In our series on the gut microbiome, we explain what constitutes the gut microbiome, signs of compromise, what harms the beneficial bacteria, how to support the gut microbiome and digestive enzymes, indigestion & inflammation. Among the supplements that replenish the gut microbiome are probiotics, including live cultures and fermented foods; prebiotics, including resistant starches; and sporebiotics. In this article we discuss how to cultivate the gut microbiome with sporebiotics.

Probiotics Die Before Reaching the Intestines

To replenish the gut microbiome with good bacteria, we need to think beyond just adding pro- and prebiotics. We need to think of adding sporebiotics. Why? Because many probiotics taken orally do not survive the journey to the intestines: they are destroyed by the stomach acid and bile salts they encounter along the way.

Sporebiotics Survive the Journey to the Intestines

Sporebiotics, on the other hand, survive the journey, and are not effected by antibiotics. A sporebiotic is the spore of the biotic… the embryonic portion of the biotic that is not yet living. Think of it as the seed that needs to be planted into the soil to then germinate and grow.

Sporebiotics Seed the Gut with Probiotics

When the spore reaches the small intestine, it settles into the gut lining, provided the lining isn’t “gunked up.” Within minutes, water enters the spore, breaking down its protective outer coating and the spore germinates or becomes active and living as a probiotic.

Probiotics Help Us Thrive

The benefits of a diverse “garden” of good bacteria, compromised mostly of active probiotics, include better: absorption of nutrients, inflammatory response, immune function, digestion, and the gut’s ability to fight invaders and bad bacteria.

Probiotic versus Sporebiotic Formulas

So while the most popular probiotic supplements include Lactobacillus species and Bifidobacter species, these can be easily destroyed by stomach acid, bile salts and enzymes. Consider supplementing with sporebiotics like Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus clausii and Bacillus coagulans, among others.

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by Tirza Derflinger
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