Probiotic Myths

In this section, we’re going to examine six of the most prevalent myths surrounding the use of probiotics. Watch the videos below.

Myth 1: Research conducted on one probiotic strain can be accurately extrapolated to other strains within the same species.


Myth 2: Don’t use probiotics during antibiotic treatment because the antibiotics will kill all the probiotic bacteria


Myth 3: Probiotic supplements are best taken on an empty stomach



Myth 4: A good probiotic strain will permanently colonize after oral ingestion


Myth 5: Infants should only be supplemented with strains of Bifidobacterium infantis or with probiotic supplements that have the word “baby”or “infant” on the label.


Myth 6: Giving probiotics in supplement form is superior to food forms


References from videos:

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Agrawal, A., L. A. Houghton, et al. (2009). “Clinical trial: the effects of a fermented milk product containing Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010 on abdominal distension and gastrointestinal transit in irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.” Aliment Pharmacol Ther 29(1): 104-114.

Bajaj, J. S., K. Saeian, et al. (2008). “Probiotic yogurt for the treatment of minimal hepatic encephalopathy.” Am J Gastroenterol 103(7): 1707-1715.

Bao, Y., Y. Zhang, et al. (2010). “Screening of potential probiotic properties of Lactobacillus fermentum isolated from traditional dairy products.” Food Control 21(5): 695-701.

Bibiloni, R., P. F. Perez, et al. (1999). “Will a high adhering capacity in a probiotic strain guarantee exclusion of pathogens from intestinal epithelia.” Anaerobe 5: 519-524.

Collado, M. C., J. Meriluoto, et al. (2007). “Role of commercial probiotic strains against human pathogen adhesion to intestinal mucus.” Lett Appl Microbiol 45(4): 454-460.

Ducrotte, P., P. Sawant, et al. (2012). “Clinical trial: Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.” World J Gastroenterol 18(30): 4012-4018.

Gardiner, G. E., C. Heinemann, et al. (2002). “Persistence of Lactobacillus fermentum RC-14 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 but not L. rhamnosus GG in the human vagina as demonstrated by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA.” Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 9(1): 92-96.

Gilliland, S. E., T. E. Staley, et al. (1984). “Importance of bile tolerance of Lactobacillus acidophilus used as a dietary adjunct.” J Dairy Sci 67(12): 3045-3051.

Gross, G., J. Snel, et al. (2010). “Biodiversity of mannose-specific adhesion in Lactobacillus plantarum revisited: strain-specific domain composition of the mannose-adhesin.” Benef Microbes 1(1): 61-66.

Gueimonde, M., Laitinen, K., Salminen, S. & Isolauri, E. (2007). Breast Milk: A Source of Bifidobacteria for Infant Gut Development and Maturation? Neonatology, 92, 64-6.

Hilton, E., H. D. Isenberg, et al. (1992). “Ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus as prophylaxis for candidal vaginitis.” Annals of Internal Medicine 116(5): 353-357.

Hojsak, I., N. Snovak, et al. (2010). “Lactobacillus GG in the prevention of gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections in children who attend day care centers: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.” Clin Nutr 29(3): 312-316.

Huebner, J., R. L. Wehling, et al. (2007). “Functional activity of commercial prebiotics.” International Dairy Journal 17(7): 770-775.

Jones, S. and J. Versalovic (2009). “Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri biofilms produce antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory factors.” BMC Microbiology 9(1): 1-9.

Kadooka, Y., M. Sato, et al. (2010). “Regulation of abdominal adiposity by probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055) in adults with obese tendencies in a randomized controlled trial.” Eur J Clin Nutr 64(6): 636-643.

Kailasapathy, K. & Chin, J. (2000). Survival and therapeutic potential of probiotic organisms with reference to Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium spp. Immunol Cell Biol, 78, 80-8.

Kontula, P., M. L. Suihko, et al. (1999). “The effect of lactose derivatives on intestinal lactic acid bacteria.” J Dairy Sci 82(2): 249-256.

Ligaarden, S. C., L. Axelsson, et al. (2010). “A candidate probiotic with unfavourable effects in subjects with irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled trial.” BMC Gastroenterol 10: 16.

Lourens-Hattingh, A. & Viljoen, B. C. (2001). Yogurt as probiotic carrier food. International Dairy Journal, 11, 1-17.

Majamaa, H., E. Isolauri, et al. (1995). “Lactic acid bacteria in the treatment of acute rotavirus gastroenteritis.” Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 20: 333-338.

Manley, K. J., M. B. Fraenkel, et al. (2007). “Probiotic treatment of vancomycin-resistant enterococci: a randomised controlled trial.” MJA 186: 454-457.

Marteau, P. (2011). “Evidence of probiotic strain specificity makes extrapolation of results impossible from a strain to another, even from the same species.” Annals of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 2(1): 34-36.

Martín, R., Langa, S., Reviriego, C., Jimínez, E., Marín, M. L., Xaus, J., Fernández, L. & Rodríguez, J. M. (2003). Human milk is a source of lactic acid bacteria for the infant gut. The Journal of pediatrics, 143, 754-758.

Medina, M., E. Izquierdo, et al. (2007). “Differential immunomodulatory properties of Bifidobacterium logum strains: relevance to probiotic selection and clinical applications.” Clin Exp Immunol 150(3): 531-538.

Morelli, L. (2008). Postnatal Development of Intestinal Microflora as Influenced by Infant Nutrition. The Journal of Nutrition, 138, 1791S-1795S.

Naaber, P., I. Smidt, et al. (2004). “Inhibition of Clostridium difficile strains by intestinal Lactobacillus species.” J Med Microbiol 53(Pt 6): 551-554.

Paineau, D., D. Carcano, et al. (2008). “Effects of seven potential probiotic strains on specific immune responses in healthy adults: a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial.” FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 53(1): 107-113.

Pirker, A., et al., Effects of antibiotic therapy on the gastrointestinal microbiota and the influence of Lactobacillus casei. Food and Agricultural Immunology, 2012. 24(3): p. 315-330.

Ryan, K. A., P. Daly, et al. (2008). “Strain-specific inhibition of Helicobacter pylori by Lactobacillus salivarius and other lactobacilli.” J Antimicrob Chemother 61(4): 831-834.

Sachdeva, A. and J. Nagpal (2009). “Effect of fermented milk-based probiotic preparations on Helicobacter pylori eradication: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials.” European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 21(1): 45-53.

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Siitonen, S., Vapaatalo, H. & Salminen, S. (1996). Colonization of the human gastrointestinal tract by probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus GG). Nutrition Today, 31, 5s-9s.

Szajewska, H., Ruszczynski, M. & Radzikowski, A. (2006). Probiotics in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Pediatr, 149, 367-372.

Tallon, R., S. Arias, et al. (2007). “Strain- and matrix-dependent adhesion of Lactobacillus plantarum is mediated by proteinaceous bacterial compounds.” J Appl Microbiol 102(2): 442-451.

Yang, Y. X., M. He, et al. (2008). “Effect of a fermented milk containing Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173010 on Chinese constipated women.” World J Gastroenterol 14(40): 6237-6243.