The understanding of the human microbiome is still at its infancy. Importantly, what we are told to do by for-profit companies needs adjustment, in my opinion. For example, the probiotic industry explain how their product is best and usually boasts about the number of CFU.
(Simply speaking, CFU stands for “colony forming unit”, which describes the number of cells that can multiply to form a colony. And on a probiotic label, CFU represents the number of live cells contained in each serving. They're usually counted in the billion and can range from 2 billion to 75 billion)
From Dr Hong's Pharmacy Classroom - click on image for video.
However, world expects on the topic of the microbiome - Dr Thomas Borody from the Centre for Digestive Health in Sydney Australia, and Judith Miklossy, the top Alzheimer's researcher and clinician in the world, both state that microbiome diversity is key to gut and overall health. A complete and diverse microbiome leads to lower inflammatory markers like CRP. Having a low baseline CRP is important for establishing resilience against COVID.
CFU is NOT microbiome diversity.
Here is an example. Fecal transplants - poop from health donors - have up to 1000 distinct organisms. Regardless of the CFU number, most probiotics contain no more than 10 different types of organisms. So, the probiotics have a mere 1% of what you need for true microbiome diversity and health.
What happens when you take the same 1% over and over and over again?
You should NOT have to take a probiotic long-term if that probiotic is truly supplying "colony forming units." You should only have to "seed" the organisms and, as they start forming colonies, there should be no reason to continue taking them.
This, of course, is not a good financial model for the probiotic industry.
I enjoyed watching this video by Dr. Hong because he uses science to back up his statements and he goes beyond U.S. culture to examine the importance of the microbiome. One thing he showed, is that when people "get dirty," they appear to expand their microbiome diversity and this leads to better health and even resilience to COVID.
If you have followed me, you know I'm a big fan of "eating dirt." In this context, I mean, not being super fastidious about cleaning the vegetables you grow in your own garden. We are the only animals that overclean our food prior to eating it. Of course, because we have now adapted to super clean foods, introducing "dirt" may cause an adverse reaction. But, I do believe our overly clean world has ultimately made us less resilient to disease.
For further reading, look into the "Hygiene Hypothesis."
Enjoy the video:
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