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    • Heart Health

      The stats tell it all: The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. That’s right, more than any other disease – even cancer (a close second) – heart disease is the most likely to kill you. The United States is currently facing a “diabesity” epidemic, or a substantial increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome leading to diabetes and obesity, all serious risk factors for heart disease.

      According to the American Heart Association, every 34 seconds someone in the US dies of a heart attack. By the time you finish reading this paragraph, another person will have lost their life. Sadly, many people do not even know they have heart disease until they experience a heart attack. These facts alone make Heart Health a critical topic to understand.

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      The gut-skin connection is very significant. Inflammatory processes present in the gut may manifest on the skin. Toxins are expelled with sweat, and can cause the skin to react. Like the inside of the digestive tract, the skin is covered in microbes which can be neutral, protective or pathogenic. Skin reaction may reflect what is going on inside the body. Therefore treating skin conditions only from the outside will often be ineffective and lead to other chronic issues.

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    • Brain Health

      The gut-brain connection occurs in two directions—from the brain to the gut, and from the gut to the brain. When a person has a “gut feeling,” or an emotional upset causes a stomachache or loss of appetite, they experience examples of the first, most familiar direction. When the gut is out of balance, inflammation results leading to a condition commonly known as leaky gut. A leaky gut will allow undigested food particles and toxins to enter into the bloodstream. Some may cross into the brain, setting the stage for diseases like Alzheimers and dementia. Recognizing the underlying contributing factors that created the gut imbalance in the first place is the first step to achieving optimal brain function .

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    • Diet & Health

      Healthy pH levels, whether in the colon or systemic, are found when you eat a high-fiber diet, high in vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins, and healthy fats. Complement this with foods and supplements high in beneficial bacteria, omega-3 fatty acids, and digestive enzymes, and you will be supporting optimal health (which begins in the digestive system).

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      Our dog’s health is precious! They provide us with unconditional love and companionship. A daily probiotic formula is a great way to ensure good health. Make sure you choose one that delivers the recommended potency level and strain count. There is nothing quite like a healthy and happy dog. Happy Dog. Happy Life!

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GMO Toxins Found in the Bloodstream

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 10/31/2011

Renew You Challenge

Let’s start this week off right!


Weekly challenge (I mean opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar. Join us!

A study published back in May was the first to show that the Bt toxin from genetically modified corn enters the bloodstream. The study involved 30 pregnant women and 39 non-pregnant Canadian women, and found the toxin in 93 percent of the pregnant women, in 80 percent of the umbilical cord blood of their babies, and in 67 percent of the non-pregnant women.

The researchers suggest that the toxins entered the bloodstream by way of the consumption of meat from animals fed Bt corn. Certainly dairy from animals fed Bt corn, or even corn products made of Bt corn, could also be sources of the toxin. Fully 88 percent of the corn planted in the U.S. is genetically engineered. Much of this is used as animal feed, though genetically modified corn ingredients can also be found in a vast array of processed foods.

There is currently a movement to pass legislation that would require labeling of genetically modified foods. Visit the website for the Institute for Responsible Technology to sign a petition, and to see video segments from the Dr. Oz show on this topic.

When it comes to genetically engineered foods, one major fear has been that genetically modified plants could spread to the wild. Another recent study, published in the online journal PLoS ONE, has found that this is now a reality. Large populations of genetically engineered canola have been found outside of cultivation areas, and are capable of hybridizing with each other, creating yet new combinations of transgenic traits.

This week, if you think that genetically modified foods should be labeled, sign the petition here.

Hey Baby, What’s Your Gut Type?

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 10/28/2011


Dr. Smith blogged a while back on a new study that found three distinct gut types, or enterotypes, based on stool testing. Studying the gut microbiota is an exciting area of research, and will further our understanding of how our gut bacteria influence our health. We’re really only just beginning, though it’s clear that our gut bacteria play a major role in protecting our health.

The researchers of the gut type study have opened their labs to the public. They are offering to sequence your microbiome—for a hefty fee, however—all in the name of science and, well, hooking you up with others of similar gut type. 

Ok, so it’s not a gut dating site or anything. Their real goal is to collect as much data as they can on the gut profiles of different people. It’s a study on its own—the researchers hope to recruit 5,000 participants for the study to be meaningful. So far (as of this writing) they have 155.

They’ve set up a website, called My Micobes, to recruit as many people as they can. It’s a neat idea. And they’re connecting like-bellied folks. What’s your gut type?

Leaky Gut Associated with Belly Fat

Filed in General | Posted by lsmith on 10/25/2011

Belly fat, or visceral adipose tissue (VAT), is the fat that accumulates around the organs in the abdomen. It is strongly related to metabolic disorders including insulin resistance, fatty liver and inflammation. Because of the close proximity of belly fat to the intestines, and the ability of gut bacterial toxins to affect inflammation outside the gut, the relationship of increased intestinal permeability, or leaky gut, to increased abdominal fat has been investigated.

Indeed, previous studies in animals and in people with illnesses like Crohn’s disease1 and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), have found a link between leaky gut and belly fat. Until recently, however, no studies had been done in healthy humans. Now the picture is all coming together nicely, as a new study highlights.

In 55 healthy women, intestinal permeability was estimated by measuring urinary excretion of ingested nonmetabolizable sucralose and mannitol. (They measure the ratio of excreted sucralose to mannitol—if the sucralose level is high, it means it leaked through the gut, even though it shouldn’t.) Further, imaging was performed of subcutaneous fat (fat just under the skin) visceral fat, and liver fat. The researchers found that increased leaky gut was associated with increases in both visceral fat and liver fat content in healthy women.2 This is important because previous studies have found this in people with illnesses, but it was not known if leaky gut could was associated with belly fat in healthy individuals. Now we have a better picture of this gut connection.

The women in the study had no history of gut disorders, yet some of them still had leaky gut, and those with the worst leaky gut also had the most belly and liver fat. The researchers stated, “The current findings suggest that even without pathologically compromised gut function, intestinal permeability still appears to play a role in visceral adipose and liver fat accumulation.” Importantly, they go on to mention the role that the gut microbiota plays in this picture. Alterations in gut bacteria composition has been associated with metabolic dysfunction,3 and gut bacteria help regulate gut barrier function,4 they mention.

They conclude, “Our data suggests that intestinal permeability may be an important part of the link between diet, gut microbial balance, inflammation, and metabolic disorders. The present findings are consistent with the emerging role of gut in metabolic health.”

Abdominal fat has even been considered an organ of its own, due to the many chemicals and hormones it produces, just as organs do. The role of VAT as a contributor to metabolic diseases is possibly the most important factor to consider when trying to reduce disease risk. That the accumulation of this belly fat is related to the gut, and might even originate in the gut, takes our search into the prevention of diseases yet one more step closer to the source. A healthy gut is truly the foundation of total body health.


  1. Desreumaux P, et al., “Inflammatory alterations in mesenteric adipose tissue in Crohn’s disease.” Gastroenterology. 1999 Jul;117(1):73-81.
  2. Gummesson A, et al., “Intestinal Permeability Is Associated With Visceral Adiposity in Healthy Women.” Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Aug 18. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Cani PD and Delzenne NM, “The role of the gut microbiota in energy metabolism and metabolic disease.” Curr Pharm Des. 2009;15(13):1546-58.
  4. Sharma R, et al., “Molecular modulation of intestinal epithelial barrier: contribution of microbiota.” J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:305879.

You Thought Those Strawberries Were Organic, Didn’t You?

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 10/24/2011

Renew You Challenge

Let’s start this week off right!

Weekly challenge (I mean opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar. Join us!


I came upon some disturbing news the other day and thought I should share it. Do you ever eat organic strawberries? As fruit goes, berries are lower in sugar content, so I usually recommend that people on a sugar-limited diet eat berries in moderation as a way to satisfy that sweet tooth. And, due to the high level of pesticides on strawberries, it’s best to eat them organic. Well, as it turns out, even organic strawberries might not be as toxin-free as we’d like.

To be considered organic, strawberries must be grown for three years without synthetic pesticides. In California, strawberries are grown over a five-year cycle, often beginning as nursery plants. During this phase, before they begin fruiting, virtually all strawberry plants are treated with fumigants and other synthetic pesticides.

Because an organic version of this process is not “commercially available,” it is seen as an allowable practice. A small group of organic strawberry growers (who actually do grow organically from start to finish) and the Pesticide Action Network have sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture demanding an end to the current regulations which allow strawberries to be grown with chemicals that should never be allowed to touch organic produce.

This week, if you like organic strawberries, let your strawberry producer know you want strawberries that are organic—start to finish. Here is a link to the New York Times article I read on the topic so you know what you’re talking about when you call. Who knows? It might make a difference.

Prebiotics and Probiotics—A Primer

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 10/21/2011


I talk about probiotics a lot. I even have a PBS show on the topic—The Road to Perfect Health. I call your gut bacteria the Gut Protection System, or GPS. The word probiotics means, “for life.” Probiotics are defined as beneficial bacteria (sometimes yeast) that benefit the person taking them in some way. Many people relate probiotics to yogurt, because some yogurts contain probiotics. (Many don’t—if the probiotics aren’t added back in after pasteurization, there won’t be any probiotics in the yogurt due to high heat required during pasteurization. Plus, check the sugar levels in yogurt—yikes!)

Awareness of probiotics is increasing. In 2007, about 58 percent of people surveyed were aware probiotics might be good for the digestive system. In 2011 that percentage increased to 81 percent. People are starting to get it.

What about prebiotics? Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms (like probiotics) in the gut. They are essentially food for the beneficial gut bacteria—the fuel for the Gut Protection System, if you will. Prebiotics are often soluble fibers, like FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) and acacia fiber.

If you think about it, soluble fibers escape digestion, arriving in the colon (large intestine) largely intact. Then, beneficial bacteria use the soluble fibers like food. A fermentation process occurs, yielding beneficial compounds like the short-chain fatty acid, butyrate, which fuels intestinal lining cells, and lactic acid, which lowers the colon pH to a healthy level.

Prebiotics and probiotics go hand-in-hand. When these two are found together, they are often called a “synbiotic,” highlighting their beneficial relationship. Studies show that the prebiotic FOS is particularly helpful in increasing levels of beneficial gut bacteria, while inhibiting an increase in harmful bacteria.

If you’re taking a prebiotic, be sure to take it with a probiotic to get the added benefit and to ensure you’re giving the “food” to the right kind of bacteria—the good kind.

Super Bugs and Genetically Modified Food

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 10/19/2011


I have blogged before on superbugs in our bodies—like C. diff, MRSA and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Superbugs is the term for bacteria that have developed antibiotic resistance, making the infections they cause very difficult to treat. The main reason for the development of these superbugs is the overuse of antibiotics—in medicine, food production (livestock) and even in hand soaps.

Now, there’s a new superbug in town, a superbug of a different kind. And who is behind it, but Monsanto, the biotechnology giant. It seems that one of Monsanto’s biggest money-makers—Bt corn, is creating superbugs. The majority of non-organic corn planted in the U.S. is genetically modified to produce a toxic compound against western corn rootworms—a major corn pest. This corn is well-known as Bt corn, because it contains a gene from the soil microorganisms Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which produces an insecticide against the corn rootworm.

Genetically modified Bt corn worked so well against the corn rootworm that some farmers began planting it every year, instead of the usual rotation of growing corn one year and soybeans the next—a method that helps reduce pest populations. If there is one thing that farmers should know, it’s that planting the same thing every year is a recipe for disaster (even if it doesn’t seem that way at first).

It turns out the corn rootworms, much like the superbug bacteria infecting humans, are developing a resistance to the Bt toxin that usually destroys the pest. A few farms in Iowa are reporting that the Bt corn no longer kills the corn rootworm, meaning the bugs—now superbugs—have developed resistance to the Bt toxin. First superbugs in our guts, now superbugs on corn, soon superbugs everywhere. (Anyone notice a problem, here?)

Competitors of Monsanto estimate that about one-third of all the corn grown in the U.S. is Monsanto’s Bt corn. These competitors have their own Bt corn, with slightly different genes, that they are offering as a solution for the Bt resistant rootworm. Are you kidding? This seems ridiculous to me. It’s like placing a Band-Aid on a war wound. If they think that the corn rootworm won’t also develop resistance to their Bt toxin, they’re crazy. Unfortunately, it’s all about money. Preserving human health, or even feeding the planet, has nothing to do with it.

Corn and its by-products are in so many foods. Try to buy products using organic corn, or at least non-GM corn, to avoid being part of the human experiment that is the consumption of GM foods in this country. We just don’t know if they’re safe yet, and many studies suggest they’re not.

What Omega-3 Are You Getting?

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 10/17/2011

Renew You Challenge

Let’s start this week off right!

Weekly challenge (I mean opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar. Join us!

Many people are familiar with the term “omega-3.” And many people also know that good sources of omega-3 are fish and flaxseeds. But did you know that these two sources contain different types of omega-3? That’s right. Flaxseed contains the omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and fish contains two different types of omega-3: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

ALA actually converts into EPA, which then can convert into DHA (and vice versa). These conversions, however, occur on a very limited basis. ALA only converts to EPA at a rate of between 8 and 20 percent, and only converts to DHA (by way of EPA) at a rate of between 0.5 and 9 percent. Many people take omega-3 in the ALA form, like flaxseed oil, thinking that they are getting all the benefits of omega-3s, but they’re not getting the whole story. Certainly ALA is a beneficial omega-3. I don’t refute that. But most of the benefits of ALA are thought to be due to its eventual conversion into EPA and DHA—especially when it comes to heart health.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlights this point. Data based on 3,277 healthy Danish adults found that a higher intake of ALA over 23 years was not associated with a reduction in risk of ischemic heart disease—the most common form of heart disease, and the most common cause of death in the U.S. But intake of other long-chain omega-3s—like EPA and DHA—was associated with a reduced risk.

The researchers found that intakes ranging from 0.45 to 11.2 grams per day were associated with a 38 percent reduced risk of ischemic heart disease for women. This is a large range, certainly, and higher doses of EPA and DHA should only be taken under the consult of a doctor. But the American Heart Association does recommend that people consume the equivalent of 500 mg per day of EPA and DHA (not ALA) if they are healthy and want to maintain heart health; 1 gram per day if they have coronary heart disease; and 2 to 4 grams per day if they have high triglycerides.

This week, if you are taking an omega-3 supplement, take a look at the label and see how much EPA and DHA you are getting. This is what you should be looking for in a high-quality omega-3.

omega-3, fish, flaxseeds, alpha-linolenic acid, ALA, DHA, EPA, benefits, heart health, heart disease, long-chain omega-3s, American Heart Association, healthy, coronary heart disease, triglycerides, supplement

Omega-3s and the Heart—Yet Another Reason to Take Them

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 10/14/2011


The science behind omega-3s—especially EPA ad DHA, the omega-3s found in fish—is particularly strong for cardiovascular benefits. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults consume the equivalent of 500 mg daily of EPA and DHA; that people with heart disease consume 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA daily; and that patients who need to lower triglyceride levels consume 2 to 4 grams of EPA and DHA daily.

The reasons why fish oil is so heart healthy are many. In addition to helping lower triglyceride levels, omega-3s from fish oil have also been found to reduce blood clots and improve blood pressure, heart rate and vascular function. On top of that, a recent meta-analysis (a study which compiles data across many studies—in this case 10 randomized, controlled, human clinical trials) found that omega-3 intake was effective in reducing arterial stiffness, also known as hardening of the arteries.

Arterial stiffness is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. It is the result of atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in the artery wall, and is more common with age. “Reduction in arterial stiffness by omega-3 may account for some of its purported cardio-protective effects,” stated researchers.

Fish oil supplements are not all created equal. The most beneficial omega-3s found in fish oil are EPA and DHA. Be sure you are getting the most of your fish oil—read the label and add up the amounts of EPA + DHA. That’s what you’re looking for when it comes to a good fish oil supplement.

High-Dose Probiotics

Filed in General | Posted by lsmith on 10/12/2011

Probiotic use for digestive conditions has seen a gradual increase in dosage over the past couple decades. Doses of 7 billion were thought to be very high just ten years ago, while average doses were about 250 million. Today, an average probiotic dose is around 1–5 billion with high-dose probiotics ranging from 30 to 450 billion or more. This increase comes with improvements in the development of probiotics and increased interest in studying high-dose probiotics, as is reflected in the literature.

The gut is home to about 100 trillion bacteria cells—10 times the amount of cells that make up the entire human body. For this reason, high-dose probiotic therapy may have a greater impact on the beneficial modulation of the gut flora, or microbiota. Here I’ll review a few studies on high-dose probiotics for gastrointestinal conditions.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in 2010 in the Journal of American Gastroenterology, 225 patients were randomized to one of three groups: two probiotic capsules per day providing 100 billion CFU (colony forming units) of live organisms, one probiotic capsule and one placebo capsule per day providing 50 billion CFU of live organisms, or two placebo capsules.1 A dose-ranging effect was shown in which the group receiving the 100 billion CFUs had lower incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) than the 50 billion group, and both probiotic groups had lower incidence versus placebo. In those patients who did acquire AAD, Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) incidence was lower in the 100 billion CFU group than the 50 billion group, and both probiotic groups had lower CDAD incidence than placebo.

A previous dose-response study published in 1991 in the journal Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease investigated fecal recovery of the probiotic Lactobacillus casei strain GG (LGG).2 In this study, healthy volunteers were assigned to six different groups: 1.5 million, 15 million, 150 million, 1.5 billion, 15 billion and 150 billion CFU per day of the probiotic. LGG could not be recovered from the feces of groups taking up to 150 million CFU per day. In the group taking 1.5 billion, LGG was occasionally recovered at low levels in two of the seven volunteers. In the group taking 15 billion CFU per day, all volunteers were colonized. LGG was recovered at the highest level with the highest dose—150 billion. This study showed a dose-response effect at higher dosage levels of 15 to 150 billion CFU per day required for fecal probiotic recovery.

A high-dose multistrain probiotic formula containing eight strains (three bifidobacteria, four lactobacilli and one Streptococcus) has also been shown to colonize the gut and maintain remission of ulcerative colitis (UC) in children and adults.3-5 In children, 900 billion CFU per day of an eight-strain probiotic formula induced remission.3 In adults, 500 billion CFU per day of that same formula colonized the gut and maintained remission in UC patients.4 In another trial, a daily dose of 3.6 trillion CFU per day of the multistrain formula induced remission in adult patients not responding to conventional therapies.5

This same preparation (dosages ranging from 450 billion to 1.8 trillion CFU per day, based on weight of patient) was also found to induce and maintain remission of ulcerative colitis in children.6 In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 29 children with UC, probiotics or placebo were added to standard treatment. In the probiotic group, 92.8 percent achieved remission compared to only 36.4 percent in the placebo group. Further, there were no biochemical or clinical adverse events related to the probiotic treatment in these children.

Two more randomized, controlled trials evaluated the effects of this probiotic preparation in twenty-five patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D). In the first study, patients were assigned to receive either the probiotic mixture (450 billion CFU per day) or placebo for eight weeks.7 The multistrain probiotic relieved abdominal bloating when compared to placebo. In the second study, 48 IBS patients were randomized, double-blind, to receive either the probiotic mixture (450 billion CFU per day) or placebo for 4 or 8 weeks.8 The multistrain probiotic mixture reduced flatulence and slowed colonic transit without altering bowel function in patients with IBS and bloating.

In another double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, sixty patients with functional bowel disorders—non-constipation IBS, functional diarrhea and functional bloating—received a probiotic mixture of two strains, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis, at 200 billion CFU daily for eight weeks.9 Abdominal bloating improved in the probiotics group at four and eight weeks when compared to placebo. A subgroup of patients with IBS was analyzed and also found to have reduced bloating when compared to placebo.

Studies evaluating high-dose probiotics are most common for inflammatory bowel diseases, though as we see from the studies cited above, other conditions are also benefitted from a high-potency probiotic therapy. The trend toward increasing dosage of probiotics is influenced and supported by studies using doses ranging from 50 billion up to 3.6 trillion or more.


  1. Gao XW, et al., “Dose-response efficacy of a proprietary probiotic formula of Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285 and Lactobacillus casei LBC80R for antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea prophylaxis in adult patients.” Am J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jul;105(7):1636-41.
  2. Saxelin M, et al., “Dose-response colonization of faeces after oral administration of Lactobacillus casei strain GG.” MicroEcol Health Dis. 1991 Jan;4:209-14.
  3. Miele E, et al., “Effect of a probiotic preparation (VSL#3) on induction and maintenance of remission in children with ulcerative colitis.” Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Feb;104(2):437-43.
  4. Ringel Y, et al., “Probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 versus placebo for the symptoms of bloating in patients with functional bowel disorders—a double-blind study.” J Clin Gastroenterol. 2011 Jul;45(6):518-25.
  5. Miele E, et al., “Effect of a probiotic preparation (VSL#3) on induction and maintenance of remission in children with ulcerative colitis.” Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Feb;104(2):437-43.
  6. Venturi A, et al., “Impact on the composition of the faecal flora by a new probiotic preparation: preliminary data on maintenance treatment of patients with ulcerative colitis.” Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1999 Aug;13(8):1103-8.
  7. Bibiloni R, et al., “VSL#3 probiotic-mixture induces remission in patients with active ulcerative colitis.” Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jul;100(7):1539-46.
  8. H.J. Kim, et al., “A randomized controlled trial of a probiotic combination VSL# 3 and placebo in irritable bowel syndrome with bloating.” Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2005 Oct;17(5):687-96.
  9. H.J. Kim, et al., “A randomized controlled trial of a probiotic, VSL#3, on gut transit and symptoms in diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome.” Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Apr 1;17(7):895-904.

The All-Powerful Oz Speaks On Probiotic Potency Scams

Filed in Digestive Health | Posted by Brenda Watson on 10/11/2011

Oz has spoken again! This time the good doctor sheds some light on a common health scam involving probiotics. Dr. Oz has been a great proponent of probiotics to support healthy digestion, immunity and overall health, but in the video segment below he exposes how some probiotic companies can swindle unsuspecting shoppers. Dr. Tod Cooperman of Consumer Labs reveals that the amount of probiotic bacteria that some products claim often does not match the actual amount detected. In fact, some test results showed that some probiotic products can contain as little as 7% of the label claim of colony forming units (CFU) or live probiotic cultures. Talk about a rip off!

The trick is that many probiotic companies still claim the number of total probiotic bacteria at “time of manufacture.” While these products may have started with a certain amount of probiotics, the live bacteria can actually die off before the product ends up in your hand. Now this doesn’t mean there aren’t good probiotics out there, you just have to know what to look for. I’m so excited that Dr. Oz is bringing this up and raising awareness about these powerful good bacteria, but there’s a little more to this story, so here’s my 2 cents.

First, Dr. Oz left something critical out – probiotic shopping tips. Instead of choosing products that list the number of their live bacteria “at time of manufacture,” be on the look-out for probiotics that guarantee their potency until time of expiration. Quality products like the Ultimate Flora line of probiotics claim only the potency that they can guarantee until the product’s expiration date. No sneaky label tricks there.

Second, in the segment Dr. Cooperman says that we should consume at least 1 billion live bacteria each day. In my humble opinion, that is nowhere near enough! In my latest PBS Special, The Road to Perfect Health, I talk about the benefits of probiotics, and the absolute minimum I recommend is 15 Billion live bacteria per day. When it comes to probiotics, more is better. And guess what, after age 50 probiotic levels, especially Bifidobacteria, start to decline. If you’re fifty or older, you should double that dose to 30 Billion per day to maintain good digestive and immune health.

So that is as they say “the rest of the story” about this probiotic scam. The key here is to be a smart shopper – diligent label-reading is an absolute must. So take your probiotics daily to support optimal health and don’t fall victim to these tricks.

Watch Dr. Oz Discuss The Probiotics Potency Scam