Two of the hottest segments of the supplement world of late have been nootropics (products designed to improve cognition) and digestive health, or gut health, fueled by the rising popularity of pre and probiotics. With many of these products on the market, such as Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotic and Thrivous Calrity, how do you know which is right for you?
In this review, we’ll detail the importance of digestive health, explain the microbiome, and briefly discuss the relationship between the brain and microbiome.
And of course, we’ll investigate Microbiome Plus+™ and their products, their claims, and their efficacy, and provide our rating based on reviews by actual customers.
Digestive Health and Your Immune System
Your stomach, large intestine, and small intestine, together your digestive system, is home to some 100 trillion bacteria. (That’s trillion with a T). These bacteria are responsible for digesting our food, regulating our hormones, eliminating toxins, and producing vital nutrients. The beneficial bacteria in our gut represent some 80% of our immune cells, which protect us against colds, pathogens, viruses, and other “bugs.”
The digestive system plays an essential role in the healthy function of your immune system. If you want to stay healthy, taking care of your gut health to power up your natural defenses is paramount. When your immune system is compromised, you are at an increased risk for autoimmune diseases, colds, cases of flu, allergies, and a myriad of other conditions.
Defining the microbiome can be a bit complicated. Many people use microbiota and microbiome interchangeably. The microbiota refers to the 10-100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells harbored by each person, primarily bacteria in the gut; the human microbiome consists of the genes these cells harbor. Although these terms apply to cells that live in or on the body, in supplementation the term microbiome typically refers only to the cells and genes, the bacteria which resides within the digestive tract.
Your Second Brain
Some experts refer to the digestive tract as your second brain. We’ve all experienced butterflies when nervous, or when your stomach is tied up in knots when anxious. It turns out these are real experiences as the stomach is lined with nerve endings which communicate with the brain. What’s important to know is that this is two-way communication. When your digestive health is out of balance, it can negatively affect your mood and your entire well-being.
Enter the digital world of Microbiome Plus+™, and within a few seconds, you start to see structure-function claims such as:
- Clinically proven to increase Vitamin D
- Clinically proven to lower LDL cholesterol by 11.64%
- Boost immune and digestive health
These claims are coupled with tag lines such as:
- Feel better, feel happier
- Be proactive with your health
- Advanced probiotics and prebiotics
We love substantiated clinically tested ingredients, provided said ingredients are dosed at the same level as that used in the clinicals. In reviewing the Microbiome Plus+™ clinical results, as reported in PubMed, it was impossible to determine the precise quantity used in the trials. The data, however, seemed compelling that L. reuteri NCIMB 30242, the probiotic that supports bile metabolism, increased Vitamin D, and lowered LDL cholesterol.
What is Microbiome Plus +™
As the name implies, Microbiome Plus+™ is all about gut health and immune support. The product lineup consists of several products:
- Microbiome Plus Colon Cleanse and Detox
- Microbiome Plus Gastrointestinal Probiotic Solo
- Microbiome Plus Gastrointestinal Prebiotic and Probiotic
- Microbiome Plus Prebiotic Fiber
- Microbiome Plus Premium Digestive Enzymes
- Microbiome Plus Super Digestive Enzymes
Key Ingredients of Microbiome Plus+™
Our focus in this segment will be on the Probiotic ingredient as this is where the company emphasizes its benefits claims. When analyzing the Colon Cleanse product and the Premium Digestive Enzymes, the ingredient panels include many of the usual suspects found in other similar products.
The Super Digestive Enzymes deviate in that they feature only one ingredient Pancreatin (4X) 325 mg. Pancreatin is a mixture of digestive enzymes that may include Amylase, Protease, and Lipase. Stand-alone national brands will cite Pancreatin (10X) and include up to 1,000 mg.
The Prebiotic Fiber is (scFOs) Short-chain Fructo-Oligosaccharides sometimes used in the manufacture of medications to address constipation.
The “hero” ingredient in the Microbiome Plus+™ lineup and the sole ingredient in the Probiotic products is L. reuteri NCIMB 30242, or Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242. This ingredient is patented and trademarked in the U.S. and is owned by UAS Labs. There are other, generic forms of Lactobacillus reuteri on the market, however; the clinical trials apply only to the patented product.
Microbiome Plus+™ Dosages
Again, we will restrict the conversation to the Microbiome Plus+™ Gastrointestinal Probiotic. The recommended dosage is one capsule, which contains 3.5 Billion CFU (Colony Forming Units) of the patented probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242. A Colony Forming Unit is a measurement of the number of bacteria that are living and active, capable of dividing and forming colonies.
Microbiome Plus+™ puts its focus on the quality of their patented and trademarked probiotic versus the number of CFUs. Several popular brand name probiotics will claim CFUs in the 50 billion range and use multiple different strains in their products.
Benefits of Microbiome Plus+™
The benefits cited by Microbiome Plus+™ focus on maintaining gastrointestinal health and supporting the immune system. They also cite the structure-function claims from their clinical studies relating to increasing Vitamin D and lowering LDL cholesterol. Other benefits are purported to be:
- Increased energy
- Maintains a balance of healthy bacteria
- Supports a healthy inflammatory response
- Potential weight loss
Does Microbiome Plus+™ Actually Perform – the Claims versus the Reality
Consumers providing reviews or testimonials give the brand high marks for addressing digestive issues. More than half of the reviewers give the product five stars. Those who did not rate the product highly claimed no noticeable changes.
Weight loss was not mentioned in any of the testimonials and is a purported side benefit of the product. If you are looking for a weight loss solution, there are better options available.
Potential Side Effects of Microbiome Plus+™
Probiotics are typically very safe with little potential for adverse side effects. Those consumers who did report issues frequently mentioned gastrointestinal distress or headaches.
Best Places to Buy
Although Amazon offers the Microbiome range, we recommend purchasing directly from the company’s website. Freshness can be a factor with probiotics, and we assume direct from the manufacturer will deliver the freshest product.
The website can be a bit confusing in the pricing area with its multiple months offers. Individually, the Solo Probiotic product sells for $25.99. Other products are priced as follows:
- Microbiome Plus Colon Cleanse and Detox – $22.99
- Microbiome Plus Gastrointestinal Probiotic Solo – $25.99
- Microbiome Plus Gastrointestinal Prebiotic and Probiotic – $39.99
- Microbiome Plus Prebiotic Fiber – $17.99
- Microbiome Plus Premium Digestive Enzymes – $23.99
- Microbiome Plus Super Digestive Enzymes – $27.99
In addition to their site being focused on the individual, Microbiome Plus+™ also appeals directly to health professionals for use with their patients. All products are allergy-safe, Gluten, Soy and Corn Free, Vegan, Non-GMO, and Preservative-Free.
Based on the clinical studies, a patented and trademarked ingredient, and the favorable value the brand represents, we think Microbiome Plus+™ is a viable option if you want to experiment with probiotic supplementation.