Long-time readers of Panaceachronicles know that the human gut is one of my passions and that I have been an advocate for the use of probiotics as both preventative and healing medicines. A good understanding of the role of probiotics in controlling, treating and even curing inflammatory gut disease is even more important now that in many states patients have access to medical marijuana for relief of symptoms. Combining the symptomatic relief of Cannabis with the right probiotics to help heal the gut and prevent further colonization by pathogens is without doubt the natural path to effective treatment.
It is well-known that there are significant differences in the effectiveness of different brands of commercial probiotics. A quick glance at the labels will confirm the great discrepancies between brands. Since there are important differences in the species of bacteria they provide, the concentrations of each species, the viability of those bacteria, the methods used to culture the bacteria, the sources of the extraction base, and the matrix in which the bacteria are stabilized for human consumption, being an informed probiotics buyer is a critical part of healing yourself.
Probiotics appear to be one of those classes of products where you really do get what you pay for – although a high price is not a guarantee of a more effective medicine. Just because a particular brand is very expensive, or contains an impressive list of species, doesn’t mean that it is the right choice for you. You have to do your homework on your own gut biome, and it is important that the probiotics you choose are tailored to the gaps or weaknesses in your own gut microbes.
If you are serious about getting a hand on an inflammatory gut issue and haven’t yet had your gut biome profiled, you may want to consider participating in the crowd-sourced “American Gut Project”. This project is not limited to people in the US, by the way.
However, this blog post is to alert readers to something new and very important that is emerging in the field of probiotics, specifically that there is now a highly concentrated form of probiotic called “Amanlac probiotics”, that appears to be far more effective against a wide range of inflammatory gut diseases than even the best “commercial” probiotics.
In an article in the June 2012 Journal of Food & Drug Analysis entitled “High Concentrated Probiotics Improve Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Better Than Commercial Concentrations”. The article details Korean research into Amanlac probiotics – it seems that Korean and Japanese microbiologists are far ahead of the west in understanding how specific probiotic configurations can be used to treat specific inflammatory gut diseases. Here is how the researcher’s describe their findings in the article abstract:
“Probiotics have been clinically administered to improve intestinal inflammation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. In this study we identified that higher concentrations of probiotics called “Amanlac” probiotics protected intestinal tissues with the regulation of cytokine production and the improvement of intestinal injury in mice with dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced Colitis much better than commercial probiotics. Amanlac probiotics significantly ameliorated both gross and pathological scores caused by DSS in a concentration-dependent manner, based on the following mechanisms: inflammatory markers such as IL1-β, TNF α, and COX-2 as well as MMPs and ICAM1 were significantly lower in probiotic-treated mice following DSS treatment compared with DSS-treated control mice, but the overall efficacy of “Amanlac” probiotics was significantly improved over conventional concentration of probiotics. In conclusion, administration of higher concentration probiotics helps to successfully maintain intestinal homeostasis while also improving intestinal inflammation.”
While there may be other “Amanlac” probiotics available, the brand that my wife and I have found to be remarkable in its ability to restore normal, healthy, pain-free intestinal functioning is Dr. Ohhira’s Professional Formula. These probiotics are manufactured in Japan using both traditional and state-of-the-art fermentation methods and incorporate a very wide range of traditional Japanese plants in the base mixture from which the probiotics are fermented and extracted.
If you are using a commercial probiotic and are having limited success you may want to read this research paper in its entirety and consider choosing an “Amanlac” probiotic rather than the one you are currently using.