A review of Elixa Probiotic

A reader of my review on P3-OM probiotic, raised this one to be of concern due to the aggressive marketing on facebook with the prospect of fake testimonials being involved. Fake testimonials aka product reviews were something I know well from working at Amazon in the AI group detecting such. Unfortunately, I do not have access that the metadata on facebook to do such an evaluation. So it’s back to my pro-forma review of Elixa.

Contents

The following are listed without strains being specified  usually a big warning flag!

Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Lactobacillus Reuteri, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Helveticus, Lactobacillus Salivarius, Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Bifidobacterium Longum, Bifidobacterium Breve

https://www.elixa-probiotic.com/

This is even more concerning because of this claim on having “correct strains” but not naming them!

 Elixa supplies the correct species and strains of bacteria, in the correct quantities, to your large intestine 

https://www.elixa-probiotic.com/the-elixa-difference/

Question claims from their site

The “three days” is questionable, because I have seen any of these species be detectable after 24 hrs in any of the literature.

” Countless probiotic supplements contain bacteria and yeasts that are not adapted to reside in the human gut ” implies human sourced. Without the strains being identified this cannot be evaluated. I did a search of their site and there was no claim of any being human sourced — so this appears to be marketing spin.

Karl Seddon Founder and director:
” I graduated with a Masters in Engineering from Oxford University where I studied Biomedical Engineering and Process Engineering during my Masters year. ”

For the academic spin literate, this translates to: I did ONE course on how to manufacture products like probiotcs. Well, I did one course on psychology doing my Master’s — so I guess that I should start charging for psychological advice!

Email from Founder on Strains

I wrote to get information about strains. The full response is below for readers to evaluate themselves. I find some of his logic ‘interesting

1.  Regarding strain specification in the context of gut biofilms:
This is actually an obsolete method of describing bacteria. The genetic material within microbes changes rapidly inter- and intra-generationally (horizontal transfer). Biofilm communities in the gut render even the concept of species as an inaccurate way of describing microbial genetic information (which is what matters).

You may have heard of ‘strain’ designations such as GG (etc.) but these are essentially branding and not even the (obsolete) ATCC reference. They have no purpose other than an attempt at patenting/trademarking a naturally occurring object which has been in the public domain for quite a while…. since mammals first appeared (and earlier)…. about 200 million years, haha! šŸ˜‰

Species, on the other hand, is a slightly broader umbrella and thus can be meaningful insofar as describing general phenotype etc.

If this is unclear, this article may elucidate:
http://coolinginflammation.
blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/
lateral-gene-transfer-in-gut-flora.html


Other scientists are beginning to realise this:
”Although the health benefits of probiotics have been considered to be strain-specific for decades, scientists are now recognizing commonalities among members of taxonomic groups, which may be at the root of some beneficial effects.

For instance, the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebioticsā€™ consensus document on the scope and use of the term ā€˜probioticā€™ pointed out that some effects and mechanisms that support them are broadly distributed among species within a genus (colonization resistance and short-chain fatty acids production etc.), others are frequent among different strains of the same species (vitamin synthesis, gut barrier reinforcement, etc.) and, finally, others appear to be less widely distributed among probiotic strains (neurological effects or immunological effects, etc.).

Mary Ellen Sanders and colleagues recently published a review of the implications of the fact that probiotic benefits may derive from shared mechanisms within taxonomic groups that go beyond strain-specificity.”

2. Regarding the seed strains used to culture our batches:
As for the SEED strains (which are ofc designated strains), these are proprietary. However, I can tell you that I’ve selected them with biogenic amine concerns in mind. I can also say that there are d-lactate producing species in Elixa, however, this has not produced any lactic acidosis symptoms in anyone yet (although I will be split-testing d-lactate vs none, prior to the upcoming Elixa V5 release).

3. Remember that an abundance of carbohydrate in the culture medium (or diet) will be preferentially fermented in place of amino acids (into histamine).

4. I do not personally view endogenous, microbial histamine production as problematic nor the cause of the various side-effects that can result from probiotic intake. (same for d-lactate, in most cases).

Thank you for your interest in Elixa!

Kind Regards,Karl Seddon
Founder & Director

Costs

In my review on P3-OM probiotic I compared things to one of the more expensive probiotics from customprobiotics.com and came to 100g at 400BCFU/gram for $190. That computes to $0.00475 per BCFU. This product is offering 6 packages of 500BCFU (equivalent to 1 gram for $40 or $0.017, roughly 3.5 times more expensive per cfu.

To actually do a better match: CustomProbiotics offers an 11 strain mixture. 100 gm at 260 BCFU for $190 or $0.0073 per cfu — 2.3x as expensive. Of course, custom probiotics provides strain identification.And at least some of these strain are actually researched with articles on PubMed.

https://www.customprobiotics.com/custom-probiotics-11-strain.htm

Bottom Line

Similar to my comment on P3-OM probiotic , there is nothing technically wrong with this product. It is not the best bang for the euro. You are getting unknown strains (a major risk for those that are histamine sensitive) with out any published evidence on actual health benefits. This company has been selling for 15 years, I would expect some published articles by now.

I am also opposed to most probiotic mixtures because each bacteria has plus and minus features. So there is bias in me against all mixtures.

PubMed reports: “Your search for Elixa probiotic retrieved no results. “

I expect that it is very true that many people react to taking it — it is such a high dosage that it will likely cause chaos / diarrhea in some and after this, people will likely feel better (the same way people feel better after a cleanse). If you want the same effect, my competition reference: customprobiotics.com offers it cheaper!