Soil Based Organism Probiotics – The Reality

I think the easiest way to start a discussion is to look at what is in Swanson Ultra Dynamic Balance Blend Soil-Based Organisms.


What! Those are “normal” probiotics!  What is going on???? If you go over to Primal Defence probiotics you see a similar list of probiotics with the comment “homeostatic soil organisms”.

The harsh reality is that most probiotics are obtained from non-human sources. A few life Mutaflor (E.Coli Nissle 1917), Colibiogen (E.Coli Laves 1931)  and BioGala L. Reuteri come from a human sources. If the manufacturer does not clearly state that it is human sourced,  it is soil, animal, marine or some other environment source. There is a big marketing value to have a human source.

The diagram below shows the various strains for L.Reuteri. Note that almost all of the human L.Reuteri produces histamine — other species do not.


Why is the source important? Bacteria is like blood transfusion or organ transplants — foreigners will be rejected. For a commercial probiotic company — that makes economical sense! You want the customer to keep coming back. In reading many PubMed articles, I found that detecting any of a probiotic in stools after a week of consumption is a challenge resulting is different types of protection around the probiotic — while a suitable probiotic in water (Symbioflor-2) had no problem surviving (and taking up long term residence).

You can usually assume that 99% of probiotics that you buy are not from human sources. Most safety studies that I have seen filed with the FDA or EU’s equivalent, emphasis that the probiotic does not take up residence.

What is the use of taking probiotics then?

While these foreign bacteria are in your system, they are producing chemicals (metabolites) that favor your own missing bacteria reviving. This is the rationalize for  Colibiogen (E.Coli Laves 1931). The problem is that there are a large number of cross supporting interactions between both the good and the bad bacteria. It  unlikely that a single strain of any bacteria will be successful in correcting matters. A single strain may cause a dramatic result, but it’s ability to persist is fragile.

What can happen is a change, a new cross-supporting population – as illustrated by this report:

  • “Re-colonization of E. faecium after simultaneous probiotic plus vancomycin intake occurs mainly with strains without close genetic relationship to the strains harboured before treatment or to the ingested E. faecium strain.” [2002]

A reader wrote:

Hi Ken i Have report after using Symbioflor-2

I took it for nearly one and half week. Changes were awesome, colour of stool changed from yellow and loose(which I guess is from lactate excess) to well formed and brown. My sleep change from very little and disturbed to quiet and deep sleep

It looks like that the E.coli could be displacing the Enterococcus. I toke 20 drops, 3 times at day (with GOS and Fucoidan)

I stopped it for 4 days, and symptoms came back (even more aggressive)… I guess because bacterial resistance?. My point now is to get fucose (looks like fucoidan powder doesn’t have in it) to get the E.coli established after a period of several weeks.

I eat carbs with my meals(which is sued as fuel for lactate) and quite high amounts of GHEE (maybe overloading lactic acid as well)

I think that the only way to get E.coli stablished for sure is to feed it in high amounts. D-ribose, Fucose and Galactose (Gos prebiotic, Ribose and seaweed?).. What points more would you mark to proper feed this e.coli (i guess also the time of feeding and taking it matters).

I look at the above report in several ways:

  1. Probiotics can do a dynamic change of symptoms
  2. Establishing a persistent change is the challenge

So what would be some suggestions for this reader? First, we appear to have a bad enterococcus overgrowth according to the report. This post looks at this specific issue: vancomycin antibiotic is one route, or non-prescription monolaurin and/or neem (Azadirachta indica) would be suggested before trying E.Coli probiotic again.  Possibly between these, taking some Bioflorin – Enterococcus faecium SF 68 ( NCIMB10415)  probiotics in the hope that it would out complete the bad enterococcus. Another enterococcus probiotic Enterococcus faecalis TH10 is available in Dr.Ohhira’s Probiotics Original Formula. This probiotic is reviewed on John Brisson’s site “Fix  Your Gut”

Dr. Ohhita’s probiotics contain:
• Bifidobacterium breve ss. breve
• Bifidobacterium infantis ss. infantis
• Bifidobacterium longum
• Enterococcus faecalis TH10
• Lactobacillus brevis
• Lactobacillus acidophilus
• Lactobacillus bulgaricus
• Lactobacillus casei ss. casei
• Lactobacillus fermentum
• Lactobacillus helveticus ss. jagurti
• Lactobacillus plantarum
• Streptococcus thermophilus

This is not recommended for long term use because of the Lactobacillus in it — but it may be useful for clearing out the bad enterococcus.

Bottom Line

“Snogging healthy young humans” may actually be the best way of getting bacteria that may persist into you! If you are married, that creates problems….

In my next post I will be digging thru PubMed to identify which probiotics are known to take up some residence (i.e. detectable after 7 or more days).