Is there any solid information one way or the other about the safety of soil based probiotics during pregnancy? Google is turning up a lot of advertisements and anecdata, but I can't find anything really definitive one way or the other.
I've taken probiotics daily for a couple of years, usually the pearls. I've never taken the HSO kind before. I ran out of pearls and almost immediately started having with my stomach. My husband picked up a bottle of the Primal Defense probiotics by Garden of Life for me tonight because it was supposed to be the best. It's a ridiculous sized bottle, I think it's got 90 in it, but I'm a little concerned about taking it while pregnant.
I do not recommend these soil based sporeforming probiotics. There are few safety studies. Here is a communication about this product.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Primal Defense, HSO probiotics: a warning
A voice of reason on an otherwise quacky website..... (author unknown):
Along with a book I ordered called "The IBD Remission Diet" by Jini Patel Thompson, came a page inserted later by the author that essentially withdrew her prior recommendation of Primal Defense. Horrified, I searched the Internet and could only find glowing testimonials (most of which eventually stemmed from the Garden of Life company's own marketing.) I could find nothing from a scientific or unbiased source. The inserted warning is frightening. Here it is:
"On Page 108 of the IBD remission diet, I suggest that readers may want to try a product called Primal Defense after they've been completely healed for 3-5 months. I learned of this product from numerous readers who wrote in to let me know how well it's worked for them. Since I couldn't try the product myself (I've been pregnant or breastfeeding for four years and counting,) I questioned numerous respected naturopaths, microbiology professors and gastroenterologists for their opinion on the product and all said it looked fine.
However, since meeting the founder and president of Natren Inc. (top quality pro-biotic manufacturer,) Natasha Trenev, I must change my opinion of bacterial soil organisms. Natasha is a world renowned expert on microorganisms and maintains one of the largest research libraries on that topic in the world. She has sent me an entire CD ROM of articles, research and clinical data and other scientific studies, (most done outside of North America,) outlining why it is not safe to consume bacterial soil organisms (like those contained in Primal Defense and numerous other products.)
To summarize the research briefly, soil organisms (SO) are spore formers, so they make make good competitors for yeast, fungus and other pathogens. This is why so many people taking soil organisms will initially experience very favorable results. However these spores are are extremely difficult to kill, surviving sterilants, disinfectants, acceleration forces, heat, pressure, radiation and many antibiotics. Strong antibiotics -- like Vancomycin -- can suppress certain spores. Spores are so persistent in the intestines that another round of germination may occur after the the drug is stopped. Soil organisms can also adapt loose genetic material and incorporate it into their cellular structure - the ramifications of which are yet unknown. Various soil organisms can also produce harmful peptides, affecting hemoglobin in the blood. It's important to keep in mind that virtually all antibiotic drugs were were initially developed from soil organisms and as antibiotics become more potent, they cause more damage to the host, not just in the immediate gut environment, but systematically as well.
In the EU (European Union) the use of soil organisms in animal feed is being stringently controlled and questioned at this time. There are simply too many questions and unknowns to sanction the use of soil organisms for human consumption and one can certainly cannot qualify them as safe at this time.
I'm very sorry for any confusion this may have caused you. To be honest, this is the very first time I've recommended a product that I've not tried and tested exclusively myself -- I admit I was swayed by so many good recommendations from readers. Rest assured that I will not do so again!
My sincerest apologies,
Jini Patel Thompson