The news about the incredible health benefits of probiotics has begun to spread like wildfire. But, something new is also starting to float around—soil-based probiotics. Soil based probiotics are different than “regular” probiotics.
But what exactly are soil-based probiotics and are they safe or even healthy? How are they different than the probiotics we are used to hearing about?
That’s what we will dive into in this guide on the differences between soil based probiotics and “regular” probiotics.
Why Do We Need Probiotics?
The body is home to trillions of microorganisms. They live on the skin, in the gut, in saliva, and in the urogenital tract. Scientists believe they outnumber the body’s cells 10 to 1. There are many different strains of this bacteria. Some are bad while others are actually not only good but essential for a healthy body.
These good and bad bacteria colonize and form a little germ community known scientifically as the human microbiome. When the microbiome is in balance, the body is running smoothly. However, when the balance is thrown off, and there are more bad bacteria than there are good bacteria, that is when problems begin to occur.
The human microbiome effects a person’s health in multiple ways and can either benefit the entire body and brain or cause problems for the entire body and brain. This is why keeping this balance is so important.
But, there are a lot of different things that can disrupt this sensitive ecosystem. Some of these things are:
- Overuse of prescription antibiotics
- GMO foods
- Inflammatory gluten
- Lack of exercise
- Poor sleep habits
- Alcohol (with the exception of red wine)
- Environmental factors
But, which probiotic should you take?
What are “Regular” Probiotics?
First off, let’s start with what we will refer to as “regular” probiotics or simply “probiotics.”
There are many different beneficial strains of regular probiotics. Some of the more common strains you are likely to see in probiotic supplements include:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus paracasei
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus brevis
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Bifidobacterium breve
- Lactobacillus salivarius
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Lactobacillus gasseri
These are good strains that are naturally found in the body. They are the good bacteria that will help replenish, restore, and maintain the body’s microbiome.
Where do you find regular probiotics?
Probiotics can be found in some foods like yogurt or sauerkraut. But, it is easier to make sure you are getting the amount of beneficial bacteria you need by taking a probiotic supplement.
Are regular probiotics safe?
Probiotics are generally safe for anyone who does not have a compromised immune system or another serious illness.
What are some regular probiotics side effects?
Probiotic side effects are typically rare and mild. The two most common side effects are gas and bloating. These side effects are likely to disappear on their own as the body adjusts. If they become more severe or painful, you can try taking a smaller dose or contact your physician.
Regular probiotics benefits
The benefits of taking a probiotic supplement are seemingly endless. A few of the health conditions probiotics may prevent or help treat are:
- Acid reflux
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Respiratory tract infections
- Certain skin conditions like eczema
What are Soil Based Probiotics?
There are also many different strains of soil based probiotics. A few of the more common soil probiotics you will find are:
- Bacillus coagulans
- Bacillus subtilis
- Bacillus clausii
- Bacillus indicus
- Bacillus licheniformis
- Enterococcus faecium
- Clostridium butyricum
These strains of probiotics are not found in the body or in foods. They are found in the soil, enriching it and helping plants grow. Soil based organisms are considered “transient” they do not colonize or grown in the body. They do pass through the body naturally providing benefits in that way.
In the modern age, many of us don’t spend as much time in nature as our ancestors did. So, unlike our ancestors, we may be missing out on some of the essential bacteria that comes from the soil. Our food in modern times also lacks these soil based organisms that our ancestors would have been getting from organic food.
Where do you find soil based probiotics?
Probiotics with soil based organisms can be taken in a supplement form. You are also exposed to soil based organisms by walking barefoot on the beach or in the yard, gardening, having a pet, or eating organic fruits and vegetables.
Are soil based probiotics safe?
While natural soil based probiotics, that you are exposed to through being in nature, and pass through the body are considered safe. There is much controversy surrounding the safety of soil based probiotic supplements. A physician should be consulted before taking soil based probiotic supplements in any case, but especially if you have a compromised immune system or another serious illness.
Soil based probiotics side effects
With the lack of studies currently on soil based probiotic supplements, their side effects are unclear. However, one major concern is that if a person does not have enough good bacteria in the body, having too many soil based organisms in the body due to a supplement, could open the door for them to become pathogenic.
Soil based probiotics benefits
While research is lacking, some physicians have seen soil based organism probiotics help their patients when regular probiotics did not. Soil based probiotics have many of the same benefits as regular probiotics, such as helping prevent or treat health conditions related to the digestive tract, immunity, and inflammation in the body.
Soil Based Organisms vs. Probiotics — The Key Differences
Regular probiotics and soil based probiotics are very different. Let’s go over a few of their key differences.
- Regular Probiotics are consistently helpful to humans. Soil based probiotics are inconsistent.
- There are many different studies on regular probiotics. Research on soil based probiotics is lacking.
- Regular probiotics are already found in the body. Soil based probiotics are foreign to the body.
- Regular probiotics colonize in the microbiome providing lasting benefits even after you stop taking them. Soil based probiotics do not colonize and only provide benefits for as long as you are taking them.
- Regular probiotics are considered generally safe. The safety of soil based probiotics is not yet clear.
The Best Ways to Benefit from Soil Based Probiotics
Overall, it seems the best option is regular probiotics. However, if you find that regular probiotics aren’t working for you, even after you gave them some time, you might want to try talking to your physician about soil based probiotic supplements.
If you don’t want to take soil based probiotic supplements, there are still ways to benefit from the best soil based probiotics found in nature. These are natural and healthy ways of getting these soil based probiotics that will provide you with the benefits without the unclear side effects.
- Walk barefoot in the grass or on the shoreline
- Swim in the ocean
- Pet and play with your favorite furry friend
- Eat organic fruits and vegetables and rinse them without scrubbing before cooking or eating