Is the Delivery System Important for Probiotics? PART 2: The Perilous Journey From the Product Bottle to Your Gut

In Part 1 of this series, we learned how shipments methods of probiotics in baking hot delivery trucks often kill the cultures before they ever get to the health food store’s shelf or your mailbox. We discovered that ice-packed delivery methods, like those used by Probulin, ensure the safe delivery of probiotics to the store shelf where you can purchase them with confidence, knowing the cultures are still alive.

In the second part of this 2-part series on The Perilous Journey of Probiotics From the Manufacturer to Your Gut, we learn about the perilous journey of our probiotic from our mouth to our gut. With digestive enzymes, stomach acid and the risk of other challenges, this is a major-league trek to arrive safely in the digestive tract. Sadly, some products in the market do not consistently “arrive alive.”  

It can be confusing, can’t it? Enteric coating, pearls, even probiotic powder poured directly into a beverage – all different packaging vessels of probiotics, the precious “good” bacteria we need to thrive in our gut. Do any of these methods better protect the vital probiotic cultures from our stomach acid, and deliver them more safely to our digestive tract?

Let’s assume that our probiotic did, in fact, survive the harrowing journey from the manufacturer to the health food store. You purchased your favorite bottle and returned home where you take out the capsule and place it in your mouth. A couple good gulps of water and down it goes, into the stomach, and presumably en route to our gut. What could possibly go wrong at this point?

The old adage of “so close, but yet so far” is a fair analogy for what happens to some probiotics once they arrive in the stomach. Why? Some vessels, usually capsules or “pearls,” do an inadequate job of protecting the cultures from the digestive acids in the stomach. And if those acids come into direct contact with probiotic cultures, it kills them, just literal inches from the finish line, i.e., your gut.

The trick is to create a vessel that withstands the strong digestive acids in the stomach, yet gently releases the cultures safely (alive) into the digestive tract. It is no small feat to be able to do this consistently, over and over again. But it is hyper-critical to the ability to provide an effective probiotic. Sadly, it is almost impossible for you to know whether the capsule we just took an hour ago has survived the journey through the stomach and is, in fact, now slowly releases the cultures into your intestines.

Knowing this, some products have attributes which we are led to believe are important and which can be measured – culture count and strain count. Some will claim to have an enteric coated capsule that can withstand stomach acid. But how do we know?

Fortunately, there does exist a probiotic manufacturer who has pursued the art of safe delivery and is recognized as having perfected the process. What’s their secret? The secret is something they affectionately refer to as the “seaweed submarine”!

The seaweed submarine (actually a breakthrough, part of a patented and patent-pending invention) does something brilliantly effective: it naturally protects live cultures if and when stomach acid threatens them. Known as the MAKTrek™ 3-D Probiotic Delivery System, it provides significant safeguards that help ensure better survival of the living beneficial probiotic bacteria. Here’s how it works:

  1. The probiotic bacteria are “enrobed” in an extract of Brown Seaweed (Lessonia nigrescens) called complex marine polysaccharides.
  2. Once the cultures are sufficiently blended with the seaweed, they are encapsulated
  3. When the capsule is swallowed, it will invariably come in contact with stomach acid. The acid frequently compromises or dissolves the capsule.
  4. The complex marine polysaccharides then form a secondary internal capsule, the “seaweed submarine”, and protect the living probiotic cells from the acid. The seaweed does not breakdown when in contact with stomach acid like capsules do.

Then a little magic happens. Actually, it is a proprietary patent-pending process that “buffers” the journey of the probiotic to ensure it maintains its viability.

  1. Once the seaweed encapsulated cultures survive the relatively quick journey through the stomach, they arrive in the upper most part of the small intestines and continue the relatively longer journey through our digestive tract. It is during this journey where the seaweed submarine slowly begins to dissolve and releases the cultures into the gut.
  2. One more feature of the MAKTrek 3-D system is that the probiotics have (again, it’s a bit of of the patent pending magic) been combined with specific minerals, called electrolytes, creating an isotonic balance. A fancy word that simply means that the bacteria are able to hydrate properly allowing for better survival of these important good bacteria.  If they over hydrate (go hypotonic) they will not survive the journey.  It is key that they have an ability to sense when they are reaching full saturation from the intestinal fluids and reach a homeostatic state where they begin to live, thrive, and become one of the soldiers that contribute to not just our gut health, but overall wellness.
  3. The last step of the MAKTrek 3-D probiotic delivery system is that the strains of good bacteria have been chosen based on being scientifically validated and that they are naturally resistant to things we are all exposed to all of the time. Things like chlorine, fluoride and alcohol to name a few.

The MAKTrek™ 3-D Probiotic Delivery System has been scientifically studied using a specified stomach acid exposure.  The MAKTrek™ 3-D protected probiotic supplement showed greater survival than simply acid protection alone. Pretty neat, huh?

Who knew that the average probiotic had to not just survive two harrowing journeys to get to our gut, but then needed to recognize it had reached an equilibrium state and effectively latch onto our intestinal walls and thrive.

But now there is a more consistent and proven way: the “seaweed submarine”, otherwise known as the MAKTrek™ 3-D Probiotic Delivery System.

Probulin is the only company that utilizes the tested MAKTrek™ 3-D Probiotic Delivery System…and your digestive tract wanted to make sure you knew.

Until next time, “Be Well and Stay Healthy”!

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