Although they have been hailed as the good bacteria for years, new research shows that there are some over-the-counter probiotics which don’t show any benefit for using them. A team of researchers in Israel published not one, but two studies regarding the use of probiotics in the Cell journal.
There are some scientists who put into question the team’s findings, although the research is generally regarded as an important scientific step in understanding our microbiome, which consists of trillions of bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract.
For the first time, a major adverse effect of probiotics has been potentially found and it is something that wasn’t considered before. The first study had 25 people who didn’t have any health problems. They took a mixture made from 11 bacteria and they did so for a month. After a month has passed, stomach and intestine samples were taken from each subject and it was found that either probiotics went in and out or they were simply overtaken by the existing bacteria in the gut.
The second study featured 46 people who didn’t display any symptoms whatsoever. This time probiotics were used after antibiotics were given to the subjects. It is known that antibiotics kill bacteria or they don’t let them grow, bad or good. The results showed that probiotics had in fact slowed down the growth process of healthy bacteria, which were wiped out by the use of antibiotics.
The people who received a pill of their own bacteria displayed a much faster-recovering process. These findings could be used to stop the paradigm we used for decades, the one saying that one thing can solve all problems. These studies represent the first steps towards obtaining probiotic supplements that are personalized according to the individual’s body.