The Top 5 Ways Your Probiotic is Harming Your Gut Health... And What You Can Do About It​

Probiotics have a lot of scientific studies supporting their benefits, and Probiotic manufacturers make billions of dollars capitalizing on a global industry. While marketing campaigns attempt to differentiate each probiotic as “above the rest” or “#1 recommended”, each one is very similar. The ingredient list on the label shows the true quality of the probiotic, and exposes cheap components. These top 5 compromises actively harm the gut health of the consumer, listed below.

Compare this list with your probiotic supplement, and look for these ingredients that might mean your probiotic is harming your gut health. You may be shocked by what you find.

1. Contains Fillers

The most common way that probiotics harm your gut are with the fillers mixed in to fill the capsule. The most common fillers in probiotic supplements are Silica, Inulin, Cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, and oligosaccharides.
  • Silica is indigestible, and is a major constituent of sand and rocks. Silica/sand is considered ‘safe for consumption’ but provides no dietary benefit and places strain on the digestive system.
  • Inulin is a cheap prebiotic to feed the bacteria in the supplement, and it has an poor micronutrient profile. Feeding bacteria on inulin is similar to feeding your children nothing but French fries.
  • Cellulose is wood pulp (yes, ground up trees) and, you guessed it, is indigestible. Cellulose is dangerous because it is commonly known to build up in the cells of the body. This can cause an increase in inflammation. Cellulose is one of the most common food additives on the planet, and is a large concern to many consumers.
  • Microcrystalline cellulose comes from cellulose, and is even smaller in size than cellulose particles. This makes it even easier to pass through human cell membranes, and is potentially more dangerous than cellulose.
  • Oligosaccharides are cheap carbohydrate prebiotics very similar to inulin, and provide the bacteria with a similar, micronutrient empty diet.
Intestinal inflammation from dietary sources has been linked to leaky gut syndrome. While it can be reversible, it is a particularly unpleasant disorder, and many people can be afflicted and never receive a diagnosis.

2. Contains Excipients

Manufacturers often use excipients (machine lubricants) and list them because they form a significant portion of the end product. The two most commonly used excipients are Magnesium stearate, and vegetable stearate.

Magnesium stearate and vegetable stearate are the same magnesium compound, but sourced in different ways. Although ‘safe to consume’ in small quantities, they both put strain on your digestive system.

3. Does Not Include a Nutritious Prebiotic

Failing to include a good prebiotic is an almost universal problem in the probiotic industry. No good prebiotic with the probiotic organisms makes it difficult for the bacteria to establish a thriving community. Without the micronutrients they need to reproduce and build their genomes, they resort to taking micronutrients from your diet. This robs you of some of the benefits of eating well!

Micronutrient-poor prebiotics are cheap to produce and easily sourced. They give bacteria enough nourishment to live, but not enough to thrive. Certified organic, fiber and micronutrient dense prebiotics are an absolute must for a optimal gut health. 

Poor quality prebiotics can contribute to imbalances in the gut microbiome, leading to conditions such as small intestine bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO. 

4. Uses a Cheap Capsule

Almost all probiotics use either vegetable capsules made from microcrystalline cellulose or gelatin capsules made from bovine cartilage. We already listed the problems with microcrystalline cellulose above, but gelatin capsules can be just as dangerous. Classified as ‘possibly safe’ to consume, these gelatin capsules can cause unpleasant side effects. Regardless, they are still used in the name of larger profits for the manufacturer. If you see these capsule ingredients on the label, it might mean that your probiotic is harming your gut health.

Check out this great article from Dr. Hulda Clark to see just how important capsules are for gut health.

5. Does Not Consider Postbiotic Effects

Postbiotic” refers to what the bacteria produce in your gut, and their benefit to you after they die. Of course, you digest most of them, obtaining their micronutrients and proteins. Most probiotics only focus on what the bacteria can do for you while they’re alive, not after they die. This means that you do not always get all the micronutrients you could from the bacteria in your gut.

Since most probiotic supplements don’t pass critical review, what you can do to improve your gut health?

1. Eat Prebiotic Foods

Leeks, asparagus, seaweed, and several other foods will feed your bacteria many of the micronutrients they need.

It is important for your gut health to pair the elements that the bacteria need with the elements and micronutrients in the prebiotic food. This way they get everything they need up front and don’t have to steal it from you!

The perfect prebiotic foods have a combination of carbon sources and micronutrients. 

2. Reduce Inflammation and Oxidation Stress

Reducing inflammation with effective antioxidants like molecular hydrogen will counteract the effect that fillers and excipients have on your body.

3. Switch to a No-Compromise Probiotic Supplement

Here at BioPhysics Essentials, we created the ultimate prebiotic/probiotic/postbiotic supplement.* Not only does MicroBiome Restore check all the boxes with 26 strains of beneficial bacteria, but we said NO to fillers, excipients, and cheap capsules! The ingredients in MicroBiome Restore are all crafted directly to each strain of bacteria. This helps to maximize the nutrition needed by the bacteria in the MicroBiome Restore formula.

  • Prebiotics: MicroBiome Restore contains over 80 elements sourced from the highest quality prebiotic sources available. These include bladderwrack, Norwegian kelp, rockweed, and humic and fulvic acids. This blend of prebiotics sustains the bacteria with everything they need to establish a strong community in your gut!
  • Probiotics: MicroBiome Restore contains 26 strains of beneficial bacteria. This places it solidly at the top of the food chain in the industry.
  • Postbiotics: MicroBiome Restore’s 11 strains of Soil-Based Organisms provide an unmatched postbiotic effect. We carefully selected these strains to provide the best possible benefit to you as they live as an established colony.
Nicholas Wunder

Nicholas Wunder

Nicholas holds a degree in Biology and Neurophysiology from Rutgers University, with an emphasis in health science and environmental research. His passion is to make the latest health insights accessible, fusing science with practical solutions that bring the custody of personal health care within reach.