Finding good probiotics can be a problem 

There are no universally established and/or enforced standards for content and label claims on supplement products.

Of the hundreds of probiotic products in the supermarket today, only “15-20 have clinical studies behind them." Axe: Best probiotics 2016  Finding documented information about supplemental probiotics is difficult and often impossible.  >  The reasons for this should be obvious.  Research about colon bacteria and how the many different species [ genera ] function is in its infancy.  Just what is the research link between microbial strains and affect on the human body?  Although scientists have begun to identify the good and bad guys in the GIT, they are at the same time trying to verify the link between bacteria, disease and health and also determine whether certain bacteria cause a disease [effect].  Research is escalading faster than scientists can present it to the public in words that the public understands.  Consequently, there is very little transparency about probiotics information and comprehensible, documented research that simple folk can use as a guide.  How can there be "real" standards for selecting probiotic products that work when the microbial scientists are in the early stages of unraveling the gut flora?  Yet that is what some marketers selling probiotics, with good intentions, have tried to do.

So it should not be surprising that the astute consumer is bewildered about probiotics.  How does one make an informed decision about probiotics when reliable reference to background information about different microbes is difficult or impossible to find?  This is an information vacuum.  On the one hand, probiotic product marketers make unsupported claims about the benefits of probiotics.  Many of the products currently on the market are not clearly tied to research documenting beneficial effects. On the other hand, researchers need to translate technical microbe information into simple easy to understand terms!  Just simple words and readily available probiotic information on the internet would be a help!  We also need a probiotic information clearing center!

Many supplements state on the label how many billions of probiotics they contain but actually labels are slightly missing the point. For example, given the right probiotic foods, those bacteria will multiply many times over in just a few days.  Hence, one may not have to continue ingesting probiotic supplements for a month or longer.

Another issue is to provide the variety of species or genera of good bacteria. If you don’t have an ‘original’, you can’t make copies.

But first --- the most crucial issue is getting these live bacteria past the acid stomach which can kill them off, and into the large intestine where they can do their job. This is not as simple as it sounds. Many potential probiotic bacteria are killed off long before they ever reach the large intestine. Indeed, implicit in the definition of a probiotic is that it should be a bacterium from a strain proven to survive transit through the gut and proven to have a beneficial effect in the large intestine, in clinical trials.  Such documented information is lacking in commercials and labels.

Lacking good independent probiotic information makes buying supplemental probiotics a problem!  You don't know if the brand you buy will really work.  You also don't know whether the probiotics you ingest ever reach their destination.  At this time, there is no monitoring test to determine this.  The label product information and claims espoused by marketers is usually not supported by documentation.  In a 2003 study, Belgian researchers examined the probiotic bacteria of 25 dairy products and 30 powdered products that were used as nutritional supplements. And the results were stunning!  More than a third of the powdered products contained no living bacteria whatsoever - unlike the dairy products, which contained up to a billion living microorganisms per milliliter. In identifying the bacteria, the researchers found that only 13 % of the products contained all bacteria types included on the label. Meanwhile, in one third of all the products, the researchers found other bacteria not listed on the label. Belgian research 2008  The message from this Belgian research is that you need to do your homework on the probiotic you intend to buy.

In spite of the short-comings about probiotics, good probiotics should be safe to take.

Having a good guide to help you purchase probiotics would be helpful.  But even such general guides are difficult to follow and understand. These well intended guides read more like personal opinions than scientific documents.

What to Expect when you take probiotics

You may initially feel gassy or bloated when you first start taking probiotics. This is usually caused by the die-off of harmful bacteria. The bloating typically goes away after a few days. Drinking enough water, consuming adequate fiber, a healthy diet and bowel regularity really helps you purge properly and limit this die-off effect. If bloating and gas continue or are severe, you may benefit from a colon cleanse. And monitor your bowel movement whether your movement is hard [constipated] or soft.   Consult your informed medical therapist for this help.

Remember, if the probiotic supplement does not contain proper probiotic strains, right potency, right formula, is not living bacteria and is not acid and bile resistant, it will offer no health benefits. Store your supplement in the refrigerator.  And keep in mind that once the probiotics are inside your large intestine, then you need to eat a constant healthy diet to provide good food for the bacteria.

Once you are eating the right foods it should be possible to maintain a healthy bacterial balance in your gut without the use of probiotics.

Probiotics have even expanded into products for pets. Many of the same factors that affect the human digestive tract also cause changes in the gastrointestinal health of dogs and cats.


Andrews Ryan, "All About Probiotics," Precision Nutrition, May 3, 2010.  Andrews: Probiotic food

Angier Natalie, "Job Description Grows for Our Utility Hormone, The New York Times, May 2, 2011.   Angier: 95% serotonin in gut

Alleyne Richard ,"A probiotic drink a day helps women lose weight after giving birth," The Telegraph, May 08, 2009.   Article is inactive   "Researchers found that women who took the food supplement during and after pregnancy saw a bigger reduction in both their waistline and overall body fat."

Arumugam Manimozhiyan and others, "Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome," Nature May 12,2011, 473,174–180.   Arumugam: gut bacteria

Axe Josh, "Probiotics: A Pro or Con for Your Health?," Dr. Axe Food medicine.  Axe: Best probiotics 2016

Bennett Andrew, “List of Probiotic Bacteria,” Live Strong, Oct 17, 2009. Bennett: list probiotic bacteria

Bentley R., and R Meganathan, "Biosynthesis of vitamin K (menaquinone) in bacteria," Microbiol Rev. September, 1982 ; 46(3): 241–280.   Bentley: Vit K synthesis  Bentley: Vit K synthesis pdf format

Berggren A, Lazou Ahrén I, Larsson N, Önning G., "Randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled study using new probiotic lactobacilli for strengthening the body immune defence against viral infections," Eur J Nutr. 2011 Apr;50(3):203-10.   Berggren: probiotics strengthen immunity

Blow Eric, "The twelve strains of probiotic12," The Nature's Inner health Blog, June 27, 2011.   article no longer active

Bork Peer, "Bacterial balance that keeps us healthy," Biology & Nature, March 4, 2010.   Bork: Bacterial balance & health

Bravoa Javier A., Paul Forsytheb,c, Marianne V. Chewb, Emily Escaravageb, Hélène M. Savignaca, Timothy G. Dinana, John Bienenstockb, and John F. Cryana, "Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve," PNAS, August 29, 2011.  Eating probiotic bacteria changes behaviour in mice. Bravoa: probiotic bacteria changes behaviour

Brochu, E., “Bacillus in Prophylaxy and Therapeutics," Clinical literature and references, Rosell Institute, Inc., Montreal, Canada.

Brown Harriet, "The Other Brain Also Deals With Many Woes," New York Times, PNAS 2011 108 (38) 16050-16055, October 11, 2011.  Brown: Gershon second brain

Bushman Frederic D., "Penn Study Linking Gut Microbe Type with Diet has Implications for Fighting GI Disorders," University of Pennsylvania, September 02, 2011.

Campbell Barry, Brain-gut axis.   Campbell: slides

Castellarin Mauro,René L. Warren,J. Douglas Freeman, Lisa Dreolini, Martin Krzywinski, Jaclyn Strauss, Rebecca Barnes, Peter Watson, Emma Allen-Vercoe, Richard A. Moore1, and Robert A. Holt, "Fusobacterium nucleatum infection is prevalent in human colorectal carcinoma," Genome Research, October 18, 2011.  Castellarin: Fusobacterium link to colon cancer 2011  "An estimated 15% or more of the cancer burden worldwide is attributable to known infectious agents."

Cohen Jon, "The Patient of the Future," Technology Review, March/April 2012.   Cohen: Smarr gut check 2012   Internet pioneer Larry Smarr's quest to quantify everything about his health led him to a startling discovery, an unusual partnership with his doctor, and more control over his life. "I have no doubt this is the future of medicine, but I have no idea how to get there from here," says gastroenterologist at UCSD, William Sandborn. Smarr directs the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology in La Jolla, Ca.

Coleman Claire, "Probiotic beauty: They're the bugs that boost digestion - but can they also clean up your skin?" Mailonline, April 20, 2009.   Coleman: Probiotics skin care and Beauty

"Probiotic beauty --- clean up your skin? Although as a concept it’s still in the early stages, the idea is that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and prebiotics (essential fuel for the beneficial bacteria) can help improve the balance of bacteria in your skin, in the same way they are known to improve the balance of bacteria in your digestive system.  Research published in the British Journal of Dermatology suggested that eczema and the associated itching improved after patients were treated with a probiotic cream. And, just this month, the Journal of Dermatological Science devoted coverage to a small study that seemed to show that, using prebiotics, it is possible to reduce the levels of acne-causing bacteria without harming the good bacteria."

Dash S.K., "Selection Criteria for Probiotics," Presented at XXXVII Dairy Industry Conference, February 7-9, 2009, Kala Academy, Panjim, Goa.   Article no longer active

DeVault Norma, “Good Types of Bacteria,” Live Strong, Jun 13, 2010.   Article by Devault: good bacteria 2010 is no longer active.

Dryden Jim, "Diabetes may start in the intestines, research suggests," Journal Cell Host & Microbe, February 15, 2012.   Dryden: diabetes may start in intestines   Their research suggests that problems controlling blood sugar — the hallmark of diabetes — may begin in the intestines. “When people become resistant to insulin, as happens when they gain weight, FAS doesn’t work properly, which causes inflammation that, in turn, can lead to diabetes.” Fatty acid synthase (FAS) in the intestine. FAS, an enzyme crucial for the production of lipids, is regulated by insulin, and people with diabetes have defects in FAS.

Dunn Rob, "Scientists Discover That Antimicrobial Wipes and Soaps May Be Making You (and Society) Sick," Scientific American, July 5, 2011.  Dunn: soap kills good bacteria  "But what do antibiotic wipes and soaps do? Amazingly, no one really knows."

Enserink Martin, "Your Gut Bacteria Are What You Eat," Science, September 01, 2011.  Article no longer active.

Fasano Alessio and Terez Shea-Donohue, " Mechanisms of disease: the role of intestinal barrier function in the pathogenesis of gatrointestinal autoimmune diseases," Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology & Hepatology, September 2005, Vol 2, No 9.   Article no longer active.

Fitzpatrick K.C., "Probiotics discussion paper." Health Canada, March 2005.  Article no longer active.

Foster Jane, "'Knowing It In Your Gut' Is Real, Researchers Find," Integral Options cafe, March 28, 2011.   Foster: Real gut
Researchers at McMaster University discovered that the "cross-talk" between bacteria in our gut and our brain plays an important role in the development of psychiatric illness, intestinal diseases and probably other health problems as well including obesity. "The wave of the future is full of opportunity as we think about how microbiota or bacteria influence the brain and how the bi-directional communication of the body and the brain influence metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes," says Jane Foster, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

Gill HS, Guarner F. "Probiotics and human health: a clinical perspective," Postgraduate Medical Journal, 2004;80(947):516–526.  Gill: Probiotics and human health

Giovanni Barbara, Cesare Cremon, Giovanni Carini, Lara Bellacosa, Lisa Zecchi, Roberto De Giorgio, Roberto Corinaldesi, and Vincenzo Stanghellini, "The Immune System in Irritable Bowel Syndrome," J Neurogastroenterol Motil, October 17 2011, (4): 349–359.  Giovanni: Irritable bowl syndrome

Global healing center. "Probiotic Bacteria and Your Health."  Article by Global Healing Center: Probiotic bacteria & your health is no longer active.

Goitrogens:  Goitrogenic foods are foods that interfere with iodine absorption. Goitrogens are common in vegetables: cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. However, warnings that these foods are the cause of hypothyroidism are probably exaggerated. First, the goitrogens are destroyed when these foods are cooked. Goitrogenic Foods to avoid eating

Guarner Francisco, and international review team, "Probiotics and prebiotics," World Gastroenterology Organisation, May 2008.   Article by Guarner: International review probiotics 2008 is no longer active.

Gut-brain signaling, The Citizen's Compendium.   Gut-brain signalling

Gut flora  "Most bacteria belong to the genera Bacteroides, Clostridium, Fusobacterium, Eubacterium, Ruminococcus, Peptococcus, Peptostreptococcus, and Bifidobacterium.  Other genera, such as Escherichia and Lactobacillus, are present to a lesser extent.  Species from the genus Bacteroides alone constitute about 30% of all bacteria in the gut, suggesting that this genus is especially important in the functioning of the host.  The currently known genera of fungi of the gut flora include Candida, Saccharomyces, Aspergillus, and Penicillium."  Gut flora

Hadhazy Adam, "Think Twice: How the Gut's "Second Brain" Influences Mood and Well-Being," Scientific American, February 12, 2010.  Hadhazy: Gershon GI tract & immunity   "95 percent of the body's serotonin is found in the bowels."

Heather, "Escaping Anergy: The Immunology Research Blog," August 5, 2011.   Heather: immunological research

Holt Robert, "Two Cancer Studies Find Bacterial Clue in Colon," NY Times, October 17, 2011, authored by GINA KOLATA.   Holt: bacteria linked colon cancer Published: "Fusobacteria were known before this, of course, but were thought of as microbes that mostly live in the mouth — they are often in plaque and are associated with periodontal disease. But there are also recent reports associating them with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease."

Hughes D.B., and Hoover D. G., " Biofidobacteria: Their potential for use in American dairy products," Food Technology, April, 1991, 45, 74.

Hurley Dan, "Your Backup Brain," Psychology Today, November 01, 2011 - last reviewed on January 02, 2012.  Hurley: brain2   There's a "second brain" in your stomach. It influences your mood, what you eat, the kinds of diseases you get, as well as the decisions you make. And you thought it was all in your head!

Jain K.K.,MD, [contributing editor] "Neurogastroenterology - Clinical summary," MedLink Neurology, July 29, 2011. Article no longer active.

Jockers David, "Melatonin plays an important role in healthy digestive and immune function," Natural News, September 12, 2011.    Jockers: Sleep & immunity

Jones Nicola, "Gut study divides people into three types," Nature, April 20, 2011.   Jones: 3 types of gut   Bacterial populations fall into three distinct ecolosystem classes that could help to personalize medicine. Peer Bork, who led the study at EMBL: "our gut flora can settle into three different types of community -- three different ecosystems."

Peer Bork’s group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany, discovered that humans can be classified based on three distinct gut microbiomes. The research team analyzed genomic data obtained from human fecal matter (the least invasive (and least glamorous) method to analyze bacteria living in your guts) derived from people living in Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and the U.S. and discovered that three different clusters could be distinguished such that irregardless of sex, weight, height, age or geographic location, the balance of gut bacteria could be separated into 3 different groups-each differing in the bacterial contents that lived in their gut.

Type 1 = Bacteroides fragilis; type 2 = Preveotella & few Bacteroides; and type 3 = Ruminococcus clostridia [linked to cancer but not causal]. 

People who were Type 1 had a different balance of gut bacteria than people in Type 2 or 3. Similar to bloodtypes, that is that all people can be classified into one of 4 groups based on if they express A, B, AB or O antigens on their red blood cells, Bork suggests that this new biological classification, enterotypes (named for the collection of bacteria that live in the gut that distinguish the three groups) may be used to better tailor diets, drug regimines and antibiotics for an individual based on his/her microbiome. For example, someone of Enterotype 1 may respond better to particular antibiotics or diets than someone who is Enterotype 2 or 3. However, this is still a hypothesis that requires more research, funding and public interest to better understand the differences between these enterotypes and whether specific enterotypes are found in other highly colonized areas of the body such as the urogenital tract and skin, and importantly: if different microbial environments in our bodies play a role in disease susceptibility or resistance.

Jung Camille, Jean-Pierre Hugot, and Frédérick Barreau, "Peyer's Patches: The Immune Sensors of the Intestine," International Journal of Inflammation Volume 2010, Article ID 823710, 12 pages. July 11, 2010.   Jung: Peyer's Patches

Kalliomaki M., Salminen S., Arvilommi H., Kero P., Koskinen P., Isolauri E., "Probiotics in primary prevention of atopic disease: A randomized placebo-controlled trial," The Lancet, April 7, 2001; 357:1076-1079.  Article no longer active.

Kalman Douglas S, Howard I Schwartz, Patricia Alvarez, Samantha Feldman, John C Pezzullo and Diane R Krieger, "A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel-group dual site trial to evaluate the effects of a Bacillus coagulans-based product on functional intestinal gas symptoms," BMC Gastroenterology  November18, 2009, 9:85.   Article no longewr active.  Conclusion: Bacillus coagulans-based product was effective in improving the quality of life and reducing gastrointestinal symptoms in adults with post prandial intestinal gas-related symptoms and no GI diagnoses.  Studies suggest that the probiotic Bacillus coagulans decreases the symptoms of abdominal pain and bloating in subjects with inflammatory bowel disease .

Kelly GS., "Larch arabinogalactan: clinical relevance of a novel immune-enhancing polysaccharide," Altern Med Rev.,  April 4, 1999, (2):96-103.   Kelly: probiotic preventing cancer

Kiani Leila, "Bugs in Our Guts—Not All Bacteria Are Bad: How Probiotics Keep Us Healthy," ProQuest, September 2006.  Article no long active.

Konturek S.J., j.w. Konturek, T. Pawlik and T. Brzozowki, "Brain-gut axis and its role in the control of food intake," Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 2004, 55, 1, 137-154.   Kotnturek: Brain-Gut axis

Kunst F. and associates, "The complete genome sequence of the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillussubtilis," Scribed, NATURE, November 20, 1997, Vol 390.   Kunst: sample of genome sequence 1997   Table 1. Functional classification of the Bacillus subtilisprotein-coding genes.  McMillan Publishers Ltd., 1997.

Lapook Jonathan, "Do probiotics actually anything?" 60 Minutes, June 28, 2020.  Lapook: Probiotics really work? 2020

Manimozhiyan Arumugam, others & Peer Bork, "Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome," Nature June 2011, 473,174–180.   Manimozhiyan-Bork: 3 types bacteria 2011   "we identify three robust clusters (referred to as enterotypes hereafter)"

Martin Michelle, "Listen now Microbes," BBC radio 4, June 1,2011.   Human frontiers Listen 2011

New research has suggested that pathogenic microbes could be implicated in a whole host of diseases, including obesity, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, arthritis and autism.

""We may find there are new links between the human microbiome and diseases that today we don't think of having any underlying microbial component," says Claire Fraser-Liggett, Director of the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland.

The hope is that this research may pave the way for more personalised treatments which could help get our bacterial communities back on the right track.

Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, Germany, "Natural intestinal flora involved in the emergence of multiple sclerosis," Max-Plank Gesellschaft, October 27, 2011.   Max Planck Institute: gut flora & MS   "Precisely which bacteria are involved in the emergence of multiple sclerosis remains unclear; possibly  clostridiums."

Mazmanian, SK., et al. “A microbial symbiosis factor prevents intestinal inflammatory disease,” Nature, 2008. 453:620-625. Mazmanian: microbe symbiosis factor prevents

Mazmanian Sarkis K., "Evolutionary Mechanisms of Host-Bacterial Symbiosis during Health and Disease," California Institute of Technology, October 10, 2010.   Article by Mazmanian: symbiosis health and disease is no longer active.  “The potential of beneficial microbes appears to be limitless” and that “this symbiotic relationship between the human body and microbes [is] a gold mine of potential therapies for a number of illnesses.”

Mercola J., "Beneficial Bacteria (Probiotics) May Halt Allergies In Babies,", April 14, 2001.  Article no longer active.

"Researchers in Finland used a type of bacteria found naturally in the gut -- called Lactobacillus GG (Lactobacillus rhamnosus), which is safe at an early age and effective in treatment of allergic inflammation and food allergy -- to try to prevent allergy development in at-risk infants.

Investigators gave a group of pregnant women probiotic capsules every day for a few weeks before their due dates. For 6 months after delivery, women who breast-fed continued on the probiotics, while bottle-fed infants were given the treatment directly. All of the babies were considered to be at high risk of developing allergies because a parent or sibling was affected.

By the age of 2 years, 35% of the children had developed allergic eczema, a condition in which the skin becomes irritated, red and itchy.

Mercola J., "One Third of Probiotics 'Good Bacteria' Products, Like Acidophilus, Found to be Worthless,", July 11 2001.   Article inactive.

MetaHIT is a EURO funded project with affiliations to International Human Microbiome Consortium (IHMC).  Director Dusko.Ehrlich, "Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal Tract," Report August, 2011. Article inactive. MetaHIT is a project financed by the European Commission under the 7th FP program. The consortium gathers 13 partners from academia and industry, a total of 8 countries. Its total cost has been evaluated at more than 21,2 million € and the funding requested from the European Commission has been set with an upper limit of 11,4 million €. The project will last from January 1, 2008 until June 30, 2012.

Minocha Anil, "Probiotics for Preventive Health," Nutr Clin Pract APRIL-MAY 2009 vol. 24 no. 2 227-241.   Article inactive.

Randomized, double-blind studies have provided evidence of the effectiveness of probiotics for preventing various diarrheal illnesses as well as allergic disorders. Evidence for their efficacy for use in the prevention and treatment of bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections is also mounting. In addition, probiotics may be useful for preventing respiratory infections, dental caries, necrotizing enterocolitis, and certain aspects of inflammatory bowel disease. Data also suggest that probiotics may promote good health in day care and work settings, and may enhance growth in healthy as well as ill and malnourished children.

Monastyrsky Konstantin, "Restoring Intestinal Flora,"  Monastyrsky: restoring good health “There are over 400 species of bacteria in the colon; bacteria make up 30%–50% of the total dry matter in the feces, or even 75% according to other calculation." Disbacterosis

Park Alice, "A Surprising Link Between Bacteria and Colon Cancer," Time HealthLand, October 18, 2011.   Park: bacteria- cancer link 2011

Pearl Seth, "The digestive immune system connection," Digestive Health Information Center,   Pearl: immune-dig connection

Porter David L., Bruce L. Levine, Michael Kalos, Adam Bagg and Carl H. June, "Chimeric Antigen Receptor–Modified T Cells in Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia," N Engl J Med 2011; 365:725-733, August 25, 2011.   Porter: controlling leukemia 2011

Primal Defense: Two of the soil organisms in Primal Defense are Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus lichenformis. In studies conducted in Germany at the University of Berlin’s Max-Volmer Institute, both were shown to inactivate human immunodeficiency, herpes simplex (HSV-1 and HSV-2), simian immunodeficiency, feline calicivirus, murine encephalomyocarditis, and other lipid envelope viruses—along with mycoplasmas, fungi and bacteria. They do so by producing a potent chemical called surfactin, a detergent-like substance that dissolves the lipid membranes of lipid envelope viruses, thereby rendering them completely inactivated.

Probiotics means "for life." The joint Food and Agriculture/World Health organization defines probiotics as "live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host."  Market Research: boosting immunity  Probiotics are not the same thing as prebiotics -- nondigestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of beneficial microorganisms already in people's colons. When probiotics and prebiotics are mixed together, they form a synbiotic.

"Gut bacteria also: •help synthesize B and K vitamins
•enhance gastrointestinal motility and function
•enhance digestion and nutrient absorption
•obstruct the growth of “bad bacteria” and other pathogens
•help metabolize other plant compounds/drugs
•produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and polyamines
•produce coagulation and growth factors
•produce cytokines (cell signaling molecules)
•help regulate intestinal mucus secretion and ultilization
•help regulate blood flow to the viscera."   All about probiotics

Proctor LM., "The Human Microbiome Project in 2011 and beyond," Cell Host Microbe. 2011 Oct 20;10(4):287-91.   Proctor: USA Human Microbiome Project 2011   Human frontiers Listen 2011

PT Staff, "Our Second Brain: The Stomach," Psychology Today, May 01, 1999.   Pych Today: second brain States that human stomach has neurotransmitters similar to the brain.

Reid Gregor, Jana Jass, M. Tom Sebulsky, and John K. McCormick, "Potential Uses of Probiotics in Clinical Practice," Clin Microbiol Rev. 2003 October; 16(4): 658–672.   Reid: Probiotic uses in medicine 2003

Round JL, Lee SM, Li J, Tran G, Jabri B, Chatila TA, & Mazmanian SK., "The Toll-like receptor 2 pathway establishes colonization by a commensal of the human microbiota," Science 2011.  Round: microbe clonization 2011  The host immune system, via Toll-like receptor (TLR) recognition, can differentiate pathogenic and commensal bacteria. This landmark article for the first time determines how microorganisms tailor host immune cell activation in order to establish symbiotic colonization of determined niches in the gut in a mutualistic fashion.

Stevenson Heidi, "New Study Reveals That Antibiotics Damage Our Immune System," GAIA Health, April 24, 2011.  Article inactive.

"The study concludes that the use of antibiotics must be causing chronic diseases." A new California Institute of Technology [Caltech] study has shown that our intestinal bacteria determine which bacteria are beneficial and which are pathogenic. Even more significantly, it is the gut bacteria that trigger an immune response, not the immune system itself. This indicates that science and medicine need to completely rethink the current view of how the immune system operates.

Taylor John R., and Mitchell, Deborah. The Wonder of Probiotics. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2007.  Article inactive. "recommends a supplement with at least five of twelve particular probiotic species. The first of those is Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, the basis for any probiotic program. The others include Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacteria bifidum, Bifidobacteria longum, Bacillus coagulans, Bifidobacteria infantis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus salviarius, Lactococcus lactis, Enterococcus faecium, and Streptococcus thermophilus."

"Abstract:  Vitamin production by the strains of Bifidobacterium infantis, B. breve, B. bfidum, B. longum and B. adolescentis was studied. They accumulated vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, C, nicotinic acid, folic acid and biotin intracellulary while they excreted vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid in the medium.

B. longum, B. breve and B. infantis exhibited an appreciable vitamin production. The production of vitamin B2 and B6 by B. longum was outstanding. B. breve and B. infantis respectively produced nicotinic acid and biotin to a higher concentration which was distinctive from the case of the other species. A significance of the intestinal Bifidobacteria, in vitamin nutrition in the host, was discussed."

Tlaskalová-Hogenová Helena, "Review: The role of gut microbiota (commensal bacteria) and the mucosal barrier in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and cancer: contribution of germ-free and gnotobiotic animal models of human diseases," Cellular & Molecular Immunology, January 2011, 8, 110–120.   Tlaskalová: role of gut microbes in diseases 2011   "Although the most important findings in this fascinating field are still to come, it is clear that our bacterial companions affect our fates more than previously assumed."

UCSD  UCSD: lines defense

Upadhyay Nitesh, and Varsha Moudgal, "Probiotics: A Review," JCOM February 2012, Vol. 19, No. 2.   Article by Upadhyay: Probiotic review 2012 is no longer active.

VRP Staff, "Three Ways to Keep Your Colon Healthy," Health News, November 03, 2009.   Article by VRP: healthy colon is np lpnger active.

high amounts of butyrate can lower your colon cancer risk, reduce inflammation and cut DNA damage in half—while further research suggests that butyric acid can also increase mucosal cell repair, intestinal motility plus sodium and water absorption in your colon. Co-factors needed include: take a natural polysaccharide supplement called Larch Arabinogalactan to reduce ammonia and take vitamin D3.

Walker Morton, "Jordan Rubin's amazing journey, Cure for Crohn’s Disease, sickness to health,"  Article by Walker: Cure for Crohns Disease is no longer active.

HSO = Homeostatic Soil organisms: These are beneficial microbes found in pristine soils that are as necessary for health. Homeostatic soil organisms are super probiotics (the opposite of antibiotics). They restore balance to an autointoxicated gastrointestinal tract in a specific manner. Upon being swallowed, the HSOs™ activate and bring about gut restoration by attaching themselves to the intestinal mucosa. On the gut wall they reproduce to form colonies along the course of "receptor sites" which had previously been established by harmful bacteria and other pathological microorganisms. These pathogens are crowded out or eaten up by the probiotics so that symptoms of illness they had been producing tend to terminate eventually. The time factor for symptomatic healing is dependent upon the volume of pathogens lodged at the gut's receptor sites. No matter what the number of bad bacteria or other pathogens, HSOs™ implant themselves and bring about gut restoration.

Wenner Melinda, "Jeremy Nicholson's Gut Instincts: Researching Intestinal Bacteria," Scientific - June 17, 2008.  Article by Wenner: researching gut bacteria is no longer active.

"The most well-known disease-causing gut organism is the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which can trigger peptic ulcer. In the past few years, scientists have linked obesity to the relative abundance of two dominant intestinal bacterial phyla and found that dysfunctional intestinal bacteria are associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease and some types of cancer. Nicholson even speculates that the organisms could play a role in neurological disorders, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette’s syndrome and autism. “We have some evidence now that shows that if you mess around with the gut microbes, you mess around with brain chemistry in major ways,”

Wikipedia, "Bifidobacterium."   Wiki: Bifidobacterium     Bifidobacteria are able to prevent or alleviate infectious diarrhea through their effects on the immune system and resistance to colonization by pathogens. There is some experimental evidence that certain bifidobacteria may actually protect the host from carcinogenic activity of intestinal flora. Bifidobacteria may exert protective intestinal actions through various mechanisms, and represent promising advances in the fields of prophylaxis and therapy.

Bifidobacteria, called probiotics, are a natural part of the bacterial flora in the human body and have a symbiotic bacteria-host relationship with humans. B. longum promotes good digestion, boosts the immune system, and produces lactic and acetic acid that controls intestinal pH. These bacteria also inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, E. coli, and other bacteria that have more pathogenic qualities than Bifidobacteria.  Wiki microbes

Species: B. angulatum; B. animalis; B. asteroides; B. bifidum; B. boum; B. breve; B. catenulatum; B. choerinum; B. coryneforme; B. cuniculi; B. dentium; B. gallicum; B. gallinarum; B indicum; B. longum; B. magnum; B. merycicum; B. minimum; B. pseudocatenulatum; B. pseudolongum; B. psychraerophilum; B. pullorum; B. ruminantium; B. saeculare; B. scardovii; B. simiae; B. subtile; B. thermacidophilum; B. thermophilum; B. urinalis; B. sp. Wiki microbes  

Wikipedia, Immune system.  Wiki: immune system

Wikipedia   Wiki: intestinal tract

Wikipedia, "List of human diseases associated with infectious pathogens."   Wiki: List human disease linked pathogens

Wikipedia, "Payer's Patch."   Peyer's Patch

Wong, Julia M. W., de Souza, Russell Kendall, Cyril W. C., Emam, Azadeh, Jenkins, David J. A., "Colonic Health: Fermentation and Short Chain Fatty Acids," Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, March 2006 - Volume 40 - Issue 3 - pp 235-243.   Wong: fatty acids  The rate and amount of SCFA production depends on the species and amounts of microflora present in the colon, the substrate source and gut transit time.  Butyrate has been studied for its role in nourishing the colonic mucosa and in the prevention of cancer of the colon.

Wu Hsin-Jung, Ivaylo I. Ivanov, Jaime Darce, Kimie Hattori, Tatsuichiro Shima, Yoshinori Umesaki, Dan R. Littman, Christophe Benoist, and Diane Mathis, "Gut-residing segmented filamentous bacteria drive autoimmune arthritis via T helper 17 cells," PubMed Central, June 25, 2010 issue of Immunity.   Wu: gut bacteria causing autimmune arthritis 2010

Xu J, Mahowald MA, Ley RE, Lozupone CA, Hamady M, et al. , "Evolution of Symbiotic Bacteria in the Distal Human Intestine,"  PLOS Biology,  2007, 5(7): e156. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050156.   Xu: evolution Symbiotic gut Bacteria

Yadav Vijay K, Santhanam Balaji, Padmanaban S Suresh, X Sherry Liu, Xin Lu, Zhishan Li, X Edward Guo, J John Mann, Anil K Balapure, Michael D Gershon, Rudraiah Medhamurthy, Marc Vidal, Gerard Karsenty & Patricia Ducy, "Pharmacological inhibition of gut-derived serotonin synthesis is a potential bone anabolic treatment for osteoporosis," Nature Medicine February 17, 2010, 16,308–312.   Yadav: serotonin link to osteroporosis 2010

Zimmer Carl, "How Microbes Defend and Define Us," New York Times, July 12, 2010.   Zimmer: How Microbes Defend us  "The Imperial College team that discovered microbes in the lungs, for example, also discovered that people with asthma have a different collection of microbes than healthy people. Obese people also have a different set of species in their guts than people of normal weight." and bacteriotherapy or fecal transplantation