‘PRObiotics’ in cereals: why it’s just a gimmick

Clinic Icon

By The Gut Health Doctor Team

Dr Megan Rossi in a lab looking through a microscope

“Why aren’t there probiotics in Bio&Me granola if it’s ‘good for your gut*”

Here’s why

Despite some cereal products coming out saying they contain ‘PRObiotics’ (live cultures) sadly there are a few reasons why this is a total gimmick. It’s pretty infuriating seeing such misleading claims!

  • In Europe, EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has actually banned the use of the word ‘probiotics’ on food products to prevent companies using unapproved health claims and misleading the public.
  • Probiotic strains are very specific, as each strain does different things. Having a random probiotic in a cereal simply hasn’t been shown to help when looking at gut health benefits, even if it does ‘survive’ the acidic stomach.
  • The money spent on putting these ‘probiotics’ into cereal products will usually mean compromising on quality for the rest of the ingredients, so they can still get the lower price point.
  • To help the bacteria survive in an ‘artificial’ environment like cereal they often need to add in other things such as saturated fat, added sugars and food additive emulsifiers…. which somewhat contradicts the gut health goal.

That’s not to say these, or any foods, are ‘bad’ (no labels here!) – but please don’t eat them thinking they’re doing wonders for your gut health.

Instead of the fads, I’m packing Bio&Me with 15 different plant-based ingredients, focussing on the goodness of a wide range of fibres and PREbiotics* (food that feeds our beneficial gut microbes) that your guts – and tastebuds – will love.

*Bio&Me contains chicory inulin which contributes to normal bowel function by increasing stool frequency. Essentially, it helps you poop more regularly.


Related articles

The Gut Health newsletter shown on an iPad

Sign up for our free newsletter & gut health guide

Not sure where to start on your gut health transformation? Sign up for free and we’ll empower you every month with the latest educational blogs, gut-loving recipes, research updates and helpful resources delivered straight to your inbox. You’ll also receive a downloadable guide with an intro to gut science, practical advice and exclusive recipes. Lots of support and no spam.