When I first wrote in 2008 about the dangers of ingesting soil bacteria (also known as HSOs, SOs, SBOs, or shelf-stable probiotics), some claimed that Natasha Trenev’s information was not valid (Natasha founded Natren, a probiotic maker). So I copied my original article with the research references and posted it here.
Long story short: By 2011, Garden of Life had modified its Primal Defense product so that the only (direct) soil organism in it was Bacillus subtilis – which has been used by the Japanese to cultivate natto for over 1000 years and a long history of safety in human use. However, I was wondering why Garden of Life changed the product. Especially after their CEO contacted me personally in 2005 to convince me that soil organisms are safe …
When actions do not match words, it is time to take a closer look at what is actually going on. Whatever the reason, it happened very quietly – I didn’t notice it until 2011 when one of my readers notified me. Because of this, you can’t rely on the probiotic manufacturers to have their best in mind – and why I wrote this blog post on how to choose a potent probiotic.
I mention this again because I recently came across this report / study of a 73 year old man with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who had previously taken an Enterogermina brand probiotic (B. subtilis) to treat his diarrhea. He was hospitalized with a high fever, mental confusion, and persistent diarrhea. They stopped taking Enterogermina after it was admitted. After further testing, a chest x-ray, and some blood cultures, the man tested positive for B. subtilis – which remembers that the Enterogermina “probiotic” he was taking was present.
The man eventually died of recurrent septicemia (blood infection or blood poisoning) after weeks of hospitalization and antibiotic treatment. Septicemia can occur when a bacterial infection gets into the bloodstream elsewhere in the body (such as the lungs or skin).
What alarmed me about this study was this:
“The B. subtilis strains isolated during the fever attacks on days 1 and 19 showed resistance to penicillin, erythromycin, rifampin and novobiocin. The isolate from the blood culture on day 16 was different because it was sensitive to rifampin and novobiocin and resistant to chloramphenicol. “
And this line specifically:
“We conclude that even if septicemia from the probiotic strains of B. subtilis could not be directly linked to patient death, patients with severe immunodeficiency should not be given high numbers of viable microorganisms (especially if they are polyantibiotic resistant) . ”
Knowing what bacteria you ingest when you have an immunodeficiency is very important. In my book, Listen To Your Gut, I write more about this phenomenon of loss of tolerance to bacteria during inflammatory conditions, and also offer further studies on bacteria that are “safe” for normal people but not safe for autoimmune diseases, or those with Immunodeficiency.
In this video below, I tell the story of how I got TWO blood infections after giving birth to my third son 14 years ago. I took high-dose sodium probiotics throughout and after the IV antibiotic treatment, and I didn’t touch the hospital food, but instead drank Absorb Plus shakes. Remember that the types and strains of bacteria in Natren are all food-based (non-spore forming, no soil bacterial organisms) and have been safely grown and ingested by humans for thousands of years.
Remember that bacteria are very intelligent, fully sentient creatures. The work of Dr. Bonnie Bassler focuses on the communication skills of bacteria and how they use the information transmitted to alter gene expression and behavior. When I take my sodium probiotics, I welcome the bacteria into my body and thank them for joining our community (of 22 trillion living beings in our intestines!) And helping us with their gifts.
If you’ve never come into contact with your intestinal community before, join this brief guided meditation with Dr. Juliet and I took part to connect with and adapt to your microbes …
Jini Patel Thompson is an internationally recognized expert in natural digestive disease healing. She healed herself from the widespread Crohn’s disease and has been drug and surgery free for over 20 years. Appeared on numerous podcast, television and radio shows in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, Jini gives people hope and visions on how to cure colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in all natural methods. Her books on natural digestive disease cures have been sold in over 80 countries around the world.