Choosing Probiotics: Which Ones Are Best For Your Patients?


What do you think are the most important criteria for selecting probiotics for your patients?

When I pose this question to practitioners, many can’t give me what I consider to be valid reasons for their selections. What would be your reasons for choosing your probiotic source?

Would it be that the best probiotics have the largest numbers of organisms? How about the number of strains? How about the volumes of marketing accolades and testimonials? How about because it is from dairy or soy? Soil-based organisms? Or would it be because you purchase supplements from your favorite brand and use their probiotics out of convenience?

Actually, none of these factors will lead you to the most effective and safest probiotic products for patients.

The main benefit of probiotics lies in their ability to regulate the immune system. Human strains have been proven to do this best because they are actually native to the human gut. In fact, most non-human strains have very few studies proving that they are safe. Research is finding that some unproven probiotic strains may actually deregulate the human immune system.

The best probiotics, in my honest opinion, are human strains that are clinically proven in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human trials. Please read that sentence again, because it holds the keys to selecting the best probiotics available today.

While many people think that high volumes of organisms and multiple-strain products are best, this is actually not the case. The number of organisms means little if they do not survive stomach and bile acids, and do not adhere to the mucous lining of the intestine at critical points in the intestinal tract. Many probiotics can help stop diarrhea and other symptoms, but they quickly wash out of the intestinal tract upon stopping usage.

Did you know that studies proving to be of benefit in mice often do not do the same in humans? So if someone tells you they have studies of this or that strain in animals it may be good to ask what type of animals—humans or mice? The same goes for in vitro vs in vivo studies. What happens in a petri dish may be an indicator, but no guarantee of performance.

Pharmax has cultivated proprietary human strains through clinical research and development. Why? Because human strains, through thousands of years of natural selection, have proven to be the most acid- and bile-resistant. These strains have also have developed the ability to adhere to the gut lining and repopulate the gut without being washed out of the bowel. Very few non-human strains have been proven to do this as well as the proprietary human commensal lactic-acid strains used in Pharmax probiotic products. Each Pharmax strain is labeled and identified, and can be researched for studies proving their efficacy. Probiotic products that don’t identify the strain are usually unknown even to the manufacturer. Further research into Pharmax reveals proprietary strains backed by some of the best researchers and institutions in probiotic expertise and global research.

Pharmax probiotics utilize the consortium four, comprised of four highly effective, proven strains that have been shown to be the most acid- and bile-resistant while adhering to the gut lining and populating all critical areas of the intestinal tract, rather than a few.

I encourage you to really look at the label of your products. Are they highly effective human strains proven in controlled, random placebo studies? Are they acid- and bile-resistant due to years of natural selection? Are the strains clearly indicated on the label for you to see and to research? If not, are they strains that have they been proven safe for long-term use in humans?

For the finest in therapeutic strains of clinically proven probiotics validated with human studies, Pharmax stands alone at the top of the industry.

Anova Health invites you to come and hear Dr. Nigel Plummer, PhD, in Atlanta, GA, on October 7th at the Holiday Inn Gwinnett Center in Duluth, GA. Dr. Plummer will be presenting An Introduction to the Human Microbiome: A Key Driver in Lifelong Health and Disease. Dr. Plummer has a doctorate in microbial physiology, and early in his career, he worked in antibiotic research and development at Pfizer. He is considered one of the world’s foremost researchers on IBS, antibiotic resistance and the prevention of allergies.




  1. Great information, Thanks you for posting this.

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