The Way to BE

The Truth About Probiotic Supplements

How do you know if your probiotic supplement is giving you live, active cultures?

When you open a jar of homemade fermented vegetables or a bottle of a Body Ecology fermented beverage, you can hear the activity. There is usually a pop, fizzing, and gurgling, and sometimes the contents overflow when pressure is released. You know that the microbes are alive.

This isn’t the case with packaged probiotics.

When a bacteria culture is ready to be marketed, two popular methods of processing are used: centrifuging and ultrafiltration.

  • Both methods separate the bacterial mass from its growth matrix and biofilm, which is the community that the bacteria build.
  • Both methods concentrate the mass of bacteria.

Centrifugation crushes bacteria cells.

Centrifugation is the most popular processing method because it is the easiest and least expensive way to create a probiotic product.

  • Bacteria and their entire biofilm community are placed in a centrifuge, and the switch is hit, throwing the bacteria against the sides of the centrifuge with incredible force.
  • The force of the centrifuge causes the cell walls of many bacteria to rupture. Sometimes processing kills them immediately, while other times the bacteria are injured.
  • The community of bacteria is destroyed.

Ultrafiltration is less damaging than centrifugation.

  • Bacteria are put through a giant strainer.
  • This straining method does damage to the bacterial communities.
  • However, the fragile cell walls of the bacteria are left intact.
The biggest issue with both of these processing methods is that the bacterial community, the biofilm, is completely destroyed.

This community structure that the bacteria create protects the bacteria, nourishes them, and also houses anti-microbial byproducts. This means that when beneficial bacteria are stripped of their biofilm during processing, they are left naked and alone, unable to truly benefit the body and set up residence.

It also means that they are less likely to survive the low pH of stomach acid as they move their way through the gastrointestinal tract. If the bacteria do survive their transit to the small and large intestine, they arrive significantly weakened and without the protection of their biofilm.

When you drink a fermented beverage or eat cultured vegetables, you are sending strong and well-equipped beneficial microbes into your digestive tract.

When you do not separate the good bacteria from the matrix they are growing in, they are completely supported in the digestive process. They also experience minimal damage because they are not subjected to mechanical processing. This means that they arrive in your intestinal tract, ready to take up residence immediately. The effect is noticeable. If you feel your probiotic capsule is having little effect, you may want to switch to cultured foods. (1)

Very few store-bought cultured foods provide a significant amount of beneficial bacteria.

Does store-bought yogurt really have the probiotic power that it claims? Unfortunately, many commercial yogurts are pasteurized after they've been fermented, which completely destroys all good bacteria.

Most yogurts on the market today are sweetened. In order to prevent the bacteria from feeding on the fruit or added sweetener, a chemical is added to keep the live bacteria from coming into contact with the fruit. Think about it. What would that chemical do in the body?

Additionally, several yogurts are still pasteurized after fermentation is complete. For the manufacturers, this ensures that no pathogenic microorganism is in the product and complies with their understanding of food safety. However, pasteurization of a fermented product like yogurt will also kill the beneficial microbiota. All of the health benefits gathered and researched about beneficial microorganisms are from living cultures.

Fermentation enhances and preserves life force.

Traditionally, fermentation was used as a storage system for foods. It prevented food from rotting so that it could be preserved and eaten at a later date. The friendly microflora in fermented foods enhance the number of enzymes and produce valuable micronutrients.

Fermented foods also:

  • Allow the digestive tract to safely and easily assimilate raw vegetables and dairy.
  • Increase the nutritional value and availability of foods.
  • Support the detoxification pathways of the body.
  • Help to remove the harmful chemicals and metals that are found in today’s modern environment.

Besides dairy and vegetables, currently some markets also sell fermented sauces, salsas, dips, and fermented teas. Be sure to read the labels. While fermented foods are a welcome addition to the refrigerated section, they have only recently become popular, and many manufacturers are still using additives that your body does not need. A traditionally fermented food sold in the unrefrigerated section of the store, such as pickles, is not truly fermented.

Body Ecology is the only diet that offers a comprehensive tool kit that supports the health of the entire body.

Getting back into traditional, fermented foods and away from sterile, lifeless food is one step closer to nourishing the entire body. Everyone has a unique collection of microorganisms, and Body Ecology promotes sustaining this inner microbial community with fermented foods first, rather than relying completely on a probiotic supplement.

You can ferment your own vegetables at home with the Body Ecology Veggie Culture Starter. Body Ecology has also put together core products that provide the basic tools necessary to get started and maintain a probiotic diet.

The Body Ecology Core Program includes:

  • Innergy Biotic: A fermented probiotic liquid that delivers healthy, intact microbes to your digestive tract.
  • Vitality SuperGreen: A plant-based powerhouse of nutrients that has been fermented to allow for maximum absorption and benefit. Vitality Supergreen also contains glutamine, an amino acid that repairs the lining of the gut. The gut lining is where healthy microbes set up residence!
  • Assist SI: An enzyme formula that is both detoxifying when taken on an empty stomach and will strengthen the digestive power of the small intestine when taken with food.
  • Assist Full Spectrum Enzymes: Supplement enzymes that support the entire digestive tract, including brush border enzymes that enhance digestive function without causing irritation to the intestinal walls.
  • Assist Dairy and Protein: Helps break down dairy, animal proteins, and vegan protein sources, such as grains.
  • Stevia: A sugarless, natural sweetener that is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia does not contribute to feeding pathogenic microorganisms and does not ignite an inflammatory response, as sugar does.

Nourish the body with a probiotic diet, rather than a probiotic pill.

The Body Ecology Diet is the only diet that emphasizes the use of beneficial bacteria, proper food combining, and the proper preparation of the Body Ecology grain-like seeds. Nourishing the body with a probiotic diet, rather than a probiotic pill, is essential in rebuilding the gastrointestinal tract and restoring the immune system.


What To Remember Most About This Article:

Wouldn't it be great to take one little pill to magically improve your health? While probiotic supplements seem like a great idea, they’re often made with processing methods that destroy communities of good bacteria. Many store-bought yogurts on the market are pasteurized after they have been fermented, which kills all good bacteria completely.

Instead, try fermented beverages and cultured vegetables that will support your digestive tract with strong, beneficial bacteria. Fermented foods will also increase the nutritional value of your food, support detoxification, and flush harmful chemicals out of your body. It's time to go back to basics. It's always recommended to choose traditional fermented foods instead of pre-packaged probiotics to nourish your digestive tract.


Product Recommendations:

  • Veggie Culture Starter

    Veggie Culture Starter

    Resist Infections, Enhance Digestion

    • Ideal for appetite and weight control
    • Ideal for pregnant women
    • Ideal for children with Autism and ADD
    • Can be enjoyed daily
    • Easy to make at home
  • Vitality SuperGreen

    Vitality SuperGreen

    Complete Superfood Nutrition

    Benefits for the common condition of leaky gut* - formulated with ingredients shown to maintain a healthy gut lining1,2,3

    What makes Vitality SuperGreen different from all the other green drinks on the market today? It’s the very alkalizing formula - the fermented algae blend, red marine blend, intestinal support blend and fermented green veggies —specially created by Donna Gates—that soothes and is very healing to the gut lining. A generous amount of nutrient-rich elements like L-glutamine, FOS from chicory inulin, GMO-free Sunflower Lecithin, and aloe vera extract (200:1) help establish and maintain a healthy inner ecosystem. We’ve spared no cost in blending together an extraordinary spectrum (or life force) of fermented algae and cereal grasses, fermented green veggies, enzymes, probiotics and food-based supplements providing you the highest quality fermented green drink on the market today.

    Nourish Your Inner Ecosystem with 2 scoops per day.

    Vitality SuperGreen:

    • Strengthens immunity so you feel more energetic and vibrant*
    • Offers an excellent source of complete nutrition - easily assimilated protein, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, lignans, essential fatty acids, nucleic acids, and beneficial microflora*
    • Soy Free • Dairy Free/Vegan
    • Provides healthy food for beneficial microflora - a potent, mineral-rich blend of fermented algae and red marine algae4
    • Fermented to magnify bioavailability*
    • Rich in antioxidants
    • Detoxifies the body to help maintain a healthy weight*
    • Unlike many superfoods on the market today, Vitality SuperGreen tastes great!
  • Assist SI

    Assist SI

    Maximize Your Food’s Potential to Nourish, Energize, and Heal!

    Unable to fully digest your food? Add more wood to the fire.

    Assist SI bolsters your digestion by delivering more enzymes to where you need them most—in your small intestine. This is where tiny finger-like villi reach out and seize nutrients, pulling them into your bloodstream.

    But if you don’t have enough enzymes to break apart large molecules of food, the villi can’t do their job. And unabsorbed food ferments in the small intestine, creating painful gas and irregular bowel movements.

    Assist SI delivers the same enzymes that your pancreas releases into the opening of the small intestine, ensuring your villi have something to grab on to and that you get the nutrition you need.

    Suggestions For Use
    Take 1 - 3 capsules with each meal. Combine with Assist Full Spectrum Enzymes and Assist Dairy & Protein for greater results.

    • Contains all the enzymes that your small intestine requires
    • Provides maximum absorption
    • Breaks down hard-to-digest dairy
    • Helps tone the intestinal wall
    • Helps eliminate bloating and gas
    • Helps get rid of bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
    • Supports regular, healthy bowel movements
    • Non-GMO, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free
  • Assist Full Spectrum Enzymes

    Assist Full Spectrum Enzymes

    Break Down Food, Absorb Nutrients and Prevent Gas and Bloating

    • One of the most complete and powerful digestive enzymes available
    • Assures digestion of proteins over the entire pH range from 2.0 to 11.0
    • Fast-acting, high-potency enzyme formula
  • Assist Dairy & Protein

    Assist Dairy & Protein

    Maximize the Absorption of the Protein You Eat, Minimize Waste or Toxicity

    • Enjoy dairy foods again!
    • Enjoy the benefits of milk kefir without the side effects of the casein
    • Aids in the digestion of proteins from animal foods, dairy foods, nuts, seeds and legumes
  • Stevia Liquid Concentrate

    Stevia Liquid Concentrate

    Sweet-tasting Herbal Extract Dietary Supplement

    • Zero Calorie, Zero Carbohydrates, Zero Glycemic Index
    • 985 servings in every bottle
    • Bitter-free, refreshingly sweet, smooth-tasting
    • Minimal processing for highest purity


  1. Trenev, Natasha. Probiotics, Nature’s Internal Healers. Avery: New York, 1998. P. 122 – 125.


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  • Valerie

    I do not get any answers..I have been buying these products over a year..I have been diagnosed with breast cancer..these products are not inexpensive...sad very sad...500 dollars for a consultation fee..I am disappointed...I have lost a son this year would think that you could get some help from body ecology...where is the support ..not asking for handouts...but you should give something back to your customers when they truly need you....sometimes you need to consider the company that you are dealing with..

  • Connie

    I have a six year old child. I have tried so many cultured foods and your cultured drinks(which I really enjoy), but I can not get him to eat or drink them. Do you have any recommendations for me to try? Thank you.

  • giles

    Great questions, but no one is answering them, hmmm makes me suspicious

  • Tristan

    Thank you so much Donna for showing all the wonderful benefits of fermented foods and probiotics. I always thought foods would be more powerful than pills and this article clearly shows why!

  • Anand-Sara Rodda

    At home, i am accustomed to eating fermented veges every day. However, I will be leaving for a cruise in almost 2 weeks. What do you recommend?

    Thank you!

  • Diana Holland

    with such great products that we could all benefit from, there needs to be a way of providing them at an affordable cost. These products are beyond my budget and I'm sure a lot of other people's. If a person really believes in their product and who has the benefit of the consumer in mind the products should be reasonably priced. thank you

  • Michelle

    Great questions folks. I'm anxious to hear the answers.

  • http://Body Ecology Laura Jaimes

    Hello! Is Laura from México. I am a big fan of Donna Gates. I have learned a lot from her!!!!
    I want to say thank you Donna for all your wanderfull advices. I have obtained very good fermented vegetables using your method and some local probiotics. I have a batch I made some months ago and is still very good!
    I want to bring home many if not all!!! of your amasing products but I dont have by the moment, enough money to do so.
    I want to ask:
    If I use a Blender to make a puree out of my fermented vegetables with a little wather in order to drain the liquid so I can drink the juice. I do this to have my krill oil in the middle of the morning. Do the blending destroy the bacteria?
    Can I use this juice to ferment anything?
    I also want to know if I can ferment anything with my old batch of fermented vegetables like, for instance, some spirulina algae that I bought recently or the organic acai juice I have in the fridge?
    Or should I ferment this things from the beginning with some new vegetables and fruits the way I have been doing it?
    Thank you in advance.

  • Kati Richins

    I am very interested in trying your products. I have celiacs and just want to comfirm all your products are gluten free before purchasing.

  • Sheryl Worthington Turgeon

    I'm curious about the processing for Vitality Supergreens and the ability of the powder to keep the microflora intact. Also, how can one detect whether the probiotic has used centrifuge or ultrfiltration? Very information article. Thank you.

  • Laurence A. Becker, Ph.D.

    I would urge you to also investigate Shaklee's Optiflora. It guarantees that the full strength of the probiotic arrives into the intestine. The delivery system makes it unique among nutritional probiotic supplements.

  • Greg McKenzie

    Would blending cultured foods into a smoothie using a power blender destroy this biofilm?

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Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.

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