More on Probiotics and Crappy Science or…An LOL!
Well, apparently, it wasn’t just me who blew a fuse at that “probiotics cause SIBO and brain fog” paper last week! I had a serious belly laugh this morning reading an article in a nutraceuticals newsletter[i], which quoted doctors from around the world who are foaming at the mouth over it. The International Probiotics Association (which is a non-profit international organization made up of industry and academia experts) released an official “scathing” statement, which was “…echoed by other prominent researchers and stakeholders in the probiotic field.”
Two great points I missed (Ok…I am human!):
- Emeran Mayer of UCLA, points out that the term “brain fog” has absolutely no diagnostic criteria associated with it. Says Dr. Mayer, “It is well known that patient reported outcomes are highly unreliable when uncorrelated with hard biological makers, which unfortunately don’t exist for BF [brain fogginess]…Furthermore, no further assessment of any markers was performed after the discontinuation of probiotics and/or use of antibiotics which means that it is impossible to know if acidosis stopped after probiotic intake ceased…”
- The probiotics the patients were taking were not listed, but the paper does say that they were a mix of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Bifidobacterium don’t even make D-lactate and very few Lacto species do! (I should have thought of that one…rats!)
Points I did NOT miss (she typed, giving herself a high five):
- Says Dr. Michael Ganzle of the University of Alberta, “I would tend to believe that the symptoms were there before these patients took the probiotics.”
- Says Dr. Paul Forsythe of McMaster University, a world-renowned expert on the gut-brain connection: “In scanning the paper, I see no evidence of causality between probiotic use and the symptoms described. They don’t touch on the idea that the subjects may have been self-medicating with probiotics to counter the GI symptoms.”
And finally, my personal favorite quote: says Dr. Dan Fabricant, the president and CEO of the Natural Products Association (a non-profit devoted to maintaining the rights of consumers to choose, when it comes to natural products):
“To call this science is insulting to the thousands of scientific studies out there confirming the safe and effective use of probiotics….to say that they are making people confused or disoriented based on this laughable study is absurd.”
Whoa Nelly! Someone is pissed. And for once, it’s not just me!