A new study suggests that if you’re a healthy adult without any underlying conditions mucking up your digestion, you might want to think twice before spending your hard-earned dollars on probiotics.

That’s according to the Guardian, reporting on new research out of the University of Copenhagen, recently published in the journal Genome Medicine. “While there is some evidence from previous reviews that probiotic interventions may benefit those with disease-associated imbalances of the gut microbiota, there is little evidence of an effect in healthy individuals,” said lead researcher Oluf Pederson.

The Guardian explains:

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Advocates claim they can help with digestive health, allergies, immune response and obesity. Previous research has suggested that in some cases, such as where diarrhoea has arisen from antibiotic use, probiotics can have a therapeutic effect.

But when Pederson and his team reviewed seven randomised controlled studies that investigated whether a daily probiotic supplement had any effect on the microbial composition of healthy adults’ faeces, only one showed significant changes.

In other words, it doesn’t change your shit a whit—a fact that casts doubt on whether probiotics make any difference at all. Noting that the studies they looked at often had small sample sizes and other potentially interfering factors, the team called for more thorough clinical trials to investigate further, particularly the idea that probiotics help boost your immune system.

In the meantime, eat more fruit. Hard to go wrong with fruit. Unless you’re juicing to get rid of your toxins, which also doesn’t work.


Photo via AP Images.