1. Guest, the 'News in Brief' for the week beginning 29th March 2021 is here.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Welcome! To read the Core Purpose and Values of our forum, click here.
    Dismiss Notice

New Scientist: Probiotics are mostly useless and can actually hurt you

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Kalliope, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,996
    Likes Received:
    40,657
    Location:
    Norway
  2. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,828
    Likes Received:
    45,994
    Location:
    UK West Midlands
    Also interesting they are challenging the general approach of testing faecal samples to see what’s in guts saying it isn’t accurate and colonoscopy is needed :arghh:
     
    Arnie Pye, leokitten, janice and 9 others like this.
  3. Pechius

    Pechius Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    1,144
    Well that's interesting! Especially given that my problems actually were triggered by probiotics..
    I thought the thinking was that probiotics don't colonisd the gut, but just pass through. Hmm..

    It makes sense. It is known that fecal microbiota is just part of the whole picture. Unless they're flushing the poop before colonoscopy...
     
    Arnie Pye, Nellie, Tia and 3 others like this.
  4. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    4,398
    Likes Received:
    22,925
    I took various strains of probiotics for years and when I was tested through CDSA my Bifido and Lacto bacterias were at ZERO.
     
    Arnie Pye, Hutan, janice and 8 others like this.
  5. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    8,986
    Likes Received:
    52,225
    I have completely given up on probiotics. I always end up with a really bad tummy ache.
     
  6. Dr Carrot

    Dr Carrot Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    2,601
    +1 for probiotics making me worse and triggering mast cell symptoms. What a joy to report back to the doctor I saw who said they were “essential” :nailbiting:
     
    Arnie Pye, janice, Nellie and 7 others like this.
  7. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    31,543
    Likes Received:
    149,646
    Location:
    UK
    I wonder whether this applies to foods containing live probiotic bacteria like yoghurt and kefir, or just to the more concentrated probiotics that come in capsules.
     
    Arnie Pye, janice, Nellie and 12 others like this.
  8. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    6,644
    Likes Received:
    44,486
    As a someone completely unqualified to comment, I shall venture a comment :rolleyes:. Maybe that's because what comes out of your body is not reliably representative of what it wants to keep?
     
    Arnie Pye, Amw66, janice and 11 others like this.
  9. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    8,986
    Likes Received:
    52,225
    I can have yoghurt, but mostly don't bother with it. Not sure I've ever had the "good" or "live" stuff.

    kefir - not a chance in hell I would even try it. Fermented stuff does extremely evil things to my insides.
     
  10. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,996
    Likes Received:
    40,657
    Location:
    Norway
    I remember listening to a lecture a few years ago on ME research by a professor in biology working for the Norwegian university of Life Sciences and member of the science advisory board to the Norwegian ME Association. He was very sceptical to adding pills to one's diet and said chances are high that the only thing you get in return is very expensive urine.

    He did however mention kefir specifically as useful, but I can't remember the explanation he gave :unsure:

    Edit to add: He didn't speak about Kefir as something particularly useful for ME patients, it was more in general.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
    Arnie Pye, janice, Nellie and 3 others like this.
  11. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    4,398
    Likes Received:
    22,925
    @Invisible Woman do you have issues with yeasts? Kefir contains yeasts.

    I prefer eating Kefir because it contains many more strains of bacteria and colonizes in the gut, yogurt does not. The only problem is that it is not a permanent solution, once I stop eating it my gut goes back to square one.

    Many years ago I bought a yogurt maker, bought the bacteria strains and carefully made my own only to find out it didn't improve my gut.
     
    Arnie Pye, Roy S, TigerLilea and 7 others like this.
  12. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    8,986
    Likes Received:
    52,225
    Definitely. Anything fermented is out.

    Also other yeasty things like marmite. Shame, cause I love it!
     
  13. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    2,092
    Likes Received:
    15,072
    I have 100g of live yoghurt per day ...gourmet collective ...yummy ..particularly like the cherry or Mango or passion fruit ...made by Yeo valley who have the best culture by far in the UK (in terms of taste).

    I wouldn’t touch probiotics with a barge pole ..just a load of unsubstantiated nonsense..and as for analysing poo samples ...enough said
     
    Arnie Pye, TiredSam, janice and 5 others like this.
  14. hinterland

    hinterland Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    1,521
    More reportage in The Guardian, also:
    Probiotics 'not as beneficial for gut health as previously thought'

    So, presumably he thinks experimenting with probiotics is an acceptable and low risk endeavour.

    Edit:
    I've just noticed that second quote I pasted in is from Bernard Corfe, a molecular gastroenterologist at the University of Sheffield who was not involved in the studies; not Elinav (the primary investigator) who apparently does have reservations about the widescale popularity of probiotics.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
    Arnie Pye, janice, Nellie and 3 others like this.
  15. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    4,398
    Likes Received:
    22,925
    Unless you are taking them after a short term of abx you might feel relief with a proper brand/strain. I had this experience years ago, but who knows for sure whether it was the probiotic.

    But for overall gut health save your money.
     
    Arnie Pye, andypants, janice and 5 others like this.
  16. JES

    JES Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    1,098
    It is not surprising to me that commercial probiotic mixes typically fail, as they don't include human-derived strains to begin with. The typical probiotic mix mostly includes lactic acid bacteria, which provide a good shelf-life and are not broken down by stomach acid. But for actually colonizing the gut, human-derived probiotics like Mutaflor are much better.
     
    Arnie Pye, andypants, janice and 2 others like this.
  17. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,499
    Likes Received:
    11,805
    I think this has always been a big part of the problem.

    It is also not convincing that determining what bacterial strains are in the gut lets you know what positive, or negative, effects a probiotic culture will have. They will change the ecology while passing through, and the gut interaction with bacteria, even if they do not colonise the gut. This may not always be negative or positive, it might be more complex than that. Its highly likely we are evolutionarily adapted to eating bacteria, and there will be some interaction with our own immune system.

    Finally its essential to know what the individual's gut profile and needs are. Probiotics are usually a general blend, or even a single strain, and that strain is not always even found in humans, though this is not always the case.

    I suspect we are years to decades away from understanding the important things in gut ecology.
     
  18. Suffolkres

    Suffolkres Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    3,824
    https://wwws.wddty.com/lifestyle/2018/07/kefir-boosting-your-gut-and-your-mood.html
    https://www.wddty.com/magazine/2017/july/a-recipe-for-healthy-skin.html

    Husband has all the symptoms in bold and kefir I make has helped.
    I use raw A2 type protein milk.


    "A live solution
    We usually associate acne with the teenage years, but dermatologists are finding that adult-onset acne is becoming increasingly common, especially in women, in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s, and is on the rise in the UK. A 2015 study of 92 private dermatology clinics found an eyebrow-raising 200 per cent increase in the number of people seeking specialist acne treatment.

    Recent research has linked acne to the state of your microbiome. A Polish report from 2015 stated that "An imbalance in the microbial community may cause pathological conditions... of the skin such as . . . acne."9

    However, taking probiotics has been found to lower levels of stress-induced hormones in the system, so heading off the conditions that can trigger acne flares. Probiotics may have the additional benefit of helping to reduce anxiety and depression.10

    Emerging research also suggests there may be a link between a low-glycaemic diet and an improvement in acne.11

    Kefir is a potent drink made by fermenting milk with a living kefir culture, called 'grains', containing multiple strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast. It has long been known that ingesting the live organisms in these probiotics can aid digestion and boost immune-system function. But now, studies are finding that kefir can also improve many skin conditions, such as eczema, acne and a variety of allergic skin conditions by acting on the immune system in the following three ways:

    (1) suppressing the production of allergen-specific antibodies to immunoglobulin E (IgE), so blocking the production of histamine, which stimulates allergic responses12

    (2) preventing allergy-producing antigens from passing through the intestinal wall,12 and

    (3) enhancing the action of protective Treg cells, which prevent the development of autoimmune disorders.13

    In recent years, as scientists have learned more about the role of probiotics in the human microbiome, interest in them has soared. But all probiotics are not created equal. Liquid probiotics, which contain bacteria living and thriving in their own medium, thereby increasing in strength and numbers over time, are more powerful than products containing dried or dehydrated probiotics, in which these bacteria die off over time.

    So, if you suffer from eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or acne, it's more effective to opt for the exponentially greater strength of a multistrain probiotic like kefir, which contains a vast number of beneficial bacteria and yeasts working together as a symbiotic whole and containing many more strains of good bacteria than a probiotic pill or powder.

    And, crucially, the bacteria in kefir are 'non-transient,' which means that many of these strains survive the digestive process to actually reach the large intestine, where they can then achieve long-term benefits. This is different from 'live' yoghurt, which contains 'transient' bacteria that are killed off by stomach acid during digestion.

    ........
    How can you tell if you or a family member has a damaged microbiome?

    • On the skin, microbiome damage can show up as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or acne1

    • In the joints, it can show up as rheumatoid arthritis2

    • Within the gut, it can manifest as food allergies3 and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)4

    In the nervous system, it might show up as chronic fatigue5 or as a nervous system disorder like multiple sclerosis (MS)6

    In the lungs, it can present as asthma7

    In the nose and eyes, it can show up as hay fever or seasonal allergies8

    In the brain's behavioural centre, it can present as anxiety and depression.9
     
    Arnie Pye, Amw66, TigerLilea and 4 others like this.
  19. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,326
    Likes Received:
    9,667
    Arnie Pye, Hutan, TigerLilea and 5 others like this.
  20. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    4,724
    Likes Received:
    35,674
    Location:
    UK
    Several years ago I tried making kefir, for several months.

    It didn't do anything for me other that wear me out - it's a lot of work keeping the stuff alive.

    I didn't mind the taste, even liked it occasionally, but another problem was the amount produced keeps increasing as the culture grows, meaning more trips to get milk, more wastage etc.

    More trouble than it was worth, given that all it produced was a slightly sour drink which was nice occasionally, but as occasionally isn't a couple of liters a day......
     
    Arnie Pye, Hutan, Mij and 6 others like this.

Share This Page