I recommend few probiotic supplements for people to use to help fix their gut, and Smidge is one that I recommend. For example, I am one of the few dissenting opinions regarding recommending HSO “probiotic” supplements. I do not recommend HSO “probiotic” supplements because of a lack of efficacy and safety studies. I stopped recommending many different Bifido and Lacto-containing probiotic supplements because some contained strains that either produced too much D-lactate or too much histamine, which can cause many people issues. Is every probiotic supplement perfect for everyone? Sadly, no. Some people can still have side effects when taking Smidge, just like anyone can have issues with any probiotic supplement. For most people, though, Smidge can be beneficial, and I recommend it.

Why I Recommend Smidge

One of the leading probiotic supplements I have had success recommending is Smidge. The bacterial strains in Smidge do not produce histamine, and most of the strains do not produce large amounts of D-lactate. It is safe for most people that have those issues to take and hopefully gain the digestive benefits of taking a high quality probiotic supplement. Smidge powder is free of common allergens, including milk, casein, fish, shellfish, eggs, gluten, tree nuts, peanuts, corn, gluten, yeast, and soy. Smidge also tests each batch of probiotics for potency, strain integrity, and contamination. Smidge is also free of any prebiotics, which may cause negative digestive symptoms. Depending on the prebiotic, they may feed overgrowth, worsening symptoms.

Smidge’s probiotics are freeze-dried and technically shelf-stable when kept at room temperature. However, Smidge states that the strains in Smidge will start to lose potency at temperatures greater than 95F. They offer dry ice shipping and cold packs for an additional cost. I recommend that if you live in an area with temperatures above 70F to use the dry ice shipping service to maintain that your probiotic supplement remains cold throughout transportation for maximum potency. I would also store the Smidge Powder in the refrigerator when you receive it. They also offer measuring spoons at an additional cost which I recommend to achieve proper doses. Finally, Smidge is produced in the United States and is manufactured and shipped in a GMP-compliant facility with filtered air systems and temperature control to maintain the potency of their supplements.

Health Concerns that Smidge May Improve

Breakdown of Individual Strains in Smidge

Bifidobacteria bifidum – A strain of Bifidobacteria that is usually found in the colonic and vaginal flora of humans. The probiotic has been shown to help maintain healthy flora, bolster the immune system, and help digest carbohydrates. Recent studies have shown that bifidum may relieve allergies by decreasing Th2 immune reactions and may help suppress allergic reactions by restoring proper immune regulation.1 2 3

Bifidobacteria breve – A strain of Bifidobacteria found in the colonic and vaginal flora of humans. Cases of people with IBS have been shown to have a shortage of this important probiotic. In breastfed infants, breve has been shown to make up a majority of their gut bacteria. Breve ferments oligosaccharides in the digestive tract and also helps produce L-lactate.4 5 6

Bifidobacteria infantis – A strain of Bifidobacteria that is found in both infant and adult human colonic flora. Infantis helps produce acids that impede the colonization of opportunistic bacteria by lowering colonic pH. Studies have shown it to be beneficial in eliminating symptoms associated with IBS.7 8 9

Bifidobacteria longum– A strain of Bifidobacteria that is found as flora in the large intestine. Bifidobacteria longum is also known to be one of the first colonizing probiotics in newborns. Bifidobacteria longum is important to the metabolism, fermentation, and digestion of some carbohydrates in the intestinal tract, including oligosaccharides. Bifidobacteria longum can break down and ferment amino acids. The probiotic strain can also metabolize bile salts and bile acids so that they can be deposited in the stool and others reabsorbed properly during enterohepatic circulation, improving liver function, fat digestibility, and detoxification.

Bifidobacteria longum has been shown in studies to improve lactose intolerance, prevent diarrhea, alleviate some food allergies, and help fight colonization of opportunistic bacteria in the colon. Finally, Bifidobacteria longum has been shown in studies to help scavenge free radicals in the gastrointestinal system and help prevent colorectal cancer.10 11 12 13 14 15

Lactobacillus gasseri – A strain of Lactobacilli that is found in the upper gut and vaginal flora. It seems to help with weight maintenance, maintaining a healthy microbiome, and competes with H. pylori to reduce its colonization.16 17

Lactobacillus plantarum – A strain of Lactobacilli that is found in the human small and large intestine. It is used in the production of sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, and sourdough bread. Plantarum is an excellent probiotic that has been shown to help eliminate the symptoms associated with IBS. It can reform the gastrointestinal mucus barrier and inhibits opportunistic bacteria by making bactericidal peptides. It can produce D-lactate, which may cause issues in people who have poor D-lactate metabolism. Lactobacillus plantarum also prevents allergies, especially to soybeans. Finally, Lactobacillus plantarum stimulates the immune system by producing the amino acid L-lysine in the intestine.18 19

Lactobacillus salivarius – A strain of Lactobacilli that is typically found in the oral cavity and upper gut of humans. It can also be found in the human intestinal system. Salivarius keeps opportunistic bacteria in the oral cavity in check so that dental caries will not occur.20

Smidge Conclusion

I do recommend probiotic supplements for some people to improve their digestive health, although the jury is still out on their efficacy and if they implant. Studies of people taking probiotic supplements show that CFU (colony-forming unit) amounts of probiotics cultured in their stool return to normal a few weeks after supplementation. These results indicate that taking probiotic supplements may not cause them to implant into the digestive tract’s mucosal layer and increase the overall amounts of probiotic bacteria in our microbiome. The ingestion of probiotics may only modulate the immune system and, in doing so, may benefit people greatly depending on the strain. For others, however, it may cause different immune reactions worsening their symptoms. In people with severe Th1 / Th2 dominance, it is hard for me to recommend Smidge or any probiotic supplement for that matter.

Also, individuals with severe D-lactate metabolism issues may not be able to tolerate Smidge. The bacterial strain Lactobacillus plantarum that is used in Smidge produces D-lactate, but most produce L-lactate which may balance lactate concentrations in the digestive tract reducing issues. Some people with D-lactate issues can tolerate Smidge, while others may not; it is worth a shot to see if it improves your digestive health.

I recommend trying Smidge Infant if you are having severe digestive issues or severe D-lactate issues. It might be better tolerated with half of the probiotic being comprised of Bifidobacteria infantis (a well-tolerated strain), and the removal of L. plantarum which can produce some D-lactate during plateau phases of the growth cycle. 21

People with severe immune compromisation should use any probiotic supplement, including Smidge, with caution because it may cause sepsis. Even though Lactobacillus is considered a probiotic genus, infections of the probiotic have been noted. These “infections” may not occur from colonization but rather from increased Th1 or Th2 reactions, which worsen symptoms through increased cytokine production by the immune system. 22

Start with small doses when taking probiotic supplements at first to see how you react to them. Increase the dosage if need be and if you can tolerate it well to see if your digestive health further improves. The best time to take the probiotic supplement is to wake on an empty stomach with a glass of filtered water in the morning. I suggest waiting at least one hour afterward to eat breakfast so that the probiotics will hopefully survive passage through the stomach without contending with a lowered stomach pH during eating for increased chances of survival.

Smidge has been forthcoming in information about the integrity of the probiotic supplement, and I respect that. They test each batch for its integrity and provide means of keeping the probiotic supplement cold and fresh from the time of manufacturing to delivery. Even though I have minor caveats with Smidge, my caveats could be applied to most if not all probiotic supplements. If you are going to take a probiotic supplement, you need to take one that can be trusted and has the right strains necessary to help your digestive health recover. That is why I recommend Smidge and have recommended it to some clients that I have coached with great results.

Get a bottle of Smidge today!


Other Smidge Probiotic Supplement Recommendations:

  1. http://gut.bmj.com/content/51/1/51.abstract
  2. Black, Jacquelyn. Microbiology: Principles and Explorations, Wiley, May 1, 2012.
  3. Perlmutter, David, Brain Maker, Little, Brown and Company, 2015.
  4. Black, Jacquelyn. Microbiology: Principles and Explorations, Wiley, May 1, 2012.
  5. Perlmutter, David, Brain Maker, Little, Brown and Company, 2015.
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4686345/
  7. Black, Jacquelyn. Microbiology: Principles and Explorations, Wiley, May 1, 2012.
  8. Perlmutter, David, Brain Maker, Little, Brown and Company, 2015.
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4350908/
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12381787
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16549425
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10831430
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11007114
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1406371
  15. Perlmutter, David, Brain Maker, Little, Brown and Company, 2015.
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3504346/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3295086/
  18. Perlmutter, David, Brain Maker, Little, Brown and Company, 2015.
  19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11711768
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20441548
  21. http://hkjpaed.org/pdf/2006%3B11%3B246-254.pdf
  22. http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/38/1/62.full