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Are Soil-Based Probiotics (SBOs) Better Than Regular Probiotics?
By Dr. Josh Axe
August 23, 2022
Are all probiotic supplements the same? No! Certain types of probiotic supplements stand out when it comes to their quality, resilience and their potential health benefits.
Due to growing demand for probiotic supplements in recent years, there are now dozens of options available, each type with its own unique bacterial strain diversity and colony-forming units, or CFU count, in addition to other factors that affect how well the probiotics are utilized in the gut.
SBO probiotics (which contain soil-based organisms) provide beneficial bacteria that populate the digestive tract, helping to support gut health in a variety of ways. This type of probiotic supplement is also thought to be especially “hardy,” providing microbes that are capable of actually making it to the parts of your GI tract where they are needed.
Soil-based probiotics are made from microbial strains that occur naturally in the soil. These are the same types of “guy good” bacterial and yeast strains found in fresh veggies and in your garden, and also the types that confer benefits to your digestive tract and beyond.
What makes SBOs unique? They’re known to be resilient and to survive the journey from your mouth, through your stomach, gallbladder and liver, making it to your lower GI tract to work their benefits.
The same can’t always be said about all other probiotic supplements; it’s speculated that a high percentage of bacterial strains found in most supplements may not be able to make it through your digestive tract to where they can actually colonize and support your gut microbiome. That’s why choosing a “survivable’ probiotic strain is key.
Here’s another perk of choosing SBO probiotics: No refrigeration is required to keep these probiotic strains alive, as they remain stable at room temperature when stored in a dry place.
Ancient Nutrition’s line of Soil-Based Organism (SBO) Probiotics features four potent formulas tailored to your specific needs, in addition to fermented superfoods, herbs and mushrooms that together promote maintenance of healthy gut flora.
The goal of creating our SBO Probiotics was to offer unique formulas that support the growth of normal microflora (bacteria) in the gut, healthy gastrointestinal function, digestive health and healthy immune system function.
Here’re more about the benefits of adding a SBO probiotic to your routine:
The No. 1 reason to take probiotics is because they support healthy gut function, which in turn promotes digestive health and healthy immune system function.
Here are several of the ways that that soil-based probiotics help support a healthy gut microbiome:
Help to maintain the integrity of the gut lining, a crucial and often underappreciated part of the immune system
Help us to absorb essential nutrients in the gut, including zinc, iron and vitamin B12
May influence gene expression, either positively or negatively
Can help to regulate how you produce neurotransmitters, which impacts your energy, outlook and sleep
How does gut health affect immune system health exactly?
Our gut is a central location of the microbiome, where a large majority of bacteria and other organisms (estimated at about 75 percent or more) live. In general, something called “dysbiosis” occurs when “unfriendly” bacteria in the gut flourish while the “friendly” bacteria are diminished, leaving your system out of balance.
High-quality probiotics can help to keep things in balance, which has far-reaching benefits, including promoting a healthy immune response and immune defenses.
SBOs can help those looking for support for healthy digestion and normal elimination/transit time.
For most people, these supplements are capable of helping to reduce occasional diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating. SBOs also support the normal breakdown of complex carbohydrates and promote nutrient absorption in other ways.
Chances are you do. Most people are in need of microbial balance and replenishment due to common “probiotic disruptors” such as:
Living a highly hygienic lifestyle, which reduces microbial exposure
Excessive sugar intake
Drinking tap water (chlorine and fluoride)
Eating too many whole grains (plus gluten)
Overexposure to environmental toxins and pesticides
Modern processed foods
Many types of “regular” probiotic products are not very durable, and essentially the microbes can experience “die off” due to high body temperatures and the presence of stomach acids before even making it to the right parts of the GI tract.
Soil-based organisms are often hardier than other types of probiotics and resistant to harsh environments. SBOs are the same microbes found in dirt that help support plant life, making them less susceptible to contamination by fungi, yeasts and molds.
One of the goals of taking a probiotic supplement is to actually get the beneficial bacteria through your stomach and to your intestines where they can provide digestive health support. Being survivable means that SBOs can make it to the intestines without being killed off.
Another differentiator that can set certain SBO Probiotics, including Ancient Nutrition’s, apart from other types of probiotic supplements is that they’ve been fermented, plus they may be combined with additional superfoods that can help to support healthy absorption and utilization.
Ancient Nutrition’s SBO products feature organic botanicals, herbs, mushrooms and seeds that have been traditionally used to support digestion. These ingredients not only support the digestion of probiotics, but can benefit other parts of the body, too.
Finally, as mentioned above, something else that’s attractive about SBO probiotics is that they are stored at room temperature, rather than needing to be kept cold.
What characteristics should you look for in the most effective probiotic supplements? Keep these attributes in mind when choosing one:
Easy storage (shelf-stable)
Contains live/active organisms
Diversity of species
High CFU (colony forming units) count
Inclusion of other ingredients such as botanicals for extra support
At Ancient Nutrition, we’ve gone above and beyond to formulate our SBO Probiotics with not only hardy probiotic strains, but also prebiotics and postbiotics, too. We call this combination of prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics “The Trifecta Approach.” Together, these organisms support our guts and immune systems in a variety of amazing ways.
Prebiotics essentially “feed” the healthy microbes and organisms that we’re looking to help thrive in our gastrointestinal systems.
Postbiotics (also called metabolites) are compounds that beneficial bacteria create to ensure their own survival.
Ancient Nutrition’s new SBO Probiotic products have been formulated to include diverse probiotic strains, each of which help to support your gut in a variety of ways, such as by reducing occasional bloating and constipation.
They’ve also been fermented and combined with other active ingredients to support general gut health and absorption.
It’s believed that some of the most beneficial SBO probiotic strains include those below:
Bacillus subtilis — may specifically help reduce occasional diarrhea.
Bacillus coagulans — may specifically help reduce occasional constipation.
Saccharomyces boulardii (technically a yeast that functions as a probiotic) — helps to maintain balance of healthy microflora in the gut.
Bacillus clausii — known to support general immune health.
Here’s more about our specialized SBO Probiotic products:
Provides 50 Billion CFUs* per serving (*at time of manufacturing), making it our most potent, all-in-one formulas
Features SBO probiotic strains including Bacillus subtilis, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus clausii
Features a blend of organic superfoods to help support absorption, including organic black pepper fruit, ginger root, turmeric root and apple cider vinegar
Can help to support overall digestion, a healthy immune system and play a role in absorption of other essential nutrients, such as vitamin C, B vitamins and more
Provides 25 Billion CFUs* per serving (*at time of manufacturing)
Made with probiotic strains including Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus clausii and Bacillus subtilis
Features a blend of organic and fermented superfoods to support digestion, including organic fermented licorice root extract, fermented marshmallow root and apple cider vinegar
Made with organic superfood mushrooms that support a healthy immune system, including organic turkey tail, shiitake, reishi and maitake
Supports the normal breakdown of complex carbohydrates and promotes nutrient absorption in other ways
Provides 25 Billion CFUs* per serving (*at time of manufacturing)
Made with probiotic strains including Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus clausii and Bacillus subtilis.
Made with a blend of organic and fermented superfoods specifically selected for women, including: organic ashwagandha root and leaf extract, amla berry, chaste tree berry, sage leaf, black pepper fruit and ginger root
Helps to support overall healthy digestive function and a healthy immune system
Helps with coping with stress, can support mental clarity and helps maintain healthy energy levels
Provides 25 Billion CFUs* per serving (*at time of manufacturing)
Made with SBO probiotic strains including Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus clausii and Bacillus subtilis
Features a blend of organic and fermented superfoods hand-picked for men, including: organic fenugreek seed, Fo-ti, ginger root and others
Also made with organic functional mushrooms to generally support a healthy immune system, including turkey tail, shiitake and reishi mushroom
10 billion shelf-stable CFUs* per serving (SBO Probiotics Kids Gummies have 5 billion shelf-stable CFUs*) (*at best by date)
Made with probiotic strains including Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus subtilis
Do not have prebiotics or postbiotics; and don't include organic, fermented superfood blends
Supports healthy gut function, a healthy immune response and healthy bowel transit time; also reduces occasional constipation, gas and bloating
Each still have 25 billion CFUs* with clinically studied SBO probiotics (*at best by date)
Adults should take 2 capsules per day along with water or another beverage. What's the best time to take probiotics? The top recommendation is taking the capsules on an empty stomach, either when you first wake up, or right before bed.
And here’s a pro tip: Another important way to support the growth of “good guy” bacteria in your gut is by regularly eating probiotic-rich fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt and kefir.
Additionally, including fiber-rich, prebiotic foods in your diet, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes, will help to “feed” healthy bacteria in the gut. These are called “prebiotics,” and they are critical for helping probiotics to survive and do their job.
In addition to taking SBO Probiotics, you can help to support your gut and immune system connection in other ways, too. To help maximize your experience with SBO Probiotics, focus on these steps:
Eating plenty of high-antioxidant foods
Increasing your intake of high-fiber foods
Including foods rich in prebiotics and fermented foods in your daily diet — such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut
Avoiding “gut unfriendly” foods
What is the downside of taking probiotics? As long as you follow directions and take the recommended dosage, there’s hardly any reason to take a probiotic supplement regularly.
That being said, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to starting any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including taking dietary supplements.
Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food and nutrition. He operates leading natural health website DrAxe.com and is co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health supplement company. He’s also author of the books Eat Dirt, Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine, Keto Diet, Collagen Diet and the newly published Ancient Remedies.