Probiotic/prebiotic supplements

There’s some noise about probiotic/prebiotic supplementation these days. I like Andrew Huberman podcasts and he’s really into those, given his scientific knowledge, it cannot be ignored. Obviously, it’s bound to be marketing as well,products like AG1, Biomel, Feel etc claim to contain all those ultra good gut bacteria helping with overall health, supplementing nutrition, aiding recovery, boosting immune system. Has anyone tried them or taking regularly?

I have not read this article yet, but it just showed up in my feed and may be related to your topic overall?

Thanks Chad. I kind of feel it’s mostly marketing and bandwagon kind of thing currently…

My wife was looking into this, and I pulled up this article last night:

Science on it is mixed and pay attention to the subjects in the studies.

Huberman is trained as a neuroscientist with a focus on ophthalmology, so, yes, it can be ignored, especially when you consider that his podcast is sponsored by Athletic Greens.

Save your money: The effect of probiotic supplementation on performance, inflammatory markers and gastro-intestinal symptoms in elite road cyclists - PubMed

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Have you ever heard of Kefir?

I used to make it and use regularly……now I buy it ready made.

First, there is evidence that probiotics can affect stress, anxiety, and other mental health markers. As such, one might consider Huberman - a neuroscientist apparently - as qualified to speak on this. Moreover, because someone specializes in something does not imply they are ill-informed on something else.

Secondly, using one study to come to a decision is not a prudent way to make decisions about the efficacy of anything. Moreover, not all probiotic strains are created equal. There are strains that have been efficacious in randomized double blind placebo controlled trials. As such, claiming ‘probiotics don’t work’ because of one study on one strain - or multiple studies on multiple strains - is fundamentally flawed. That would be like saying ‘supplements don’t work’ because of a study on a single supplement.

As is true for all supplements and medications, research whether it works in clinical trials. If it works in a trial, it doesn’t mean it will work for you. If it doesn’t work in trial, it doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. If you would not qualify for a study, you cannot claim the result would hold for you with certainty. Indeed, a lot of probiotic strains are beneficial in obese people. If you are not obese, they might not work for you. However, if you are an adult who is stressed and anxious, there are strains that might be beneficial to you. I take for the Biome gut-lung therapy because it contains a strain - L. Plantarum DR7 - that has had very positive results in randomized control trials.


The issue with these kind of things (Supplements)boils down to the individual. What is your current gut bio? Does it need more of anything? Is it happy the way it is? Will adding something cause your gut to do something it’s not used to doing? How long will it take for your body to adapt to the new addition? Will it make a difference?
You can always try. Maybe works maybe does not.

I have health issues that tend to mean I am very careful with my food choices. Not a fan of taking supplements unless needed but I recently tried Align Probiotic. It is one dealing with digestion…which my system doesnt do well. I dont care how it impacts performance I am about does it impact my health. For me it has been quite dramatic over the last three months. I have tried others but never noticed a change. I deal with crohns disease and it has only been positive for me in that regard. That is my own N=1 view on probiotics.

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Personally, I don’t feel the need to supplement with pre/probiotics. I eat and drink plenty of fermented foods and drinks - kombucha, kefir, yoghurt, apple cider vinegar (with the mother culture) and fermented veg (especially sauerkraut, garlic, beetroot, radish, red onions and cauliflower). I produce my own ferments, which works out vastly cheaper than buying the inferior mass-produced stuff. The only fermented products I buy are apple cider vinegar (with the mother culture) from a local producer and organic yoghurt.

My guts are in great shape. I eat plenty of wholefoods, grains, legumes, pulses, fruit and veg. Consequently, I don’t suffer from IBS, bloatedness, indigestion or any other gut issues. YMMV.


As Huberman’s podcast was mentioned, I will point to an episode I watched recently (it is dated 28 Dec 2021 on youtube) featuring David Sinclair: “The Biology of Slowing & Reversing Aging”

Now if you want a complex and exotic supplement regime, Sinclair’s has to be one to have a look at.