The more I learn about these amazing forms of bacteria the more frustrated I become with the commercial brands that are available to the general public. Most probiotic brands are contract-manufactured. This means that sometimes the person who developed the formula and wrote the label may not be all that experienced in the field of probiotics. So I've been on the hunt for a good source for a while now. I've blogged about Natren probiotics before and I still really like their product. However, they are limited to just four different strains of bacteria and I'd like to branch out because each bacteria has different benefits and the more you switch them around the more likely you are to hit upon one that gives you greater benefits and faster results.
I've mentioned before that bacteria are competitive. So if you blend different strains of bacteria they will often compete with each other. Upon further research it seems some strains are more aggressive while others will play nice. Lactobacillus casei is one strain that is very aggressive and will compete heavily with other bacteria. That's another reason why I don't use BioKult, the strain originally formulated by Dr. Natasha which contains L. casei. Research into probiotics is ongoing and we are learning new things all the time. I also don't like to use soil based organisms as this has been a controversial topic among probiotic manufacturers. Many of these spore-forming soil-based organisms can become just as pathogenic as the strains we are trying to get rid of. I'd rather play it safe with a sensitive digestive system. If my client wants to try soil-based organisms once some significant healing has occurred I'm okay with that. But not in the beginning.
GutPro is an custom probiotic I've been investigating that was formulated with GAPS in mind. Here's what I like about this product:
- No L. casei, soil-based organisms, or other aggressive forms - so this means you can get a nice blend of different bacteria forms and really know what you are getting. It contains L. plantarum, L. gasseri, L. salivarius, B. bifidum, B. infantis, B. longum, B. breve, and B. lactis.
- No dairy, soy, FOS, inulin or other ingredients - this is purely the freeze-dried bacteria. Now one drawback to this is that any slight amount of heat, sunlight or moisture will wake up the bacteria and they will be HUNGRY! Without any food for the bacteria they will die quickly and you'll be wasting your money on a bunch of dead bacteria. Many companies like to guarantee their product to survive room temperature for a certain number of weeks. But room temperature is a lot different than the temperature in the back of a delivery truck in July. Which leads me to the next point.
- They will ship with an ice pack - This is one of the benefits that Natren also has. Their product is constantly on ice so you are guaranteed to get a live product. So I was glad to see that GutPro will do the same.
- Available in powder and capsule form - This makes it ideal for starting out with small doses. You can also use the powder for babies, children and also for rectal implantation in severe cases. I prefer the powder in most cases. Especially when the client has upper digestive issues such as heartburn, reflux, burping, or ear, nose and throat issues.
- No strains that cause problems - Apparently certain strains of bacteria like L. acidophilus can create a byproduct called D-lactic acid (L-lactic acid is a beneficial form produced by most probiotics including some of the same types that produce D-lactic acid). Some people with compromised digestive systems are not able to metabolize D-lactic acid which can cause acidosis leading to behavioral problems particularly in those with autism or other psychological symtpoms. So GutPro avoids those strains that can contribute to this. Find out more about this here.
- It's made locally - I'm pretty happy about this one. GutPro is made and shipped from Ann Arbor, Michigan. How about that? One of the founders of the company is Dan Corrigan, who recently did a talk at the local Weston A. Price chapter.
One bottle of GutPro powder contains 12 TRILLION colony-forming units of bacteria. So that means at a therapeutic dose an adult would only need to take 1/32 tsp. This means there are 480 servings per bottle. A child would need even less, 1/64 tsp. Luckily the company also provides measuring spoons so you don't have to try and figure out how to get 1/64 of a teaspoon. An adult would need a smidgen and a child just a drop. The retail cost for a bottle of GutPro powder costs $155. Pretty steep for only 60 grams but again, you're getting at least 480 servings. I am only going to recommend this product if you have already reached your therapeutic dosage as a replacement for the Trenev Trio product from Natren. If you are just starting out on GAPS, stick with the Natren Superdophilus, Bifidophilus, and/or Bulgaricum. This should be a significant cost savings over Trenev Trio at $62.95 for only 30 servings. Hmmm, $2 per serving or 32 cents per serving?
The GutPro capsules contain 600 Billion CFU's (colony-forming units). So you'd have to get 20 bottles of GutPro capsules to equal what you get in one bottle of GutPro powder. Each capsule contains 5 billion CFU's. There are two extra ingredients required to encapsulate it and remember that capsules won't provide any benefit to the ear, nose and throat. This might be a good option if you prefer capsules, don't have upper digestive issues, or would like to remain on just a maintenance level dosage of 10-billion bacteria. One bottle gives a single person a two-month supply at 2 capsules per day for $49.95.
To Your Health!
Note - At this time I am not going to recommend GutPro for anyone under the age of four. Stick with the LifeStart Powder from Natren. On occasion I may recommend the Superdophilus powder, Bifidonate powder or Bulgaricum powder from Natren as well.