Soil-based probiotics are bacteria found in the soil that provide health benefits to humans.
In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of soil-based probiotics and share our opinion on what we believe is the best soil-based probiotic on the market.
What are Soil-Based Probiotics?
As the name implies, soil-based probiotics are bacteria found in the soil which generally contain bacteria strains from the Bacillus family. These bugs are commonly referred to as spore-forming probiotics because they are encapsulated with a hard shell, or endospore, making them very stable and highly resistant to extreme conditions. Unlike traditional probiotics, soil-based probiotics are more likely to survive the harsh environment of your GI tract that would otherwise destroy bacteria. They are also shelf-stable and do not require refrigeration. Once these soil-based probiotics reach the large intestine, the spores can change into their active form to begin colonizing the gut.
Benefits of Soil-Based Probiotics
When your grandparents ate an apple, it was probably full of soil-based probiotics. However, as society moves away from local farming, spends less time in nature, and becomes hyper aware of hygienic practices, we are less exposed to these beneficial bacteria. Here are a few ways in which supplementing with soil-based probiotics may benefit your health:
Balances your gut microbiome
Spore-forming bacteria may regulate your gut microbiome and reduce dysbiosis—which is an imbalance in gut bacteria. This is one big difference between soil-based and conventional probiotics. For instance, taking 20 billion colony forming units (CFU) of a traditional probiotic is simply a drop in the ocean compared to the rest of your estimated 100 trillion gut bacteria. What’s more, typical probiotics do not usually eliminate or prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Spore-forming probiotics, however, can distinguish between “good” and “bad” bacteria and may reduce dysbiosis by crowding out and even secreting antimicrobials to kill off the bad bacteria.
Dysbiosis is present in numerous conditions, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and autoimmune diseases. Dysbiosis is also suspected to play a role in the development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). One study investigated the role of soil-based probiotics in patients with IBS and found that the patients in the probiotic group reported a significantly higher quality of life and lower symptom scores than those who received typical antibiotic treatment (1).
Produces natural antioxidants
One of the main Bacillus strains in our favorite soil-based probiotic is known for its antioxidant producing abilities. Antioxidants are molecules that fight off damaging free radicals. If there are too many free radicals and not enough antioxidants, oxidative stress can occur and eventually lead to various chronic diseases. Studies have linked conditions like PCOS, mood disorders, and Hashimoto’s thyroid disease with increased levels of oxidative stress (2, 3, 4).
May reduce leaky gut
Soil-based probiotics may help repair the gut lining and reduce leaky gut. In fact, one study found that taking a soil-based probiotic for 30 days reduced leaky gut by up to 42 percent (5).
Your intestines contain a protective barrier, or lining, to prevent uncontrolled entry of undigested food, bacteria, and toxins from entering the body. It also prevents loss of water and electrolytes while allowing for proper absorption of nutrients. The gut lining contains a single layer of cells linked together by proteins called “tight junctions” which control what can or cannot enter the intestinal cells.
When the integrity of the gut lining is compromised through dysbiosis, inflammation, or infection, larger food proteins or harmful bacteria may enter into the cell. This is known as a “leaky gut.” Leaky gut is associated with many conditions, like polycystic ovary syndrome, acne, irritable bowel syndrome, and even depression (6, 7).
When leaky gut is present, your immune cells produce more pro-inflammatory chemicals. These chemicals can cause widespread inflammation throughout the body and may even trigger autoimmune disease. However, in addition to reducing leaky gut, a different study found that taking a spore-forming probiotic for eight weeks reduced these inflammatory markers by up to 55 percent (8).
The Best Soil-Based Probiotic
We believe that MegaSporeBiotic from Microbiome Labs is the best soil-based probiotic on the market. First of all, Microbiome Labs has conducted numerous research studies on their specific probiotic blend (many of which were referenced above). This is essentially unheard of in the supplement, and especially probiotic, industry! MegaSporeBiotic contains five different strains of Bacillus which all provide different health benefits.
MegaSporeBiotic also functions to address the root causes of most gut related issues: dysbiosis, leaky gut, and inflammation. When we address these root causes with our patients, we see more positive clinical outcomes and reduction (or elimination) of their symptoms.
Because soil-based probiotics can benefit a wide variety of conditions outside of gut-related conditions, we also include MegaSporeBiotic in our acne supplement bundle.
The dosing of MegaSporeBiotic as per their company instructions:
- Week 1: take 1 capsule every other day
- Week 2: increase to 1 capsule daily
- Week 3+: take 2 capsules daily
Work with your doctor to find the right dosing for you.
Soil-based probiotics are bacteria found in the soil that have shown to balance gut bacteria, produce antioxidants, improve leaky gut, and lower inflammation in the body. Unlike traditional probiotics, these spore-producing bacteria survive the harsh conditions of digestion making them much more effective.
MegaSporeBiotic is the best soil-based probiotic on the market because it is backed by research, contains five different strains, and may benefit a variety of health conditions. Purchase MegaSporeBiotic from our Root Shop.