My name is Ed Rose, M.D., and I’m a retired Family Physician. I graduated from The University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor and practiced for about 30 years in academic and community health care settings. I have most recently been writing about probiotics, prebiotics, intestinal permeability on behalf of Probiotics.org, including deep science research and reporting on the MOA of probiotics, prebiotics, and nutritional supplements. I also help educate Evan on issues that fall outside of his obsession with probiotics :) I also work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a volunteer medical writer.
Evan Jerkunica studied physics at University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned a bachelors of science in physics from the difficult College of Creative Studies. After using over the counter probiotic supplements to overcome serious digestive issues, he founded Probiotics.org in 2009 to share what he had learned. Evan takes a research based approach to understanding the benefits and potential risks of probiotics. Please email Evan@Probiotics.org if you have any questions about probiotics.
After I, Evan Jerkunica, lived in Taiwan for a year, I developed serious digestive issues. I started spending hours each day on the toilet. Sitting there on the toilet, I imagined that I would waste much of the rest of my life in the bathroom…leaving my life’s goals un-met…my potential wasted…so I had to try something…
Back in 2009, probiotics were just starting to gain some popularity. So, I decided that things couldn’t get much worse, and I gave these “good” bacteria a try.
The first probiotic supplements that worked on me was a combination L. acidphilus & B. Longum oral supplement. I also noticed that I was sick less often and wasn’t stuck in the bathroom all day! I had a higher quality of life after taking these supplements for a few months.
Being a physicist, I intensely wanted to know, scientifically, how probiotics could do so much for my body. After all, probiotics are bacteria — and decades of cleaning commercials, biology classes and common sense had taught me that bacteria are THE source of illness.
My review of research articles showed that many organisms have a tight relationship with good bacteria, called probiotics. And that probiotics had first been discovered over 100 years earlier. And that we co-evolved with these bacteria. And if our probiotic flora was compromised, then our entire health would be sub-optimum.
In 2009 I decided to pay forward what probiotics had done for me. And I started writing articles with the best research on probiotics I could find, for the general public. Since then, retired family physician Dr. Edward Rose, MD has also joined Probiotics.org to help find research, review products, and to make sure the information on Probiotics.org stays current and accurate.
Evan Jerkunica is excited to be attending the Probiotics and Prebiotics Congress in San Diego on October 29th and 30th. Please click here to learn more.
There are many sketchy websites and companies out there making overblown claims about probiotics. At Probiotics.org, we stick to the well researched facts. We cut through the hype, and only mention science claims that are seem well backed by research papers and research review papers.
That means that we aren’t going to parrot the news about XYZ health cure. We don’t think probiotics will cure stage 4 cancer. They are no miracle panacea cure. But, good bacteria are an overlooked aspect of overall health…and we should pay attention to our probiotics.
Probiotics.org was founded by Evan Jerkunica, a physicist. We stick to the rational, and the researched where available. Now occasionally I will say “I think probiotics helps with X, but I don’t have research backing that up.” I will always make clear when I am making an educated guess, and I will happily say when I don’t know. This is the honest, scientific way to do things.
There is no damn evidence that probiotics will 100% cure things in a majority of cases. There is evidence, that probiotics can, in a small minority of anecdotal cases, really help individuals out. And for the rest of us, probiotics will have a negative effect, no effect, a small effect, or a pretty noticeable beneficial effect.
Even if you had a genetically identical twin, and your twin had the same symptoms, you two would likely need different treatments to cure your symptoms. The emerging science of epigenetics means that our gene expression changes as we go through life, depending on the environmental cues and stresses we encounter.
Looking beyond the genetic level, each of us is 100% unique. From the way we look, to the size of our organs, to the foods we can tolerate, to when we like to wake up, down to every single cell in our body. We are unique, so it makes sense that there are no 1-size-fits-all ways to fix something. We need to look to science for what to try, and experiment to figure out what will work in our unique genetic and life circumstances.
In addition to our inherent genetic differences, we all had different experiences growing up, and have different challenges. The path to health could be as simple as taking a supplement & making more time for loved ones, or as challenging as having to reexamine one’s core values & purpose in life.
I’m going through a unique health journey myself — so let’s meet the challenges when we are able, and not beat ourselves up over temporary detours from health. Let’s resolve to heal our own way.
Supplements are just that – a small thing we add that can sometimes have a large impact. But, we still need to listen to our doctors, and actually do what they say.But there are also other pieces of the health puzzle that one cannot buy. You cannot buy discipline. You cannot pay someone to end or work through your relationship challenges. You can’t pay someone to eat healthy food for you. And you can’t pay someone to make you work less.
The complete health picture involves buying products, working with doctors, and a healthy dose of self control.
Doctors and surgeons are extremely useful. In fact, I would have died from a car crash when I was 12, if it weren’t for doctors. And when you have an immediately life threatening problem, we have to work with doctors.
But in the case of non-life threatening situations, I think we should start with start with foundation lifestyle factors (sleep, food, exercise and relationships). Next, we can move to supplements. Then we can work with medical drugs, and lastly, permanent surgeries.
I can’t prove it, but it seems like most non-genetic chronic problems develop over a few years or possibly decades. As such, a 2 hour surgery won’t address a non-congenital root cause that lead to the development of problem.
Probiotics.org makes some money from recommending top tier probiotic supplements. We receive a percentage of the sale when someone clicks on a link on Probiotics.org, and buys a product. We only do this for the best products on the market. And we have dropped previous partners when their product was no longer the best. We would recommend these products without compensation, but this money allows Evan to work on Probiotics.org full time, and allowed us to hire Dr. Edward Rose for researching deeper on probiotics and other areas of health. We always transparently disclose when we have that kind of relationship, near the top of the page, just in case you didn’t read this part of the website.
We also only recommend products that have aggressive return policies. That way, you take no risk by trying a product we recommend. If it works for you, great! If not, return it :)
Here’s a list of companies with products that Probiotics.org recommends, and that we earn a percent commission when we refer a sale:
Evan Jerkunica also 100% owns the men’s digestive health company, Digest Strong. He felt that many probiotic companies were too focused on women. It’s estimated that women buy at least 66% of the probiotics. But Digest Strong is just for men, and the probiotics are slightly modified for men by slightly increasing the digestive health bifidobacterium probiotics, and decreasing the vaginal health probiotic strains. We have some positive anecdotal stories from men taking that product for digestive health, but it has not been tested in probiotic research trials.
There are a few ways you can help us. First would be to share Probiotics.org on Facebook. Word of mouth really helps us. Next, if you are in the market for a probiotic or prebiotic, please buy from one of the above partners. We work hard to find the best products…and turn down lots of companies we aren’t 100% sure of.
Thank you for supporting Probiotics.org :)
Probiotics can have a large impact in anecdotal cases. But let’s be honest about the place probiotics have in your overall health. A supplement can do wonders (it did for me), but our ancestors did not go to the supplement store to get healthy. Their health came from eating high nutrient food, staying relaxed, having some good sex, sunlight, plenty of fresh air, being social, lots of exercise and being exposed to lots of good and bad bacteria in the environment on a regular basis.
much love to you and yours!
Evan Jerkunica – Probiotics.org Founder