There are literally hundreds of probiotic supplements available on the market today and they all vary slightly in content. The main distinctions between the various formulations are: different numbers of the types of bacteria used ranging from a single species up to a dozen or more, variety in the particular strains of bacteria themselves, dairy-free or dairy-based, the presence or absence of prebiotic “food” for the bacteria, and the total number of bacteria within each capsule.
But apart from those considerations there is a strong foundational similarity between all of the standard probiotic supplements, and that is that they all use bacteria that have been isolated from their growth media, dehydrated, and are induced into dormancy through refrigeration. Because bacteria are living organisms the goal is for them to stay “asleep” between manufacture and their delivery into a living host (us), however, not all will revive once warmed and rehydrated. The bacterial count on the label may not therefore reflect the number of bacteria that are actually able to take up residence and colonize in our bodies.
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics are a paradigm shift in the production of a probiotic supplement. Using traditional Japanese fermentation techniques Dr. Ohhira’s marries old-world wisdom with modern day needs for supplemental dietary bacteria.
A blend of 92 fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and seaweeds provides a nutrient-dense growth media for twelve strains of bacteria. The specific strains in the formula were chosen by Dr. Ohhira based on his PhD research into probiotic lactic acid bacteria. Over the course of three years the bacteria digest the foods and multiply in number. During this time they are constantly competing with their fellow bacteria for resources releasing antibacterial compounds called bacteriocins to destroy their neighbours and make room for their own offspring, thus creating a survival of the fittest scenario.
The fermentation takes place at ambient temperatures, so in addition to the stress of natural selection in growing up together the bacteria are exposed to temperature stresses of hot and cold as the seasons change. At the end of the three years the final product is a living probiotic supplement, with robust bacteria still whole, active, and in their digested growth media, AND that is inherently heat-stable! No dehydration, no removal of supportive prebiotic compounds, no refrigeration required, no dormant bacteria.
Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics are the best choice for travel as the bacteria are acclimatized to heat and less vulnerable to destruction in warm temperatures. This is particularly true if that travel involves sunshine, tropical climates, and local microflora that is foreign to our bodies and may ruin a holiday with digestive upset. Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics are blister packed and may be carried in hand held bags for immediate use if needed. Other “travel-friendly” probiotic supplements generally bypass the need for constant refrigeration by simply increasing the number of cells in each capsule, thereby allowing for the rate of die-off with a guaranteed minimum number of bacteria/capsule at the time of expiry.
Traditional diets around the world contain a variety of fermented foods that provide a continuous supply of supportive lactic acid bacteria to the digestive tract. In our society, in which food is rarely fermented and may even be sterilized through pasteurization or irradiation, we need to obtain our probiotic bacteria as a supplement. As Hippocrates famously said “Let food by thy medicine and let medicine be thy food”. Dr. Ohhira’s is a concentrated traditionally fermented food supplement that supports digestive health through the delivery of healthy probiotic microflora to the digestive tract.