Ottawa Functional Medicine – Dominick Hussey – Centretown and North Gower
What is the best Soil based Probiotic - Dominick Hussey - Ottawa

What is the best Soil based Probiotic?

Soil-based probiotics are bacteria that are found predominantly in the soil. I began using soil-based probiotics in my practice about two years ago, specifically, Prescript-Assist. I was pleased with Prescript Assist because it was very effective and few people would react to it. About three months ago the makers of Prescript Assist made a change to the formula that was not agreeable to many people (including me). Consequently, I needed to find an alternative that is the best soil based probiotic. To help me in this endeavour I took a look at the current scientific literature.

In this article, I will highlight what I uncovered in my search for the best soil-based probiotic.

What are the main categories of probiotics?

Soil-based probiotics are one of 4 major types of probiotics including:

  1. Lactobacillus-Bifidobacterium predominant formulas
  2. Saccharomyces boulardii.
  3. Soil-based probiotics
  4. E. coli probiotics

What does the scientific literature say about Soil-Based strains?

When we look at the studies soil-based probiotics, the most well-studied strain is Bacillus coagulans. The next most studied include Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus clausii, Bacillus licheniformis, and Enterococcus faecium.

The majority of the high-level studies (clinical trials) on soil-based probiotics were looking at the effect of one strain of bacteria. In other words, if you follow the findings, you should only use one species at a time. However, when we look at the body of literature on all types of probiotics, we see that a multi-strain form of probiotic seems to be better than a single strain form.

What are the main soil-based probiotic products?

So far we have talked about a little about the four most studied strains of soil-based probiotics. We have uncovered that a multi-strain may be better than a single strain soil-based probiotic. Now, let us briefly look at six primary soil-based probiotic products.

  1. Soil Based Probiotic from Functional Medicine Formulations is a two-strain product containing Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus subtilis.
  2. BioSpora from Klaire Labs is also a two-strain formulation containing Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus subtilis.
  3. MegaSpore from Microbiome Labs is a four-strain probiotic that contains Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus clausii, and Bacillus licheniformis.
  4. Thrive Probiotic is a three strain product containing Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, and Bacillus clausii.
  5. Proflora 4R from Biocidin, which contains Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, and Bacillus clausii plus marshmallow, quercetin, and Aloe Vera.
  6. Probiotic-3 from AOR, which contains Enterococcus faecium, Clostridium butyricum and B. subtilis.

These are the six leading soil-based probiotics. Is one of these better than the others?

When you go to each of the manufacturer’s websites, you will read lots of claims, but I think they are all somewhat comparable. These are all excellent probiotics.

Are they better than other brands that you may find that are half the cost? Very likely. One of the things you do see with some probiotics is an inconsistency with the label claims and what the products contain.

This is very important with the soil-based probiotics since some so-called soil-based probiotics (none of the above) contain soil-based organisms and not soil-based bacteria. Some soil-based organisms can be pathogenic and may harm you so using a product from a company that has good quality assurance is essential.

How do these products rate against the latest research?

As mentioned above, the best scientific data is for Bacillus coagulans, which we find in five out of the five products. There are eight high-level studies (clinical trials) using single a strain Bacillus coagulans showing benefit in humans.

There is one study looking at Bacillus subtilis, which we find in four out five products, which show a benefit in humans. And there are also six other clinical trials looking at Bacillus subtilis with different strains, showing benefit.

Bacillus clausii, which we find in three out of the six formulations, has three studies showing benefit.

Bacillus licheniformis, which we find in one out of six, has two studies showing benefit.

Enterococcus faecium has five, which we find in one out of the six, has two studies showing benefit.

Most of these the studies are using two strains, and for this reason, I would recommend using a two-strain formulation as a starting point.

What does the research say about soil-based products?

Currently, there is one clinical trial looking at MegaSporeBiotic, showed a reduction in intestinal permeability or leaky gut, which is an excellent first step.

What are the benefits of Soil-based Probiotics?

Based on study findings, soil-based probiotics have been shown to impart numerous benefits to humans, including:

  • Improvements in diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and stool consistency.
  • Increases in secretory IgA, the protective mucous membrane in the gut.
  • Decreased leaky gut.
  • Decreased respiratory tract infections.
  • A healthier microbiota.
  • Decreased inflammation.
  • Improvements in IBS severity.
  • Decreased post-exertional muscle soreness.
  • Secretion of antimicrobial peptides, meaning probiotics have an antimicrobial effect.
  • Decrease adverse events from antibiotics.
  • There is also mention that there is a slight benefit of improved constipation.

Does this mean that soil-based probiotics are the best form of probiotic?

Based on the list above, soil-based probiotics appear to impart a lot of significant benefits.

However, these benefits are not unique to soil-based probiotics.

So, just because I am highlighting the benefits of soil-based probiotics here, do not let that fool you into thinking that this is the best form of probiotic.

I think they are a viable option and worth including in a probiotic protocol.

What have we learnt?

Soil-based probiotics are one of three to five major categories of probiotics.

When we look at the studies soil-based probiotics, the most well-studied strain is Bacillus coagulans. The next most studied include Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus clausii, Bacillus licheniformis, and Enterococcus faecium.

There are six leading soil-based probiotics supplements, all of which appear to be sound scientifically based products.

Is there a best soil based probiotic? I would say no. But, if you have not taken a soil-based probiotic before I would recommend starting with a two-strain formula.

Are soil-based probiotics the best form of probiotic? I would say no again since all four categories of probiotics can impart the same benefits.

If you would like to learn more about how to choose the right probiotic for you then I recommend that you check out my FREE Probiotics ebook.

Click here to download the ebook.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.

 

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2 comments

  1. could no subscribe to your ebook

    1. Hi Annette, Which ebook did you want?

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