Probiotics – Not All are Created Equal

Probiotics, defined as ‘live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host’, are finally becoming an option for gastroenterologists in Canada, after being available for many years in Japan, Europe and the United States of America. Unfortunately, Health Canada and the US Food and Drug Administration have not controlled the use of the term ‘probiotic’ or put into place United Nations and World Health Organization guidelines. The net result is that a plethora of products called ‘probiotics’ are available that are not truly probiotic.

Make no mistake there are some dangerous strains of probiotics. And, unfortunately for the public at large, some commentators and “experts” confuse them with the safe, clinically proven probiotic strains. A good example of one of the strains that is prone to confusion is Clostridium butyricum.

The strain in probiotic 3 is a proprietary strain that was developed in Japan over 70 years ago. The Japanese are world leaders in fermentation and probiotics. Moreover, Japan has one of the most stringent health regulations around the world. It was extracted from humans and its safety and efficacy has been subject of intense testing. We review the history and evidence below.

  • This strain has been extensively tested for virulence, bacterial translocation, genomic transfer for antibiotic resistance and other issues.
  • Identical products have been on the market in Japan and in other Asian countries for over 70 years.
  • There are upwards of 60 human clinical studies published on the safety and efficacy of Clostridium butyricum. In many cases, the studies are in infants and seniors as well as patients with compromised immune systems and who would be liable to immune dysfunction and yet Probiotic 3 has been shown to be effective. Probiotic-3 is by far the most tested and proven probiotic on the market!
  • Nevertheless, when AOR decided to obtain an its license, it took five years because Health Canada insisted that all the testing be re-done in Canada. AOR solicited the services of Canadian partners (such as the University of Calgary) to obtain all the data that Health Canada required.
  • Health Canada also wanted the full genomic sequence determined to differentiate between the thousands of other pathogenic Clostridium butyricum strains. The genomic sequence verified that the strain is safe and different to the virulent strains.
  • Evidence of virulence potential and lack of horizontal gene transfer was required by Health Canada in order for them to grant AOR a license for Probiotic-3. It was especially important to Health Canada that we prove this strain would not transfer any resistance to other strains, which we were also able to prove and provide.
  • Similarly, the second probiotic in Probiotic 3, Enterococcu feacium, has been shown to have a synergistic action and has safety data in humans that proved that virulence factors are not associated with this strain.
  • This is also the case with the last probiotic that makes up Probiotic 3, Bacillus subtilis TO-A

Probiotic 3 has been successfully used for multiple decades for numerous conditions. Over 30 clinical studies on Probiotic-3 in Japan and elsewhere have highlighted such health benefits as reducing allergies, improving immunity, fighting colds and flu, promoting detoxification, reducing intestinal symptoms such as bloating and constipation, and reducing travelers and antibiotic-associated diarrhea.The key to probiotic supplementation is taking an ecological perspective. That means obtaining the right adaptations to survive in a particular gut ecosystem. Put another way, treatments for microbe-related disorders are most successful when they work in tandem with the human body’s many microscopic citizens, not just against them.

While it’s true that all probiotic products are NOT alike and do not offer the stated health benefits, research has shown that AOR’s Probiotic 3 offers numerous benefits and is proven non-pathogenic. With so many brands and products out there on the market, why not trust the most researched?

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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