Scientists Claim Probiotics Are “Quite Useless”

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A team at the Weizmann Institute of Science found out that foods and pills packed with probiotics are most of the times useless. This study comes as shocking news, considering until now, they were hailed as the best way to keep a gut healthy.

In their study, researchers detailed the processes that happen after a person consumes probiotics.

Probiotics are seen as good and healthy for the gut, but this study shows that they have almost no effect on the body.

Researchers wanted to see if the bacteria from the pills would successfully colonize the gut and see if it changed the activity of the gut. The results published in the journal Cell showed that half of the participants in the study were not affected by probiotics.

Probiotics Don’t Work For Everyone

The study found out that not everyone is affected by probiotics. Half of the participants’ tests showed the good bacteria passed through the system with no sign of colonization. The other half showed probiotics lingering for a brief moment before existing microbiome crowded them out.

One of the study’s authors, Dr. Eran Elinav concluded that probiotics should be created for the needs of each person:

“And in that sense just buying probiotics at the supermarket without any tailoring, without any adjustment to the host, at least in part of the population, is quite useless.”

The team conducted a second study, this time focusing on probiotics taken after a course of antibiotics (a treatment that wipes out good and bad bacteria).

The research team saw that this time probiotics colonized the gut, but it also delayed the original and normal healthy bacteria recover in the gut. Dr. Elinav explains:

“Contrary to the current dogma that probiotics are harmless and benefit everyone, these results reveal a new potential adverse side effect of probiotic use with antibiotics that might even bring long-term consequences.”

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere