Probiotic America is a supplement company that claims to specialize in probiotics, aka living bacteria, said to help everything from bowel problems to weight loss. They promise their probiotics are third party tested to have at least 30 Billion CFUs in every capsule and are shipped direct to the consumer fresh so their cultures are still active.
What are Probiotics?
We don’t want to freak you out but you have 500 types of bacteria living in your gut – but that’s a good thing. There are “good” bacteria called probiotics, which are countered by “bad” bacteria, but they are thought work together to keep you healthy. When you have bowel problems or allergies, your “good” and “bad” bacteria is thought to be out of whack, and taking probiotics in supplement form or as active cultures like in yogurt is thought to correct this.
While there is some evidence it can help with a variety of conditions including immune system problems or skin irritations, the most conclusive evidence is for helping with childhood diarrhea and other infant infections.
Probiotics need to be alive in order to work. Certain yogurts, tempeh, and even sauerkraut are said to contain beneficial probiotics. Supplements that have probiotics usually state “contains live active cultures” and some must be refrigerated and/or used before a certain expiration date.
How Probiotic America Works
Probiotic America says its probiotics are different from others on the marketplace because they are independently tested, freeze-dried for freshness and shipped direct to the consumer. Because they are also sold in a dark glass bottle, they claim Probiotics America will last indefinitely.
Probiotic America boats 30 CFUs (the common measurement for probiotics) and 15 probiotic strains. Because there is some concern that probiotics are often destroyed by stomach acids before they can do any good, Probiotics America claims their strains are resistant to acid and bile.
Probiotic America boasts their products are third-party tested on 3 separate occasions and sent to “various independent labs” that “run key tests” on the capsules. However, they don’t disclose the names of these third party labs on the website and the sales representative said Probiotics America keeps this information confidential.
For further reading: WARNING: This Article Has NOT Been Evaluated by the FDA
Probiotic America currently only sells one product: Perfect Biotics, a supplement said to give digestive and immune support, especially helping with gas, bloating and chronic fatigue. They claim Perfect Biotics is scientifically formulated to bring you to the 80/20 balance of Good/Bad bacteria, said to be the optimum equation.
Probiotic America Cost:
$39.95 (plus $4.95 shipping) for 30, $101.87 for 90, or $189.36 for 180-day supply of Perfect Biotics. While the Terms and Conditions talk about an auto-ship program, customer service said all re-orders must be done online or via telephone.
Probiotic America offers a 90-day refund for even used bottles so long as you send them back.
Bottom Line: Is Probiotic America a Scam?
There is mounting evidence that probiotics can be beneficial for certain intestinal conditions, especially in children. However, the understanding and use of probiotics is still in its infancy.
There are strong proponents including probiotics.org, a website run by a probiotics enthusiast (but not a doctor) who claims to have spent thousands of hours studying their various health benefits. He lists his Top 10 Probiotic Brands here (Probiotic America is not on the list).
Then there are others who have come to the opposite conclusion. A website called The Nibble (food enthusiasts but not medical experts) did a lengthy investigation into probiotics and concluded taking large amounts of them for health reasons didn’t really make sense because of the lack of proof they really work.
Robert Dunn, a biologist at North Carolina State University was quoted in the New York Times as saying: “There are hundreds of… probiotics in stores. As a consumer, it’s almost impossible to figure out what is best. What are the specific species in your intestines, and how will what you take compete with them?”
There is also the concern that what you are getting is actually a live probiotic. Even though Probiotic America says their product is independently tested, without information about the lab, there can be no conclusive proof (other than literally your “gut feeling”) that it contains what they say it does. The American Gastroenterological Society recommends avoiding any probiotics sold over the Internet and sticking with established brands.
In other words: probiotics may be helpful for certain intestinal conditions but because their effectiveness is not conclusive and probiotics are essentially unregulated, we suggest you choose a company recommended by your doctor, one that you’ve heard of, or one that discloses the name of the independent lab they use for product testing.
You may also be interested in reading: Everything You Wanted to Know About Probiotics but Didn’t Know to Ask (Highya).
And let us know your experience with Probiotic America below!