21 Amazing Facts About Probiotics

1) Probiotics In Our Body Outweigh Our Brain

The typically human brain weights about 3 pounds, and a healthy human body will have over 3.5 pounds of probiotic bacteria and organisms (according to Casey Adams Ph.D.). The fact that our heart weights only 0.7 pounds, and our liver weights about 4 pounds, makes our probiotic bacteria the 2nd largest organ in our body.

2) There Are 10 Times More Probiotics Than Cells In Our Body

In a healthy person, there are more than 100-300 Trillion probiotic bacteria and yeast, compared to only 10 trillion cells in our body. According to Mary Ellen Sanders, if the bacteria in our body were laid end to end, they would encircle the globe 2.5 times.

3) The Probiotics Market Is Huge

According to MARKETSandMARKETS, probiotics will be a 69.3 billion dollar market in 2023. This is up from a 16 billion dollar market in 2008. That means that demand for probiotics will have grown by 427% in 15 years!

4) Probiotics Live Throughout Our Entire Body (Not Just Our Stomach!)

The largest number of probiotics live in the colon, but billions also live in the mouth, oral cavity, nasal cavity, the esophagus, around the gums, in the pockets of our pleural cavity (surrounding our lungs). They dwell within our stomach, our intestines, within the vagina, around the rectum. within joints, under the armpits, under the toenails, between the toes, urinary tract, inside our urinary tract and many other places!

5) The Appendix Is Not Useless – It Incubates Probiotics

In the past, the appendix was largely thought to be useless. Appendicitis, a life-threatening condition, would call for removal of the appendix. In 2007, Randal et al. at Duke University conducted research into the vermiform appendix. The researchers observed that when the body was under attack by pathogens, the appendix would release probiotic bacteria that would perfectly counter the specific type of invaders. The appendix does this by releasing them into the cecum when the body is infected.

6) Probiotics Fight Cancer, Colds and Constipation

It may not surprise you to hear that probiotics can reduce constipation (Italy, Amenta et al. 2006). But what may surprise you, is that probiotics play a role in cancer. They have been shown stimulate production of anti-cancer chemicals (Hatakka et al. 2008). The probiotics, Lactobacillus casei, have also been shown in Tokyo to reduce the risk of bladder cancer, depending on frequency and dosage (Ohashi et al. 2002).

Numerous probiotics have been shown to fight viruses such as colds, the flu, rotavirus, herpes and ulcers. In New Delhi, 100 children ages 2-5 were given L. acidophilus for 6 months. These children have fewer incidences of colds, flu, diarrhea and fever than the placebo group (Saran et al. 2002).

7) There Are More Than 100 (known) Benefits To Taking Probiotics

According to the book, Probiotics by Casey Adam Ph.D., there are more than 100 benefits to supplementing with probiotics. Hundreds of studies have shown different species of probiotics have different health benefits (see the full list of probiotic benefits here).

However, we must take these probiotics in their proper context. For example, almost every probiotic study requires the patient to take large, therapeutic doses, for at least two months. Often times, the studies conferred the benefits after an entire year of daily, large dose supplementation.

8) Probiotics Are Responsible For 70% Of Our Immune Response

According to Casey Adams Ph.D., probiotics play a role in 70-80% of our immune response. Probiotics stimulate everything from T-cells to macrophages. Probiotics also activate cytokines and phagocytic cells to coordinate the immune response.

9) Probiotics Produce Antibiotic Chemicals

In the book Probiotics, Protection Against Infection, Casey Adamas writes:

“To protect against pathogens, [probiotics] will produce a number of natural antibiotics designed to reduce the populations of [pathogenic bacteria]…”

Moreover, these antibiotic substances are perfectly tuned to kill the invading pathogens. And if the pathogens become resistant to that chemical, then the probiotics will change strategies and produce a new, more effective antibiotic chemical.

Contrast this dynamic probiotic strategy to our static, oral antibiotics which must be phased out every few years (as pathogens evolve antibiotic resistance). While we may be able to continue to discover new antibiotic substances, nature will always win in the long term. The bacteria will always evolve resistance. This is illustrated by the fact that bacteria can thrive in nuclear waste!

10) Antibiotics Nuke Our Body’s Immune System

It is well known that antibiotics kill bacteria and can make us better. But what isn’t well known, is that antibiotics also kill our good bacteria. Since probiotics comprise 70-80% of our immune response, antibiotics will affect our immunity.

The moment our probiotics are gone, opportunistic parasites, fungi and pathogenic bacteria rush in to fill the ecological void. Moreover, this use of antibiotics will create drug resistant bacteria that can’t be defeated by antibiotics.

11) Probiotics Easily Kill Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

The use of antibiotics can create antibiotic resistant, super bugs. In fact, MRSA (multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is immune to many different antibiotics…and in some cases they are immune to all antibiotics known to man.

However, probiotics can defeat these super bugs with ease. Probiotic bacteria and pathogenic bacteria have been fighting for billions of years. And healthy humans have the perfect environment for probiotic bacteria to beat pathogenic bacteria. The fact that humans have been surviving before the invention of antibiotics is proof of how powerful probiotics are.

12) Probiotics Will Be The 21st Century’s Antibiotics

Valery V. Smirnov writes,

“… 21st century probiotics will successfully rival traditional drugs on the pharmaceutical market, especially those used for disease prevention purposes…”

The profound point Dr. Smirnov is making is that probiotics will be the antibiotics of the 21st century. This is because their effective medical implementation will revolutionize our perspectives on disease in the way antibiotics did before.

13) 400 Strains Of Probiotics Live In Our Bodies

According to numerous research studies, there are well over 400 probiotic strains resident in our bodies. Some of these probiotics are permanent residents, and others are transient. Interestingly, only 20 strains account for 75% of the mass of bacteria that live in our bodies.

Numerous scientists also argue that the combined DNA of our probiotic residents are more important to our survival than our own DNA.

14) Probiotics Are Bacteria And Fungi That Make Us Healthy

The World Health Organization probiotics definition is “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.” These probiotic organisms can be yeasts (fungi), good bacteria or even organisms commonly found in soil.

The deference between normal pathogenic bacteria or candida and probiotics, is that the probiotic organisms have a symbiotic relationship with our bodies. Our bodies and probiotic organisms have formed a mutual defense treaty. And while we are extremely fearful of bacterium and fungi, specific probiotics strains are very beneficial to our health.

15) Probiotic Foods Have Been Healing For Millennia

photo credit

There are numerous traditional probiotic foods that are extremely tasty and healthful. These foods have been restoring health for millennias.

Foods like natto, miso, kimchi, tempeh, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha and lassi all have very rich cultural heritages and medicinal benefits.

16) Probiotics Can Decrease Lactose Intolerance

In a 1996 study, Jiang et al. studied milks containing B. Longum grown in a medium rich in lactose. He found that when lactose intolerant individuals consumed this special milk, they showed significantly fewer symptoms of lactose intolerance. They have been numerous studies that have shown probiotics to be helpful in decreasing lactose intolerance.

17) Are You Getting Your Vitamins? Better Get Your Probiotics.

It has been proven that probiotics produce a huge number of vitamins, such as:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamins B1-B3, B5-B7, B9, B12
  • Essential Fatty Acids

So perhaps the need for B-vitamin supplementation is really a call for proper probiotic colonization. I look forward to the day when probiotic companies and organic food companies put vitamin companies out of business.

Additionally, probiotics also increase the digestibility, bioavailability and processing of a large number of nutrients, including:

  • copper
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • iron
  • manganese
  • potassium
  • zinc
  • proteins
  • fats
  • carbohydrates
  • sugars
  • milk
  • phytonutrients
  • cholesterol

These lists are both by Casey Adams, Ph.D. in his book, “Probiotics – Protection Against Infection”.

18) Supplemented Probiotics Don’t Remain In The Body

It is interesting to note that no study has shown supplemented probiotic strains remain in the body for more than two weeks. At the National University of Signapore, Mah et al. infants were given probiotic supplements for the first 6 months of her life. During these 6 months of supplementation, the supplemented probiotic strains were present in the infants’ feces. However, within weeks of stopping the supplementation, the probiotic strains were no longer found in the feces.

These results of this study and the results of other research suggest that supplemented probiotics assist the our native probiotic strains. The foreign probiotic strains form a beachhead for our own native probiotics, and allow our probiotics to proliferate. This situation is analogous to a foreign arming invading a country, fighting one “evil” faction, and allowing another “good” faction time to proliferate.

19) Vaginal Birth Is Our First Dose of Probiotics

It’s no secret that a healthy, loving mother is key to a healthy child. And a healthy mother will have a vagina lined with probiotics to fend off invaders. What isn’t well known, is that when a baby experiences a vaginal birth, the baby gets it first dose of probiotics. In fact, 60% of vaginal births will give infants their first probiotic inoculation of Bifidus Infantis. However, only 1% of cesarean section births will give infants B. Infantis innoculation, according to “Probiotics” by Casey Adams.

After getting a dose of probiotics from vaginal birth, consumption of breast milk gives more probiotic inoculation. In fact, mother’s colostrum has up to 40% probiotic content.

20) Probiotics Are Good For Infants

In a 2004 study, Saavedra et al. gave infants, average age 2.9 months, B. lactis or S. thermophilus for 210 days. The infants who were given the probiotics have a lower frequency of colic and needed fewer antibiotics compared to the control group.

In an Estonian study by Vendt et al. 2006, preterm infants L. rhamnosus GG until they were six months old. The infants given probiotics had grown more than the placebo group.

21) Probiotics Are Vital For Women’s Health

Both oral probiotics and douching supplementation can prevent and cure vaginitis and vaginosis. An interesting study on probiotics and vaginosis was conducted in a 2007 by the University of Milan (Drago et al).They found that after a 6 day daily douche of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus paracasei F19, 92.5% of women had their vaginosis cured. The fishy order was cured in all women. The pH levels of women were normalized to 4.5 in 34 out of 40 women.

Probiotics has also been shown to reduce mastisis.

36 comments on “21 Amazing Facts About Probiotics” - Click here to write your comment


    Hi Evan

    Very much enjoyed your 21 amazing facts and the accompanying graphics.

    Fact 18 states

    It is interesting to note that no study has shown supplemented probiotic strains remain in the body for more than two weeks. At the National University of Signapore, Mah et al. infants were given probiotic supplements for the first 6 months of her life. During these 6 months of supplementation, the supplemented probiotic strains were present in the infants’ feces. However, within weeks of stopping the supplementation, the probiotic strains were no longer found in the feces.
    These results of this study and the results of other research suggest that supplemented probiotics assist the our native probiotic strains. The foreign probiotic strains form a beachhead for our own native probiotics, and allow our probiotics to proliferate. This situation is analogous to a foreign arming invading a country, fighting one “evil” faction, and allowing another “good” faction time to proliferate.

    A few questions if I may.

    First, whilst no study has shown the supplemented probiotics remain in the body for more than two weeks, how many studies are there other than Mah et al that conclusively show the supplemented probiotics remain for two weeks for less?

    Second, if supplemented probiotics form a beachhead in the sense of fighting an enemy, what enemy are they fighting and why can’t native probiotics do the fighting?

    Third, you draw on Casey Adams’ book quite a bit. Thus, I’m assuming you regard it as particularly credible. If so, wondering why you rate it so highly?

    Many thanks.

    Richard (Starkey)

    • evan says:

      Hi Richard Starkey,

      Re. #1
      I assume 10+ studies, but I don’t know the number.

      Re. #2 They are fighting bacteria, fungi & parasites.

      Native probiotics are occupying a different ecological niche than bacteria/fungi/parasites. Non-probiotic organisms are generally opportunistic…they can grow their numbers much more quickly after a high sugar diet + antibiotics compared to the rate at which probiotics grow.

      As an anology, it’s a bit like how if a building is abandoned, it’s much more likely that gangsters and tweakers will start using the building, than a nice business. The opportunistic gangsters/tweakers are the non-probiotic organisms in the ecosystem. The nice business would be the probiotics.

      For example, candida is a fungi that thrives under excess sugar or starchy foods, especially in an environment that is devoid of competing organisms (say drinking flat sprite because you are sick, right after you took antibiotics).

      Your probiotics aren’t effective because few people take care of them. Basically, what you do to take care of your body, will help your probiotics.
      Such as:
      -don’t get stressed out
      -eat lots of fruits & veggies
      -sleep enough, in harmony with your circadian rhythm
      -stay hydrated

      There are few books on probiotics. There are even fewer books that summarize the main concepts of probiotics, in a way relating them to other body systems way…plus his title is Dr. Casey Adam’s.

      Don’t PhD’s know everything ;)

  2. Kim Perry says:

    There is a “gel” formation used by foreigners LIKE tibet or others that when never let to dry out BUT used daily by preplenishing the milk and using the milk that keeps it moist is POWERFUL natual producer of probiotics? The longer the milk is allowed to incubate with the “gel” blob, the stronger the amount of probiatics. WHAT IS IT CALLED?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Jen P says:

      They are most often called ‘grains’ or sometimes ‘culture’.

      You can purchase yogurt or kefir grains on Donna Gates site (The Body Ecology Diet) or if you know someone who ferments the grains grown in size & number to be shared with others!

    • Frederica Huxley says:

      The ‘gel’ is kefir grains!

  3. Marty says:

    Where can I get bifidobacteria lactis?

  4. Laila van Dam says:

    Hi Evan,

    At the moment aim taking usana probiotic which contain 2 strains only, lactobacillus rhamnosaus and bifidobacterium animals. Do you think it’s enough for me? I would like to change to other brand as usana brand is very expansive.

    Laila van Dam

  5. lynval says:

    I was eating a Onken cherry flavored yogurt and was reading the back of the container at the same time and noticed it said this product has live probiotic cultures inside. I was kinda freaked out and googled it which brought me here.

    Thanks for the facts :)

  6. Debbie says:

    I take a probiotic 8 strains, etc. After I take it in the morning with my vitamins and hpb med, I seem to get weak and not feeling well within an hour. I do void a lot each morning and throught the day. I also take potassium in the a.m. due to low levels. Can or does the probiotic change my potassium/magnesium levels? Thanks.

    • evan says:

      There is research showing that probiotics do help with vitamin/minearal absorption…but I haven’t seen much evidence showing they help specifically with potassium/magnesium levels.

      But it might be worth a shot to see if you feel better after taking them. We have 10x more probiotics in our body than cells, so you never know how these bacteria interact with our body!

  7. HADI says:

    in the name of god

    your site is very useful for me
    im a nutrition M.sc student in Iran
    thanks for ur site

  8. Robert A Fairey says:

    This is a very useful site and the administrator makes no extravagant claims so typical of some probiotic sites.

    • evan says:

      Hey Robert,

      That’s a huge complement! I back everything I say about probiotics with research.

      Probiotics are amazing and can perform modest miracles in many cases. BUT, they won’t solve all your problems. After all, no amount of probiotics can solve being super stressed out all the time. You have to find a way to solve/remove what’s stressing you out!

      I’ll be working hard to bring you even more useful information this year!

  9. Kay says:

    I have dupeytrens disease (diagnosed by surgeon) which started nine months ago so I am in the initial stages and am wondering what probiotics could help me. I have two nodules only in the middle of my right hand – not large- at this stage. There is no cure so looking at being healthy and giving life my best shot. What assistance can you give me please?

  10. SKUMAR says:

    I have experienced the greatness of probiotics first hand. I used to take an antihistamine daily for my urticaria. On a whim I decided to try a yogurt which had 8 strains including “infantis”. Within a couple of days of my taking this, the allergic urticaria went away – without the anti-h. After a month, i stopped the “treatment” but the hives never came back. Until, i had to take a broad spectrum antibiotic for an infection. Again, the “treatment” worked. Unfortunately the yogurt company that produced the yogurt with “B Infantis” closed – Cascade Fresh – sad. Now I rely on capsules. I am a living example of how probiotics can help with allergies. I used to have to take different kinds of anti-h for more than a decade. Not anymore.

  11. farid says:

    very important message about probiotic

  12. Dany says:


    I take the Usana probiotic, spiruline and chlorophyl. When is is better to take the probiotic, morning, noon dinner or at night.

    • evan says:

      Hi Dany,

      There is a lot of people saying they know the best time to take a probiotic, but I am honestly undecided.

      I would start by taking it in the morning, and then see if that is better/worse than taking it at noon or night.

      I personally take it in the morning, but that’s because that is my routine.

      best of luck,
      Evan Jerkunica

  13. Don says:

    I have recently acquired a sugar and dairy intolerance due to stress, anxiety and poor diet. I started taking a low dose probiotic ( 1.5 Billion) per capsule and a L-Glutamine capsule
    (500mg). Both are free of all allergens. I take the probiotic around 11pm and it is not untill the next day after I’ve eaten my lunch or sometimes dinner that I need to rush to the bathroom, I have no other symptoms. Could this be the probiotics at work cleaning the bad bacteria out and repopulating with good. It all started about 4 days from when I started.

  14. Patricia says:

    Are the expensive, pro-biotics really more effective, than those you can buy at the store? I have been taking a premium brand, and I can tell they are helping me. Do they lose effectiveness as some claim, sitting on store shelves?

    • evan says:

      Hi Patricia,

      In general, you get what you pay for. That being said, some probiotics.org newsletter subscribers have done very well on supplements that are under $30.

      Most probiotics do lose potency over time. This used to be a big issue pre-2005, but the packaging/processing technology is so much better…it is not an issue for the best brands I mention on this site.

      take care,
      Evan Jerkunica

  15. TAMKM says:

    Can the probiotics be injected into the lumen of the colon during colonofibroscopic examination by the doctor?

  16. Desiree says:

    Hello Evan,
    I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 10 years ago at the age of 25. After reading many articles about how some of the medications I was taking were super harmful on other parts of my body, ( not to mention that I was told not to get pregnant while on this medicine and was also monitored closely to make sure my liver wasn’t falling apart) I started to look into more holistic approaches to aid in slowing down the joint damage and inflammatory issues that come hand in hand with this autoimmune disease. Given that my immune system is already “over active”, I’m fearful that fueling it with probiotics could potentially give it more ammunition in it’s fight against me. Do you have any insight in this matter?
    Thank you kindly!!!!

    • evan says:

      Hi Desiree,

      I would ask your doctor about this. If your doctor gives it the okay, then you can try some small doses and slowly ramp up…but do your own research and ask your doctor about this.

      take care,

  17. Kara says:

    Have a question about getting them shipped. After reading this article I feel like I really need to get them. But I was also reading here http://www.livingcharm.com/health-benefits-of-probiotics/ that it’s better if they’re shipped cold?

    Does that make a difference if they’re shipped in ice or not?

  18. Bob says:

    Not Bad it was great facts.

  19. Simone says:

    I’m getting conflicting opinions on whether refrigerated probiotics are better than non-refrigerated. Can you explain or elaborate on this subject please? I have divirticuliitis due to constipation and my Gastro doctor wants to put me on antibiotics. I am opting for the natural route, so I need best protocol for natural process for divirticuliis! I am currently in a Flare up and it is very painful! Kind Regards, Simone

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