Your gut biome affects nearly every system of your body – from heart health, to immune function, vitamin absorption, and even mood regulation. There’s much more to it than just digestion and regular poops. Keeping a healthy gut is key to optimizing performance, and using the right probiotic helps you do just that.
There’s a community of 38,000,000,000,000 (that’s 38 trillion) microorganisms, mostly bacteria, living in and on your body. The majority of them reside in your gastrointestinal tract, but many others live in diverse places like your mouth, your skin, and your armpits.
They represent 50% of you by cell count. Collectively, the genes harbored in these trillions of microbial cells constitute your microbiome.
Arguably the misconception of the century is that all bacteria are bad. Of the trillions of species that exist, we now know less than 100 pose a threat to humans. Most are harmless and many are beneficial to our health. The ones that live in us and on us are absolutely essential.
Originally our gut microbiome forms before and during birth through a process called “seeding”, where we absorb bacteria from our mothers. After birth this biome continues to grow as we’re exposed to the outside world – siblings, dogs, nature, the ground, etc. You get the point.
Bacteria we come in contact with from the outside environment continues to add to our microbial biodiversity.
That’s why it’s critical to be exposed to the outside world and “dirty” things as a child – someone that grows up in a hermetically sealed, sterile environment never has a chance to develop the necessary microbiome they need, which can reduce immune system responses and lead to a host of other negative outcomes.
After the first few years of your life, these early microbial colonize stabilize in your gut biome into what is called the steady-state microbiome, resembling more or less what you have today.
What does the gut biome actually do?
Those trillions of beneficial bacteria we mentioned reside along your epithelial wall, and (partly by sheer strength in numbers) maintain your gut barrier integrity, making it difficult for inhospitable bacteria to penetrate. They help maintain an acidic environment to dissuade certain alkaline-loving pathogenic bacteria from taking root.
They support the secretion of intestinal mucus and collaborate closely with your gut’s ‘gatekeepers’ (tight junctions) to modulate what should (ie. nutrients) or shouldn’t (ie. undigested food particles or pathogenic bacteria) pass through to the body.
Gut bacteria also offer powerful anti-inflammatory effects beyond the gut, reducing oxidative stress (imbalance between free radicals and detoxifying antioxidants) and managing the production of regulatory T-cells (the ones that help your body distinguish between self and intruder).
Beyond this, bacteria also synthesize essential vitamins B and K and defend against E. coli and other intruders in the urogenital tract.
Scientists are constantly discovering new associations between our microbiome and our health. New findings around the gut-brain axis are emerging which indicate that our gut flora may even impact our mood, appetite, behavior, and circadian rhythm—functions we thought were relegated just to the brain.
So how can you maintain optimal gut health to support all these functions?
There are two main keys to this: avoiding antibiotic use unless it’s 100% necessary since they don’t discriminate against good and bad bacteria, and using live-strain probiotics to help strengthen the bacteria you already have. For the sake of this article we’ll focus on the latter.
The official definition of ‘probiotics’, authored by a 2002 UN/WHO expert panel (chaired by our Chief Scientist, Dr. Gregor Reid), says: Live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.
This refers to strains of beneficial bacteria that must be alive when they are consumed. ‘Live’ is a critical word here, which means they have to survive throughout manufacturing, transportation (sometimes in hot conditions), and sitting on the shelf—until they reach your mouth.
Now as you may know, a lot of fermented foods like kimchi and kombucha contain live bacteria, which is great. The distinction is that they are not necessarily reliable sources of beneficial, effective, and live bacteria in adequate amounts. Adequate being the key word there.
And that’s why probiotic supplements are so vital: they provide exact measures of specific bacteria strains that are tailored towards human health. The problem is that not all supplements are made the same.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categorizes one class of probiotics as ‘live microbial dietary supplements’. While there are detailed laws and regulations for dietary supplements, the supplement market is under-enforced. As such, the term ‘probiotic’ has been used for marketing and enticement purposes, and much of the science has been lost in translation, or even ignored.
In short, the vast majority of supplements out there labeled “probiotic” at best have very little effect and at worst could actually be harmful.
Seem overwhelming? We get it.
But lucky for you, our team at Biohacker Blueprint is full of nerds who love spending hours digging through research to find the best supplements out there, ones that are backed up by real science. And that’s exactly what you’ll find below.
No Refrigeration Required
Rhonda Patrick Favorite
Ships 100% Live
Low Daily Price
Refrigerated & Live
The Top 3 Best Probiotic Supplements of 2022
- Great brand reputation
- Recommended by Dr. Rhonda Patrick
- Ships completely refrigerated and guaranteed live
- 112.5 billion bacteria in 8 strains per capsule
- 75 proven human clinical trials
- Non-GMO, gluten-free, cornstarch-free, lactose-free
- Made in the USA
Serving Size: 2 Capsules
Price Per Day: $2.16
If you’ve been a fan of the biohacking world for a while then you’ve likely come across Dr. Rhonda Patrick. She specializes in longevity and nutritional science and has appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast numerous times, as well as the Tim Ferriss show and many others.
One of the things that makes Rhonda so interesting is her gift for translating complex scientific topics into actionable insights – which she’s done numerous times when discussing probiotics. We tend to take Rhonda’s recommendations for supplements seriously in general (more on all of her recommended supplements here), but especially when it comes to this.
Without a doubt one of her most highly-recommended supplements is Visbiome.
Visbiome is a cold-shipped live probiotic containing 8 strains of live bacteria in concentrations of 450 billion bacteria per packet or 112.5 billion per capsule.
Technically classified as a “medical food”, Visbiome has been shown through over 75 human clinical trials to greatly assist with irritable bowel system and overall gut biome health.
Stored and shipped in 100% recyclable cooler boxes, Visbiome’s bacteria strains remain cold throughout their processing life-cycle which ensures they’re completely active when they hit your system.
Rhonda has stated that she personally takes Visbiome satchets once every week or two to “top up” her healthy gut bacteria. However, she also lives an incredibly health lifestyle and likely consumes a number of other probiotics foods as well, so a more frequent dose would likely be beneficial for most people.
We here at Biohacker Breakdown typically take one serving of Visbiome with our daily protein and greens shake 3-4 times per week
- 50+ quality assurance tests
- ViaCap technology ensures bacteria survive with no refrigeration
- Sustainably delivered monthly
- 53.6 billion bacteria in 24 strains
- Free shipping
Serving Size: 2 Capsules
Price Per Day: $1.63
A very close runner-up on our list of preferred probiotics is a relative newcomer to the market, accurately named Seed.
Seed’s proprietary formulation contains 24 clinically and scientifically studied, broad-spectrum strains of bacteria to support systemic health – in reported concentrations of 53.6 billion per serving.
One interesting thing to note about Seed is that it does not ship cold or have to be refrigerated, which typically would be a deal breaker for us as refrigeration is typically key to making sure the bacteria is live and active.
However, Seed get’s around the refrigeration requirement and still maintains live bacteria through their patented ViaCap double capsule system, containing a prebiotic outer capsule and a probiotic inner capsule. This system not only ensures the bacteria stays alive and stable for up to 18 months, but also helps it to stay alive through digestion.
Their production process optimizes the biofermentation for pH, temperature, and 28 other growth factors which are then tested with 50+ quality assurance checkpoints.
Overall, Seed is a great probiotic product. While it’s not quite as potent as Visbiome, the lack of refrigeration required makes it much more convenient if you’re traveling or otherwise don’t have access to cold storage.
#3. VSL #3
- Ships refrigerated and live
- High potency formula with 112.5 billion bacteria per capsule
- Gluten-free and dairy-free
- Highly recommended by physicians
Serving Size: 2 Capsules
Price Per Day: $2.56
Last but not least on our list is actually the precursor to Visbiome which is commonly known as VSL#3.
Also a former Rhonda Patrick choice before switching to the more potent Visbiome, VSL #3 offers most of the same benefits and is a great alternative if Visbiome is for some reason unavailable.
The blend contains 8 strains of bacteria in concentrations of 112.5 billion per serving. It’s also gluten-free and dairy-free and provides great gut biome support with no gas or bloating.
Like Visbiome, VSL #3 is highly recommended by physicians for treatment of IBS but is also extremely effective for regular users who simply wish to improve their overall gut health.
 BOTTLED FLOW-STATE – The Top 3 Best Nootropic Supplements And Our Guide To Using Them
Probably no other type of supplement elicits as much interest (or argument) from the biohacker community as nootropics. These compounds are meant to boost your brain’s cognitive function, increasing memory, focus, energy, and drive – similar to the effects of Adderall or Vyvanse but without the prescription.
The problem? Most of the nootropics on the market today are little more than caffeine pills masked with flashy marketing. Lucky for you we’ve compiled our top 3 favorite over-the-counter nootropic supplements here, along with our guide to using them effectively.
ANDREW HUBERMAN TESTOSTERONE BOOSTING SUPPLEMENTS – Updated March 2022 – Plus Bonus Tips From Tim Ferriss
Most of the testosterone boosting supplements on the market are bullshit. There. We said it. At best they have a barely-measurable effect and at worst they do nothing or could even be harmful. But fortunately there’s hope for those of us who aren’t quite ready to stick a needle in our ass just yet.
Stanford neurobiologist Andrew Huberman recently appeared on JRE and other podcasts where he discussed supplements that have a clinically proven effect on testosterone. On top of that, we’ve also included a few bonus tricks from Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Body chapter on testosterone boosting. Enjoy.
JOE ROGAN FULL SUPPLEMENT LIST – Updated February 2022 – Full Breakdown Of What He Takes & Why
Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that Joe Rogan never shy’s away from self-experimentation with the goal of optimizing his performance. Whether he’s spending 20 minutes in a 200 degree sauna, taking nootropics for a brain boost, or using the latest piece of training gear, there always seems to be something we can learn from him.
Get the full comprehensive list of what supplements and gear he uses for health and longevity here.
THE PSO-RITE REVIEW – A Game Changing Tool For Mobility and Muscle-Release
We were skeptical about the Pso-Rite to begin with, we’ll admit it. But when you keep hearing rave reviews from the likes of Joe Rogan, UFC fighters, NFL athletes, and other high-performing individuals, it’s hard to ignore. And needless to say we weren’t disappointed when we finally tried the tool for ourselves.
Designed in the shape of a therapists hands with the hardness of an elbow, the Pso-Rite allows you to easily massage and release your psoas complex (hip flexors) along with a number of other key muscle groups – leading to better mobility, less chronic pain, better circulation, and a host of other benefits.
 EVERLYWELL FOOD SENSITIVITY TEST REVIEW – The Top Food Sensitivity Testing Service For 2022, And Our Guide To Which Package Is Right For You
Ever eat a meal and get a headache afterwards out of nowhere? Or maybe it makes your brain feel slow, or gives you an upset stomach, and you have no idea why? Food sensitivity could be to blame. These sensitivities aren’t quite allergies in the sense that they’re dangerous, but their mild symptoms can absolutely affect your performance. And if you have no idea what’s causing them there’s no way to stop it.
The only way to really identify the culprit and avoid any future issues is with food sensitivity blood tests. These tests measure your body’s immune response to a wide variety of food and give you actionable information to better improve your health overall.
We’ve compiled a guide to our favorite testing service for 2022 here.
DNA SEQUENCING GUIDE – Our Review Of 23andMe + How To Use Rhonda Patrick’s Analysis Tool For The Best Genetic Health Reports Available
In the past five years the price of getting a full genetic sequence test has gotten so low that it’s benefits are now open to anyone. These DNA tests give you key insights into your health – factors like muscle composition, genetic age, weight loss traits, and specific genetic health risks that can show trends for certain diseases.
At the very least these tests give you a better sense of how your body reacts to diet and exercise, and at best they can quite literally save your life by showing you potential health risks from genetic variants.
We’ve compiled a guide to using one of the most popular testing services here, as well as tips for how to pair it with Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s proprietary analysis report tool.
 BEST EXOGENOUS KETONES – The Top 3 Best Ketone Supplements And Our Guide To Using Them
Supplementing with exogenous ketones allows you to take advantage of many of the benefits of the ketogenic diet – increased energy and mental clarity, improved weight loss, reduced hunger – without actually having to stay low carb.
The only problem was that up until a couple years ago the only supplements that you could find (if you could get your hands on any) tasted like straight up gasoline. It was hard not to gag getting them down. Fortunately there have been some great recent developments and nowadays there are a few supplements on the market that taste decent while still giving you the same great benefits. We’ve compiled our three favorite options here.
 VERMA FARMS CBD REVIEW – Our #1 CBD Supplement Source
Chances are you’re probably already familiar with (at least some of) the benefits of CBD. This hemp-derived molecule is non-psychoactive (doesn’t get you high) and non-addictive, but offers real, scientifically proven health benefits including anxiety reduction, improvements in sleep quality, reduction of inflammation and joint pain, muscle recovery, and much more.
The problem? Not all CBD supplements are created equal. We’ve been searching for a reputable supplier for some time and finally came across Verma Farms, which quickly became our #1 favorite. Read on to learn why.
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