Probiotics are poorly regulated, just like other supplements


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/25/probiotics-are-poorly-regulate.html


#2

Just eat kimchi/yogurt/sauerkraut/the dirt in your veggie garden. Supplements are universally shite. If you need more vitamin D, go outside more, eat oysters, egg yolks from pastured chickens, beef liver. Etc etc etc. Again, supplements are all shite, not only do they almost never have what’s supposed to be in them, even if they did there is no scientific proof that your body can even assimilate them in concentrated, isolated mega doses. Eat real food.


#3

Maybe don’t eat that. Chances are you’ll be OK eating a little dirt, but if you continually eat topsoil you run the risk of catching worms.


#4

Ok, I was exaggerating with that bit, but the point is to get a little dirt in your diet, via fruits and veggies, which is where a lot of real live probiotics are found. This leads to the next point: the importance of probiotics has been extremely overblown, largely by the nutritional supplement industry, which is always quick to exploit people’s neurotic obsessions.


#5

No shit its not regulated, I wouldnt expect it for foods that claim to have it… that’d be like the government regulating real yogurt. However if the probiotics are bought at a pharmacy they 100% should be overseen and make sure they arent lying to customers about whats in them.


#6

I have more confidence in my dog’s veterinarian supplied supplements…

I had a country vet, years ago, who had a wide offering of neutraceuticals and kitty vitamins. He always had Rush Limbaugh on, too.


#7

Probiotics are quackery, based on evidence I’ve read from recent studies. I strongly recommend reading up before investing.

This may be over-generalizing, but the human biome consists of hundreds of thousands to millions of different varieties of bacteria in a grouping of relatively stable proportions that work well for your particular body, consuming the kinds of foods that you like to eat, along with all of the stuff that you ingest that does not actually qualify as food, in the environment where you live.

The likelihood that a sampling of a few varieties of selectively chosen gut bacteria will “drop into place” in your digestive system and correct whatever problem you’re taking them for is just statistical noise.

On the other hand, I’ve read that a poop transplant turns out to be rather effective for people with serious IBS.


#8

They are regulated and the regulations are well defined, the issue is with regulatory enforcement when companies/brands cut corners. Just like a stop-sign that people can run or roll through often, until they get caught, and the law is enforced. The is promise there for such ingredients, but until greater consequences are made and enforced in making them and in allowing qualified/substantiated claims, the same perception will unfortunately persist.


#9

What about this kombucha stuff?


#10

The Human Microbiome Project and other microbiome projects worldwide have laid an important foundation for understanding the trillions of microbes that inhabits each of our bodies.

Sample plot of Michael Pollan’s gut biome data for the heck of it

Not without its limitations, though;

If you have ever taken a lot of antibiotics, or even just a few very powerful ones, and if you have suffered various health consequences after, then you already know that having a healthy gut with lots of wee microbial helpers is definitely important.

Fermented foods are a nice, time-tested reset for your digestive tract.

Consuming fermented foods (and we humans make so very many!)


is good housekeeping, or gut-keeping, though I admit that fermented shark meat is a bridge too far for me.

@seyo has it right: skip the supplements… humans have been consuming fermented food and drink for millennia, and these are proven performers, historically our first and best probiotics.

and… with 516 contributions to this [now locked] BB thread:

I learned a lot there, a few years ago. Thanks again, y’all.

Standard disclaimer: YMMV. I make pickles and kombucha. I am not a doctor or other health professional. Offer void where prohibited. Etc.

ETA: grammar, and added links


#11

I doubt kombucha is the wonder it’s claimed to be, but I really like the taste.


#12

Dreck reinigt den Magen.
– German proverb


#13

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