Dr. Martin Blaser is an expert on the human microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes that live in and on the body. In fact, about 70 to 90 percent of all the cells in the human body aren’t human at all — they’re micro-organisms.
Blaser is the author of Missing Microbes, and speculates that overuse of antibiotics causes food allergies, asthma, and intestinal disorders.
If antibiotics are wiping out these micro-organisms, then probiotics are putting some of them back in.
Here’s what Dr. Blaser says about the use of probiotics:
"There are many different probiotics. If you go to the grocery store, the health food store, the drugstore, there are shelves and shelves full of probiotics [with] different names, different compositions. I think I can say three things: The first is that they’re almost completely unregulated; second is that they seem to be generally safe; and third is that they’re mostly untested about the important reasons that people even want to take probiotics because they don’t feel well or they have particular symptoms …
Right now, it’s the Wild West. I’m actually a big believer in probiotics; I think that’s going to be part of the future of medicine, that we’re going to understand the science of the microbiome well enough so that we can look at a sample from a child and say this child is lacking such-and-such an organism and now we’re going to take it off the shelf and we’re going to give it back to that child … Just as today the kids are lining up for the vaccines, in the future, maybe the kids are going to be drinking certain organisms so that we can replace the ones that they’ve lost.”