Essential Cultures from Leaf Organics is a pill-form probiotic that the makers promise will restore balance to your digestive tract, resulting in a healthier you. They tout it contains 15 different strains of bacteria and 30 billion Colony Forming Units (CFUs) that they insist will take you to “a new level of health and happiness” you never thought was possible. They add Essential Cultures will bring you immediate results or you can get your money back.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are bacteria or yeasts that are thought to interact with the organisms living in our gut – that’s right, you have more than 500 types of bacteria in there as we speak. But don’t freak out, these are considered essential for our health. When we have problems with our intestines, it is thought that the “good” bacteria has been outnumbered by the “bad” and that taking a probiotic can help restore balance.
There are indeed numerous studies of the effects of using probiotics, but so far the most conclusive evidence is that it helps with childhood diarrhea. It also may boost the immune system, battle Chron’s Disease, and alleviate other painful/yucky ills to do with the bowels, intestines, and female reproductive organs.
Generally speaking, doctors agree that there is a lot of promise with using probiotics for health and so far there is mixed scientific evidence to support most of the claims. While probiotics may or may not help you, they are considered safe to ingest and have no side effects.
The Essential Cultures Pitch
Essential Cultures is operating in that grey area of known probiotics benefits. The website urges you to “take back your digestive health” and state that taking Essential Cultures “may promote” overall health benefits such as:
- More regular bowel activity and less bloating
- More energy and focus
- Stronger immune system
- Naturally craving healthier foods
Again, the only item on the list that probiotics has really been shown to help is with bowel movements; the others at this point are unproven or merely anecdotal.
Essential Cultures Costs
$45.90 for a one-month supply ($38.95 plus $6.95 shipping) or $88.95 for 3 months and $157.95 for 6, both include free shipping. Essential Cultures comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, minus any shipping charges and what it costs you to send back.
Bottom Line: Is Essential Cultures a Rip-Off?
As we mentioned, taking probiotics won’t hurt you but whether it will help you is still inconclusive. Still, there are many proponents of probiotics in both the scientific community and from consumers who swear by their benefits.
However, we’d like to point out a few things:
We could not find any company information or unbiased consumer reviews of Leaf Organics or Essential Cultures. In addition, there is no product label listing the specific bacteria strains and amounts included in their product. Since the FDA does not regulate probiotics, there is no way of knowing what you are getting when you buy Essential Cultures apart from taking their word (or sending it to a lab).
Also, remember it’s not necessary to ingest them in pill form as probiotics occur naturally in many foods, including yogurt and sauerkraut. You might want to check out Reader’s Digest’s 13 Probiotic-Filled Foods.
If you are interested in learning more about probiotics, check out Everything You Wanted to Know About Probiotics But Didn’t Know to Ask from our sister publication Highya.
Let us know you experience with Essential Cultures and/or probiotics below!