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Probiotic Rebel: Revealing the New Research

Isn't probiotic good for your gut? Why rebelling against it? Answer: What ever the market is profiting on, may not be the best for you as a consumer. Therefore, we strive to rebel until proven. Our health is too important to keep on eating blindly.

As the dictionary defines it as: Pro- = for, on the affirmitive side

-biotic = relating to living organisms

The Mayo Clinic defines it as the "good" bacteria, but when there is a imbalance of the "bad" bacteria with the "good bacteria," it can cause havoc in our digestive system. (Side note, when taking antibiotics - not a good idea to take probiotics. Let's think of throwing water and gas onto a fire simultaneously.) They also recommend dietary implementation of the probiotic foods that can help harmonize the imbalance, best found in food sources - this we agree! All bacteria serves a purpose, if they didn't they would not exist in the first place.

The more whole foods you can have in your system for those needed nutrients, the better! However, it takes the turn when they also agree with the supplementation of probiotics in a capsule form. The downside is that when something goes mainstream, the quality tends to go down as well. (Very unfortunate, especially when supplements are currently not regulated like current medications.) Now it turns to be a marketing strategy of where to put the words "good bacteria" and/or "probiotics" on anything that sells at the grocery store or health food store. That's where we need to dig deeper, as a doctor AND as an avid foodie consumer.

According to recent research in 2018, Dr. Rao warns us from his research that "Probiotic should be treated as a drug, not as a food supplement." For those individuals with poor/slow digestion, patients taking opioids, taking proton pump inhibitors (reduce stomach acid needed for proper digestion), and/or diagnosed with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), it can cause an overgrowth of overgrowth of the Lactobacillus bacteria in the small intestines 2-3 times. (By the way, what you eat must come out within 1-2 days, healthy physiological process.) During the research, they found large colonies of bacteria breeding in the patients' small intestines with high levels of D-lactic acid ,"known to be temporarily toxic to brain cells interfering with cognition, thinking,and sense of time (1)." Proton pump inhibitors (PPI's) (4):

  • Omeprazole (Prilosec), also available over-the-counter (without a prescription)

  • Esomeprazole (Nexium), also available over-the-counter (without a prescription)

  • Lansoprazole (Prevacid)

  • Rabeprazole (AcipHex)

  • Pantoprazole (Protonix)

  • Dexlansoprazole (Dexilant)

  • Zegerid (omeprazole with sodium bicarbonate), also available over-the-counter (without a prescription)

(FACT: Infant formula now has supplemental probiotics.)

For the reason as follows (here comes the side effects reel), it can cause symptoms such as:

-brain fogginess (some so severe where they had to quit their jobs)

-abdominal pain

-belly bloating

If you are taking your probiotic capsules, I won't be surprised if these are some of your symptoms.

So what about foods that contain probiotics? Great question! The reason for this is because they are "generally safe because of the small amount of bacteria present."

Here are some of those "Good sources of probiotics" from ancient practices (3):




*dark chocolate (higher content % versus more sugar)

*etc This is a new research link with probiotics as the craze for it continues - HOT OFF THE "PRESS." Best practice is when you see a marketing trend, think to yourself why this is and how to find out more information about it.

In awe of this information, gut bacteria is helpful to help us digest and make up our micro-biome. We have more than 3.3 million non-redundant microbial genes, in our gut - 150 TIMES MORE genes than our human genome (2). So, let's feed them safely. Let probiotics stay in the lower intestines/colon, not the small intestines. Opt for PRE-biotics so your body can make it's own probiotic flora the way your body was intended to, based upon your body structure.

Prebiotic Foods (5): *artichokes



*chicory root





*Dandelion greens

*and more [References]

  1. Satish S. C. Rao, Abdul Rehman, Siegfried Yu, Nicole Martinez de Andino. Brain fogginess, gas and bloating: a link between SIBO, probiotics and metabolic acidosis. Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology, 2018; 9 (6) DOI: 10.1038/s41424-018-0030-7

  2. Qin, J., Li, R., Raes, J., Arumugam, M., Burgdorf, K. S., Manichanh, C., … Wang, J. (2010). A human gut microbial gene catalog established by metagenomic sequencing. Nature, 464(7285), 59–65.

  3. Selhub, E. M., Logan, A. C., & Bested, A. C. (2014). Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry. Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 33(1), 2.


  5. Holscher, H. D. (2017). Dietary fiber and prebiotics and the gastrointestinal microbiota. Gut Microbes, 8(2), 172–184.

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