How did we get here?
The prevalence of chronic diseases has increased dramatically over the recent decades in Western culture. This can be partly attributed to our Western-style diet, which is a diet high in processed foods, highly refined foods, processed oils and animal fat and low in plant-based food. This kind of diet reduces diversity and total amount of microbes in the gut as well as increases inflammation in the body.
Practices such as farming with pesticides, thoroughly washing fruit and vegetables and buying produce in supermarkets rather than growing it ourselves, have reduced the health of our gut and our microbial diversity.
How we used to get our probiotics
In the past, humans received a large number of natural probiotics from the soil and freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. These soil-dwelling microbes evolved alongside humans over millennia, providing support and nourishment to our microbiome and helping to protect us from disease.
This drop-in microbial diversity from our hyper-sanitised food and environment, cultivates poor immune function and nutrient absorption, as well as contributes to higher blood sugar levels and weight gain, and is a major cause of disease in western society.
Soil-based probiotic bacteria can be a solution here, they replace what we’re missing in our sanitised environment.
Spore-forming bacteria and yeasts, that are naturally present in the soil and on our produce, have been a natural source of probiotics for humans for thousands of years. These bacteria produce extra vitamins for the plants to help them grow and also protect them from infection. They have a similar role within the human microbiome. Spore-forming probiotics support our native microbiome, protect the gut from infections and help us break down our food more thoroughly.
Spore-forming probiotics are also an excellent choice as supplements to improve gut health as they are hardy and typically well-tolerated.
If you’ve had a negative response to conventional probiotics before, such as bloating or diarrhoea, spore-forming probiotics might suit you better.
Due to their tough nature, soil-based probiotics can grow and improve the terrain inside the gut quickly and possibly to a larger extent than traditional probiotics. Also, the spore shells mean that they have great stability and can be stored outside the fridge and are safely added to a variety of tablet or powdered foods and supplements.
Saccharomyces boulardii (SB) has recently been used to improve gut barrier integrity, protect against food poisoning and gut infections and improve the balance of bacterial families in the human microbiome.
SB improves the condition of the gut by encouraging the development of protective mucus and increase in Immunoglobulin A (IgA). IgA helps to reduce the severity of food sensitivities and allergies and protects the gut lining from pathogens adhering and causing infection and immune reactions (cramping, diarrhoea, fatigue).
SB reduces the growth of candida populations by making a bi-product called capric acid that is toxic to Candida, but not to the good bacteria in the gut.
SB protects against antibiotic-induced diarrhoea (AAD) and traveller’s diarrhoea. Traditional probiotics made from bacteria are killed by antibiotic therapy whereas SB survives and thrives.
The type of SB used in Feed is a trademarked specie that has been researched in great depth and shown to protect the gut from pathogens, support healthy immune function and help the body cope better with stress, having a positive impact on both the nervous system and the gut.
Bacillus coagulans (BC) is a spore-forming bacteria derived from soil. It has been trialled extensively in humans in recent years and has been shown to have a wonderful impact on improving digestive capacity and reducing inflammation in the gut while being better tolerated in sensitive individuals than other commonly used probiotics.
BC promotes healthy intestinal motility and relieves both constipation and diarrhoea. It also reduced significantly stomach rumbling, stomach pain and bloating in several clinical trials involving IBS and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) patients.
The bacterium encourages the release of the short-chain fatty acids valerate and butyrate, from colonic bacteria, and this pathway can increase dopamine and serotonin levels in the blood and the brain. This boost in happy hormones reduces anxiety and can also help with motivation, as dopamine is the ‘reward hormone’ and makes us feel extra pleased with ourselves for ticking that last task off the to-do list.
The type of BC chosen by the Gut Co is a trademarked strain that has shown to prevent pathogen adhesion in the gut and improves digestion of carbohydrates and protein, by releasing lactic acid and other metabolites that regulate pH in the small intestine.
Having a slightly acidic pH in the small intestine is crucial in managing the balance of populations in the microbiome and ensuring proper digestion of food. Having a high or neutral intestinal pH allows bad (from foods or opportunistic bacteria already living in your gut) bacteria to thrive and it reduces your ability to absorb nutrients from the food you eat
These are just a few examples of how BC and SB, the spore-forming and soil-based probiotics support health long term. These ingredients can be found alongside, a vegan vitamin D3, Partially Hydrolysed Guar Gum and Acacia gum in Feed by the Gut CoReferences:
Gupta, A. K., & Maity, C. (2021). Efficacy and safety of Bacillus coagulans LBSC in irritable bowel syndrome: A prospective, interventional, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study [CONSORT Compliant]. Medicine, 100(3), e23641.
Jäger, R., Purpura, M., Farmer, S., Cash, H. A., & Keller, D. (2018). Probiotic Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 Improves Protein Absorption and Utilization. Probiotics and antimicrobial proteins, 10(4), 611–615. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12602-017-9354-y
McFarland L. V. (2010). Systematic review and meta-analysis of Saccharomyces boulardii in adult patients. World journal of gastroenterology, 16(18), 2202–2222. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v16.i18.2202
Mu, Y., & Cong, Y. (2019). Bacillus coagulans and its applications in medicine. Beneficial microbes, 10(6), 679–688