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6 Probiotic Myths: Fact or Fiction?

Over the last decade, probiotics have become a hugely popular and well known trend in the health and wellness community. The recent popularity of probiotics has led to a daunting array of probiotic products that differ widely in their properties, potency and effectiveness.

This has led to some widely held myths about probiotics, some of which are false, and some which are only partially correct. Below are the six main myths about probiotics and what you need to know about them.

Myth #1
Probiotics are a waste of money with no scientific proof

Most probiotics have limited benefit

Most doctors have no training or experience with the natural remedies they criticize

We hear from people all the time who mention probiotics to their doctor and are told that probiotics are ineffective, unproven and a waste of money. Or their doctor might say “probiotics won’t hurt, but they won’t help either”.

The truth is, there are hundreds of scientific studies that prove the benefits of probiotics, and dozens of studies showing the benefits of Bacillus probiotics. And there are thousands of holistic doctors in the U.S. who prescribe probiotics with great success.

There are three main reasons that many doctors are ignorant of the benefits of probiotics, as detailed below:

  1. Most medical doctors receive little to no training on probiotics or any alternative therapies. And few doctors have the time or interest to do their own research and learn more about alternatives.
  2. Mainstream medical doctors are under strong financial and legal pressures to avoid alternative remedies and only prescribe “standard protocol” treatments. This pressure comes from the American Medical Association, drug companies, the FDA, hospitals and insurance companies, which are strongly biased against alternatives.
  3. Some doctors are simply better than others. A good doctor will support your use of probiotics and will monitor your progress while you use them. A good doctor will also be open to unfamiliar treatments, especially when provided with the scientific proof backing such treatments.

While Michelle never tells people to ignore their doctor’s advice, it’s always a good idea to ask how much knowledge, training and experience your doctor has with any remedy they either recommend or discourage. It’s also important to find a better doctor if your current doctor is not giving you the support or providing the results you need. And it’s important to adopt a proactive, informed and confident role in your own healthcare and be willing to question things, rather then blindly following anything a doctor tells you.

Myth #2
Probiotics must be refrigerated to be effective

Most probiotics have limited benefit

Most probiotics provide minimal benefit to your gut microbiome because they contain ineffective species with poor stability.

How long will probiotics survive at body temperature if they must be refrigerated? Though it’s common to find probiotics in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, refrigeration is not an indication of a good quality probiotic. It’s actually a sign of a very weak probiotic.

If a probiotic cannot survive room temperature without falling to pieces, then how will it survive in your 98-degree body, much less make it through your harsh digestive tract?

Short answer: It won’t. Most popular probiotics arrive in your intestines with only 10% or less of their original potency listed on the bottle label1.

To maximize the true potency of a probiotic, look for a product that maintains stability at higher temperatures. Bacillus spore probiotics are heat stable up to 400 degrees and also survive the acid inside your stomach arriving at 100% potency in your intestine.

Myth #3
You can find quality probiotics on Amazon.com

Most probiotics have limited benefit

Amazon has become the number one target for supplement and probiotic fraud on the internet

Amazon has become the number one online store in the world. But Amazon’s popularity has also made it a prime target for product fraud, especially with nutritional supplements. Supplements are some of the easiest products to fake and Amazon has become a minefield of illegitimate, expired and even fake supplements.

If you buy from Amazon, be sure you’re buying from an authorized seller of the products. The best way to make sure is to contact the manufacturer directly and ask them which sellers on Amazon, if any, are authorized and legitimate.

Microbiome Labs, the manufacturer of MegaSporeBiotic does not sell their products on Amazon, nor do they authorize any sellers on Amazon. Many unsuspecting Amazon customers believe they are ordering directly from Microbiome Labs, but they are purchasing from fraudulent sellers. According to reviews, many buyers have received ineffective and fake MegaSporeBiotic.

Our company Embrace Health has been an authorized seller for Microbiome Labs since 2017. So when you order through our online store at EmbraceHealthNaturals.com, you receive genuine Microbiome Labs products. And you get the lowest pricing on these products, plus personalized support in how to use them specifically for gut infection support.

Myth #4
You don’t need probiotics if you eat fermented food

fermented food

Fermented foods can be healthy, but not because of their probiotic content

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt, pickles, kombucha and kimchi are heavily marketed as being healthy and containing live probiotics. But the truth is, most of these foods contain little to no probiotic potency, and those that do are destroyed by the acid inside the stomach before reaching your intestines.

Also, many of these so-called healthy foods are loaded with added sugar. Sugar feeds disease-causing bacteria in your gut and weakens your immune system, negating any of the benefits of the probiotics in these foods.

Fermented food is good for the microbiome as a prebiotic, but such foods do not deliver significant amounts of live bacteria to your intestines. Fermented foods also do not create lasting change in the gut. Since prebiotics are none-selective, they will feed both good and bad bacteria. If you suspect that you might have a gut infection, it’s much more useful to take a powerful probiotic that can control intestinal pathogens before introducing fermented foods to your diet.

Myth #5
The higher the probiotic potency the better

fermented food

The labeled potency of a probiotic is completely different from the potency that reaches your intestines

The common belief that more is better does not apply to probiotics. The potency of most probiotic products is measured in Colonizing Forming Units (CFU) or cells. So a potency of 1 trillion CFU sounds better than 4 billion CFU, at least on the surface. But what if that 1 Trillion leads to zero gut colonization, and the 4 billion leads to complete gut colonization? Then the 4 billion is obviously better.

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the health benefits of probiotics are dose-dependent. Having 50 billion CFUs in your probiotic is only helpful if you can confirm that 50 billion are surviving digestion. But survivability studies with some of the leading brands indicate that 90 to 99% of the material cells in these products cannot survive digestion. This means that most people are paying for products with less than 1% survivability. It’s no wonder that most people find probiotics ineffective!

Probiotics are alive. The word Pro-bio-tic literally means pertaining to the support of life. But if the probiotics are not a in the form of a protective spore, then the unprotected probiotic bacteria will not survive well through the stomach.

Most probiotics that you’ll find in the store contain some combination of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria. While these are some of the good bacteria that reside in your gut, they are also very poor survivors and gut colonizers. Companies have tried increasing their dosages 10 fold or more, protecting the probiotics inside enteric-coated capsules, and storing the probiotics in cooler temperatures to improve survivability. But the end result is the same: dead probiotics.

Myth #6
Probiotics are only for digestive health

true probiotics

True probiotics do much more than support your gut microbiome

Chances are you’ve tried probiotics before and didn’t notice any difference. Most “old-generation” probiotics like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria have limited survivability through the stomach. These old-school probiotics usually can’t back up the claims they make about their high potency and numerous benefits.

But the “New-generation” of probiotics are made from Bacillus spores, and they have a plethora of health enhancements beyond the old probiotics.

  • First, Bacillus probiotic actually survive the trip through the stomach into your intestines, because they are spores.
  • Second, Michelle’s recommended strains of Bacillus have been proven to provide targeted support against C. difficile and other disease-causing gut bacteria.
  • Bacillus spore probiotics can help reduce LPS (or gut endotoxins) from getting into your body (via leaky gut) and thus lower inflammation in the body.
  • Bacillus probiotics can support the growth of health promoting species in the gut like Bifidobacteria, Akkermansia and Lactobacillus, just to name a few.
  • Bacillus probiotic produce antioxidants, B-vitamins, Vitamin K2 and CoQ10 inside the gut.
  • MegaSporeBiotic, our favorite spore-based probiotic, has been shown in clinical studies to reduce Leaky Gut, improve insulin responses and help reduce chronic immune activation.

Learn more about Michelle’s favorite, revolutionary probiotics here: The Best Probiotic Therapies for C. Difficile.


  1. The Food Standards Agency conducted a study in conjunction with Reading University (Dr. G.R.Gibson, Dr. G. Rouzaud, Dr. J. Brostoff and Dr. N. Rayment) in the United Kingdom to evaluate the probiotic effect of commercial products in the human gut, and whether there was any impact on gut flora. The study evaluated the survivability of common probiotics through the gut, examining 35 strains from commercial products, primarily Lactobacillus sp. and Bifidobacterium sp.