If I buy probiotics and some die, are they still good for me? The answer, surprisingly, is yes!

Some die-off that occurs in probiotics is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, we achieve distinct and significant health benefits only with heat-killed or “dead” bacteria.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the clinical benefits of using heat-killed (non-viable) probiotics. The contents of the cells, which release upon cell death, include growth factors, beneficial peptides, and other protective molecules.

To be fair, some of these products use substantial amounts of these heat-killed bacteria to achieve the clinical effects.

The point is that the cell membrane breakdown releases some beneficial compounds. Keep reading for why you may benefit from “dead” probiotics.

What Are “Dead” Probiotics?

When manufacturers produce probiotics, there are always colony-forming units that do not survive the process. Some die-off occurs due to the manufacturing, storage, shipping, and natural life-cycle processes, not to mention the harsh acidic stomach environment.

These non-viable colony-forming units, or CFUs, can still provide significant health benefits. In fact, there are products made of ONLY heat-killed CFUs that convey these benefits.

While we do what we can to prevent die-off, like overfilling the CFU amount and using delayed-release capsules to avoid breakdown by stomach acid, the CFU that don’t survive can still be beneficial.

How is this possible? 

How Heat-Killed Bacteria Benefit the Body

There is some excellent new research on heat-killed bacteria, bacteria-free supernatants (a sort of mixture of the insides of bacteria), and purified components of probiotic bacteria. 

These products have conveyed certain health benefits, including:

  • protection against harmful bacteria
  • maintaining intestinal mucosa integrity
  • immune-boosting effects

Clinical data also strongly suggest a benefit for gastrointestinal diseases, infantile coli, bloating, diarrhea, respiratory allergic diseases, and dermatological diseases.

These benefits are possible because when the cells die and the membrane loses its integrity, it releases several proteins, peptides, and growth factors that provide these benefits.

Dr. Jeffrey Hendricks’ Final Thoughts

So, dead or alive, probiotics can help us. I believe there are more undiscovered benefits of these symbiotic bacteria, and the next several years will be interesting to watch. The proven benefits seem to increase by the week, and I don’t think we’ve heard the last from these small but powerful creatures.

Shop at WellRabbit!

Do you need a reliable place to buy your probiotics? WellRabbit has you covered! We ensure that all the products sold on our website are the best of the best. We even offer a MDRC™ badge that states that a specific product has gone through our rigorous review and certification process. At WellRabbit, your health comes first. So, shop with confidence.

Dr. Jeffrey Hendricks, MD

Jeffrey Hendricks, M.D., CEO Dr. Jeffrey Hendricks has an extensive research background in nutritional biochemistry and epigenetics and has developed over 1,000 nutritional products for companies in the U.S. and around the world. After spending four years at the University of Michigan’s Human Genetics Lab, he conducted research at the National Institutes of Health’s Laboratory for Gene Transfer. He’s served as a medical director in family medicine, integrative medicine, and occupational medicine, and is an advisory board member for many U.S. and international companies. The inspiration to start WellRabbit came about when helping his sister beat breast cancer, in which she took integrative medicine throughout her cancer treatment and never became ill. With WellRabbit, Dr. Hendricks has made it his mission to ensure those who are searching for quality nutritional supplements have a place they can trust. Dr. Hendricks’ clinical experience includes the treatment of over 50,000 patients, and his background, experience, and commitment to quality ideally suit his role as the Chief Executive Officer of WellRabbit.

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