Is Your Probiotic Supplement Active or Spore?
I’m just going to say it, we’re really into probiotics, and that’s because we’re really into gut health.
Probiotics can have a huge impact on your gut health by balancing and feeding your gut microflora. We wrote an entire article about the benefits of probiotics (which you can read by clicking here) before so we’ll just go over the basics here before we jump into the spore vs non spore probiotics.
The Benefits of Probiotic Supplements
Studies show that probiotics provide immeasurable health benefits in the prevention or management of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type two diabetes, food allergies, constipation, autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and colon cancer.
They are similar to internal soldiers and healers as they constantly fend off infections, keep pathogens in check, support digestion and absorption of nutrients, help produce vitamins and absorb vital minerals, all while helping to balance our overall immune system.
What are Spore Probiotics?
Spores are dormant life forms that can exist in a dehydrated state indefinitely. They are the oldest type of propagation method and they have evolved to survive in the harshest of environments...like through stomach acid.
I mean, think about it like this: mushrooms spread by spores and they grow in poop for a reason. (ha, and here you thought we might be able to get through a gut health article without talking about poop.)
Spores evolved so that they can be eaten by an animal, live through the stomach, germinate in the intestinal tract, and then grow in the poop fertilizer! Cool right?
That’s the whole theory behind spore probiotics, also known as bacillus probiotics. These specific, isolated spores form bacterias that we naturally have in our guts. They germinate in our intestinal tract, which protects us from pathogenic bacterias, and then we evacuate them.
The current hypothesis is that as the spore probiotics form bacteria, they improve the immune response to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. So as the bacteria reach a peak, our bodies naturally shed them. Ie. spores have a mechanism to germinate and then make you poop them out so they can grow. How much more evolved can you get, Spores?
While that’s a cool evolutionary trait, it’s also great for us because they have a 24 hour gut cycle—meaning that these spore buddies aren’t just keeping out pathogens and enlivening our immune systems. With daily use, they’re keeping our bowel movements regular.
And there’s the trifecta of staying healthy, my friends.
The Difference Between Spore Probiotic Supplements and Active Probiotic Supplements
Okay - so you know what spore probiotic supplements are now, but what about the active probiotic you have been taking all along, and which is better?
Both types of probiotic supplements, when taken properly, have a massive impact on your gut and immune health, but there are some significant differences between the two avenues.
I made a chart to show you because I like charts and I couldn’t find one anywhere else on the internet.
|Biggest Impact||Stomach||Intestinal tract|
|Source||Lactobacillus strains (dairy)||Bacillus strains (soil based)|
|Life Force||Active when Consumed||Germinate in Gut|
|Sensitivity to Environment||High||Low|
So actually I was looking at the chart, and I can see how these two types of probiotics could actually work really well together.
An active probiotic would enliven your stomach and provide different strains of bacteria that help you digest in the upper GI, while the spore probiotic helps protect your intestines and pull in more nutrients from the food you ate! Okay. I'm excited.
Honestly, though, the best way to choose between them is just to get both and see which one works better for you.
Where to Buy The Best Probiotics
This is where I get to tell you about ThePureWay because our products are seriously next level.
As you know, Luciana is a dietitian. She literally stakes her whole business on the efficacy of the products we carry—because you know, if they didn’t work she wouldn’t have clients, but they do work, really well, so people keep coming back!
We carry both an Active Probiotic Supplement and Spore Probiotics in our line because different people need different things. Check those out:
How to Use Probiotics from Our Store
The Active Probiotic does really need to be refridgerated for the best of the best results, but other than that these are used exactly the same way:
Take one capsule every day with food.
The activity of probiotic supplements tends to be 24 hours, so we do suggest taking them around the same time everyday, otherwise it’s up to you.
Protip: we prefer the morning because it’s an incentive to eat breakfast and start your metabolism!
So which do you choose—Active or Spore Probiotics? Let us know in the comments!
American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 24(1), 10-14. doi:10.1177/0884533608329231 [doi]
Binns, N Probiotics, Prebiotics, and the Gut Microbiota (ILSI Europe Concise Monograph Series Ed Walker, R) 2013. Available at: http://www.ilsi.org/Europe/Publications/Prebiotics-Probiotics.pdf
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 May; 68(5): 2344–2352. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC127533/