by Dr. David Minkoff May 09, 2019 6 min read
Spore probiotics, or Soil-Based Organisms, are a new discovery in the field of gut health. These organisms, found in the soil, are not only not harmful to us, but new research suggests they are actually helpful and even necessary to our overall health.
Soil-based organisms (SBOs) are bacteria spores that work in your gut much like a gardener. Spores provide key “reconditioning” strains of bacteria that help protect and recondition your gut flora, and prepare it for the introduction of probiotics. They help your microbiome recover from on-going assaults by fluoridated and chlorinated water, stress, medications, processed foods and refined sugars, EMFs, and pollution. These are not your ordinary probiotics.
For many years now, gastrointestinal complaints, gut-permeability conditions such as leaky gut, and other “stomach" issues have been on the rise.
In fact, the number of issues stemming from an unhealthy gut grows more every year, from Allergies, Arthritis, Autoimmune Diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Acne, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia, Leaky Gut, Mood disorders, Autism, Dementia, obesity, and much more.
But what’s surprising is that these issues are on the rise not in less developed and less hygienic countries… but in more developed countries. Places like the United States.
How could this be with all the work we do to keep things so “clean” and free of bad bacteria and viruses? And even when we take probiotics to keep our gut healthy?
Well, amazingly, it actually has to do with all of that above-mentioned cleaning. In fact, it may even be because of it.
But to understand this, we have to go back in time a little bit — about 2500 years.
Yes, you read that right — Eating dirt. But before you think I’m urging you to go into your backyard and put some soil in your mouth, please read on.
Now, the idea of eating dirt isn’t new. It’s been around a long time, dating back more than 2,500 years ago. Not a lot of dirt, no.
But a little…
You see, hunters and gatherers couldn’t avoid it. Regardless of their cultures, there’s evidence people have included traces of dirt in their diets throughout the ages.
Did they know something we’ve forgotten?
Think about when you were growing up. You may have had a backyard with flowers, or a garden, or maybe you spent time at a park with lots of grass, running around barefoot, falling, getting your hands dirty, etc.
Back then we didn’t care. Our parents didn’t care. It was just dirt. People didn’t worry so much about dirt, it was part of life. You got dirty and then you cleaned up. Pretty simple.
It wasn’t until years later that Americans became obsessed with cleanliness. (And we really became obsessed with it if you think about it.)
We stopped touching dirt. We developed stringent anti-bacterial soaps and wipes to ensure we got every last particle off of us. And we definitely didn’t eat it. Oh no, we scrub those vegetables and fruits until they’re raw.
Today, it’s not “normal” to get your hands dirty. Even most home gardeners have thick gloves to ensure they don’t.
And it’s not just adults... Kids these days don’t go playing in the grass. They’re at home on their phones, even the youngest ones now.
While all this may sound like a good thing… it’s actually forced us to take a step backwards with our gut health.
Your microbiome is your unique collection of intestinal bacteria. The trillions of gut bacteria that influence your immune health, mood, behavior, digestion, metabolism and weight, and which prevent a host of conditions and diseases.
What should be there?
Well, a group of researchers and a Venezuelan medical team set out by helicopter to a remote Yanomami tribe living on the border between Venezuela and Brazil to find this out.
Members of this tribe have lived as hunter-gatherers for more than 11,000 years in this region of the Amazon rain forest. This was their first visit ever with modern society.
But the main thing is — they had never experienced processed foods, chlorinated waters, antibacterial soaps and all of the things we encounter on a daily basis in our “modern” world.
After taking samples from 12 of the villagers' fecal matter, the research team used DNA analysis to determine which species of bacteria thrived in the hunter-gatherers' guts.
Their first surprise was the astonishing number of different species present in the Yanomami's microbiome — The tribe had about 50 percent more ecological diversity in their gut than the average American.
And they were healthy.
A healthy microbiome contains two different types of bacteria:
Bacteria from Mom: During birth, breast-feeding and close interactions with friend and family shortly after birth, we receive the bacteria (probiotics) that then colonize our gut, creating our micro-biome. These include the commonly used probiotic species lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
These organisms are essential for your body’s functioning and control its many biochemical reactions. The typical western lifestyle causes significant harm to these bacteria, which can lead to dysbiosis, or an imbalance of microbes.
Today we replenish these with the probiotics you know.
But there is another kind you may not know of, as important, if not more, that you have not had access to. And which can determine the success or failure of these probiotics.
Spore Biotics (Soil-Based organisms): These are transient organisms from the natural environment. These microbes are key “reconditioning” probiotics. They are introduced into your microbiome through environmental exposure in the form of spore organisms.
These important bacteria perform critical housekeeping functions in your gut. They’re sometimes referred to as the “gut police” because they take care of the condition of your gut and support the growth of good bacteria.
Think of these two categories of bacteria as “reconditioning” and “reseeding.” Environmental bacterial spores condition your gut and ready it for reseeding by beneficial bacteria from fermented vegetables or probiotic supplements.
Mother nature produces bacterial spores as a means to survive extreme environmental conditions and to exist long-term in conditions that might normally kill the bacteria.
The complex spore-forming process takes about eight hours. It involves the buildup of layers surrounding the bacteria core, ending with outer protein-like layers known as the spore coat.
Different from regular probiotics, spore-forming bacteria offer four major advantages over non-spore-forming probiotics such as Lactobacillus in your gut:
When the spores reach your small intestines and are exposed to the right nutrients, they germinate. This process, which takes just a few minutes, allows water to enter the spore and break down and remove the spore coats. Freed of its protective layers, the beneficial probiotics can resume cell growth inside your body.
These are NOT the same as the normal probiotics you’re used to and are not interchangeable. They’re each very different organisms and perform very different functions.
But they’re both essential to one another and to a healthy gut — especially in today’s age of toxins in the air, our food and our water supplies.
Spore Biotics perform the following functions in your microbiome:
Bacillus spore probiotics produce vitamins, enzymes, carotenoid antioxidants, and some very valuable fats…
As you can see, these are not just nice to have — they’re essential to a healthy gut and a health body.
by Dr. David Minkoff
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