Many Probiotics Contain Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. Plus: Number of Live Bacteria is up to 95% Below Label Claims
|Probiotics under urgently needed scrutiny - This is the first study to test for antibiotic resistances and to highlight the discrepan- cy between label claims and the actual number of live bacteria in supplements.|
Unfortunately, this important truth is rarely mentioned in the edutainment articles on probiotics in the laypress and sales pitches you will find all over the Internet.
Another thing, even you may not have thought about yet is however the potential occurrence of antibiotic resistances among the bazillions of bacteria in your allegedly healthy probiotic supplements.
You can learn more about the gut & your health at the SuppVersity
MRSA in your probiotic supplements?
Against that background and in view of the numerous reports of antibiotic resistant probiotics in food and biological sources, the antibiogram of probiotics from dietary supplements remains elusive.
|Figure 1: Petri dishes from the antibiotic test (top). If the antibiotics still worked on the bacteria in the probiotics, they all should be dead. As you can see (in the graph, as well), that's by no means the case (Wong. 2015).|Even probiotics that help weight loss, could transfer antibiotic resistances.
- Several batches of probiotics from four different brands were also resistant towards streptomycin, aztreonam, gentamycin and / or ciprofloxacin antibiotics (this includes the US and Austrian products, i.e. Cn and Bn, respectively)
- The fifth brand showed a unique resistance towards gentamycin, strepto- mycin and ciprofloxacin antibiotics.
You're not getting what you're paying for!
The problem with antibiotic resistances is yet not the only intriguing result of Wang's study. The researchers analyses also revealed that you're not just getting more (albeit unwanted) ingredients that you're paying for, they also found a significant discrepancy between the enumerated viable bacteria amounts and the claims of the manufacturers.
|The "live bacteria"-problem can be solved by eating probiotic foods like yogurt. The problem with potential antibiotic resistances, on the other hand, is rampant with foods, too. Even meat (especially chicken) and allegedly extra-healthy products like veggies from the farmers market may be tainted (the latter due to natural fertilizers of animal origin aka slurry).|
In conjunction with the proven lack of viable bacteria in the five products from the US, Malaysia and Austria this study casts a shadow on a class of supplements with rapidly increasing sales - a shadow that becomes even darker if you remember my previous warning that we know literally nothing about the far-reaching interactions between the billion of different bacteria in our gut to even know the "good" from the "bad" guys | Comment on Facebook!
- Wong, Aloysius, et al. "Detection of antibiotic resistance in probiotics of dietary supplements." Nutrition journal 14.1 (2015): 1-6.