In certain medical conditions, probiotic supplements can actually make the situation worse.
If you’ve ever made sauerkraut at home, you know that you don’t need to add starter bacteria to ferment it, as the lactic acid-producing bacteria already present on the cabbage leave behind in the field. These suggests that raw fruits and vegetables can be not only a source of prebiotics – that is, fiber – but also a source of “novel” probiotics.
As I discuss in my video Culture shock: Questioning the effectiveness and safety of probioticshave researchers since then worked to characterize these bacterial communities and found two interesting results. First, “The communities of each type of product were vastly different from one another.” Indeed, the fruits of the trees harbor other bacteria than vegetables on the ground, and grapes and mushrooms seem to be disappearing into their own little world. If these mistakes actually turn out to be good for us, it would underscore the importance of eating not only more, but also a wider variety of fruits and vegetables each day. Second, the researchers found that there were “significant differences in [microbial] Community composition between conventional and organic products. “This underscores the potential for differences in the microbiota [or bacteria] between conventionally and organically grown products that have an impact on human health ”- but we don’t know in which direction. You certainly found different bacteria on organic and conventional produce, but we don’t know enough about fruit and vegetable bugs to determine which bacterial communities are healthier.
What about probiotic supplements? I’ve already talked about their potential benefits in my videos Prevention and treatment of diarrhea with probiotics and Gut Emotions: Probiotics and Mental Health, but there appears To be publication bias in the scientific literature on probiotics. This is something we often see with drug companies where the sponsor, like the supplement company that pays for its own probiotic research, may not report negative results. It won’t publish it as if the study never happened. In this case, doctors only see the positive studies.
As you can see in mine at 2:00 am Culture shock: Questioning the effectiveness and safety of probiotics Video, using fancy statistical techniques, researchers estimated that up to 20 unflattering studies “with minor or harmful results” were simply MIA. They just weren’t published. For example, even in the published studies in which the authors were sponsored directly by a yogurt company, “very often no conflicts of interest are reported …”.
There were also security concerns. A review for the Government Agency for Health Research and Quality completed that there is “a lack of assessment and systematic reporting of adverse events in probiotic intervention studies” while “the evidence available is in RCTs [randomized controlled trials] does not indicate an increased risk [for the general public]… The current literature is not well equipped to answer questions about the safety of probiotic interventions with confidence. “
Let’s talk about the study that freaky Get people out a little. Acute pancreatitis, sudden inflammation of the pancreas, increases and in some cases can become life threatening as bacteria break through our intestinal barrier and infect our internal organs. Antibiotics don’t seem to work. So how about probiotics? They seemed to be working on rats. If you cause inflammation by cutting the rats open and “mechanically harmful”Your pancreas, not just probiotics show “Strong evidence of effectiveness” but there were “No evidence of adverse effects …” So half of the people with pancreatitis got probiotics and the other half got sugar pills. As you can see in mine at 3:37 am Videowho have favourited death rates shot in the probiotic group compared to placebo within ten days. More than twice as many people died from the probiotics. Hence, probiotics for acute pancreatitis are unlikely to be a good idea, and moreover, probiotics “can no longer be considered harmless” …
The researchers were criticized for ensuring that patients were not warned about the risk before signing up for the study. (The study participants were Probiotics had a long history of safe use with no known side effects.) In response to the criticism, the researchers answered that there were no known side effects – until their study.
At the beginning of this blog, I alluded to mine Preventing a cold with probiotics? Video.
Perhaps it would be safer and more effective to focus on promoting the growth of good bacteria by giving them prebiotics (fiber and resistant starch). Learn more:
Michael Greger, MD
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