Primal Defense-An example of why I am suspicious of probiotics.

For those who have read what I have previously written about probiotics, you’ll know that I am cautiously optimistic about their potential usefulness as a medical therapy, despite the tendency towards overstating the results of the limited clinical trials so far done in veterinary species. The theoretical principle, that administering living organisms orally can have beneficial effects on the GI tract and, potentially, systemically, is certainly reasonable. And there is clinical evidence supporting benefit in humans for some causes of diarrhea and other GI tract disease. The literature concerning veterinary use is very limited and preliminary, with both possible risks and benefits reported but no clear, indisputable evidence for clinical benefit. Still, I certainly think additional research is warranted, and I do sometimes use some probiotic products in my own patients for antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

However, I have a number of concerns about probiotics. Little is known and less understood about the composition and function of the normal GI flora, and what role, if any, organisms not normally found in the gut can have when given therapeutically is unclear. Independent testing of many probiotic  products has also identified serious quality control problems, so it is currently impossible to trust that what you think you are getting is really in many of the commercial probiotics. However, my biggest concern about probiotics is that their widespread acceptance and use goes well beyond what is justified by the available evidence, and this can easily lead to direct harm and even more easily to the kind of indirect harm that comes from substituting unproven remedies for well-demonstrated ones. Exaggerated claims and unscientific, deceptive marketing practices are common in the promotion of such products, and this raises the chances of their doing more harm than good.  The assumption of safety and efficacy that is often made about CAM products has certainly proven, in the case of some such products, to be unfounded, with real harm resulting.

One of the most egregious examples of this is a product which I recently looked into after hearing a number of my clients talking about using it in their pets. Primal Defense is marketed by Garden of Life, and the marketing materials are a laundry list of exaggerated and unsupported claims. Some examples:

“Healthy people usually have a ratio of approximately 85% good to 15% potentially harmful organisms in the intestinal tract. In some cases, even those who appear to be well might have an unfavorable ratio as a result of daily exposure to environmental toxins and a modern lifestyle. “

Here we have the usual vague “toxin” gambit, suggesting that normal life is full of poisons that we need their product to protect us from.

” Large scale use of pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals has changed the bacterial balance of the soil. In order to obtain the benefits we historically acquired from consuming foods cultivated in healthy soil, Garden of Life developed a Homeostatic Soil Organism Probiotic Blend utilizing 12 species of beneficial microorganisms.” 

The idea that modern agricultural practices can affect soil ecology is pretty obvious. The suggestion that this somehow creates deficiencies in nutrients or human/pet gut ecologies that we need this product to correct is totally manufactured and unsubstantiated in any way.

The very use of the term “Homeostatic” is a bit of pseudoscience marketing, since this term has no recognized meaning with regard to probiotics and was apparently made up just for the purpose of making this product sound “sciency.”

The story, however, gets a lot scarier. The marketing of this product involves a great deal of outright lying and deception. The founder of Garden of Life, Jordan Rubin, was fined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for false advertising in connection with Primal Defense and other product in 2006. This including fabricating claims about clinical research studies to support his product claims. He was also ordered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to desist from making false and unsubstantiated health claims in 2004. Mr. Rubin has also claimed to have several academic credentials, including a NMD (naturopathic medical doctor) and PhD. Both degrees, and other credentials he has claimed, come from unaccredited correspondence schools, one of which was actually ordered to close by the state of Hawaii in 2003 for fraudulent practices.

Marketers of Primal Defense frequently state that there is clinical evidence to support their claims for the product. However, no real clinical trials seem to have been published in any recognized scientific journals. For example, claims are made on a number of websites regarding a clinical trial of Primal Defense supposedly published in the journal Progress in Nutrition (Goldberg, P.A. “Primal Defense Homeostatic Soil Organisms As Applied To Medically Unresponsive Chronic Disease Conditions In Adults” Progress In Nutrition Supplement Volume 4 January 2002). The journal is not listed on PubMed, Science Citation Index Expanded, or any other resources listing legitimate scientific journals. The accusation has been made that it is a fake journal funded by Garden of Life, but I cannot confirm this. In any case, it is clearly not a legitimate peer-reviewed scientific publication, and the author is a chiropractor who seems to publish predominantly in chiropractic journals and newsletters, not real science journals.

A bit more investigation into Mr. Rubin explains pretty clearly his lack of respect for legitimate scientific research or academic credentials. He is the paragon of faith-based medicine whose books, including The Maker’s Diet and Patient Heal Thyself, detail his belief that his own GI disease was cured through a combination of prayer and changes in diet based on “biblical principles.” As he puts it:

“My father had just gotten through telling me he had spoken to an eccentric nutritionist on the phone. My father didn’t want me to get my hopes up so he had investigated the man’s program himself. The nutritionist told my father he believed I was ill because I was not eating the diet of my ancestors, based upon Biblical principles.

When my father told me about all of this, naturally, I was curious…It fit into my belief system. In an effort to start all over, I took myself off all nutritional products and read the Bible to see what people ate thousands of years ago. I also learned that the longest living cultures in the world had one thing in common: they consumed living foods that abounded with beneficial microorganisms.

A few weeks later, I got on a plane, still bound to my wheelchair, and headed for southern California to live closer to the man who would teach me how to eat from the Bible. After integrating into that particular nutritionist’s program some of my own findings about nutrition and health from the Bible I saw some improvement…During my forty days and nights of parking my motor home close to the beach, I prayed, listened to music and planned everything around buying, preparing and eating my food…The combination of the Biblical diet and the HSOs had restored my health.”

The use of science to try and justify Mr. Rubin’s unscientific nutritional theories are pure marketing, taking advantage of the respectability that real science has earned through the results it produces. His approach is ultimately based, as so much CAM is, on personal revelation, and supported primarily through anecdote and testimonial. His books, his Garden of Life company, his Biblical Health Institute, and all the other pieces to his lucrative nutrition business are paradigms of snake oil marketing.  

Such a marketing approach can turn a potentially legitimate, if not yet ready for primetime, therapy like probiotics into pure quackery. If you can’t trust Mr. Rubin’s claims about his own credentials or the research evidence behind his products, why should you have any faith in his products themselves, even if they claim to be something potentially useful like probiotics? CAM marketers like to attack the honesty and ethics of mainstream medical product manufacturers, such as pharmaceutical companies and commercial pet food makers. And all too often, there are real reasons to be skeptical of these industries. But for all that, they have an established, public record of legitimate science behind many of their products, often thanks to vigorous government regulation requiring it. Companies like Garden of Life illustrate why the unregulated supplement industry (aka Big CAM) is not only not entitled to the assumption of better ethics that they often receive, but it quite likely gets away with even more ethically questionable practices than the mainstream medical and diet industries, which are at least better supervised and regulated. I do not often feel justified in prescribing probiotics, but when I do I certainly have no intention of using a product such as Primal Defense marketed by a man who not only bases clearly unscientific advice and products on personal divine revelation but who seems to have no discomfort promoting his ideas and products with obvious and egregious deceit.

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94 Responses to Primal Defense-An example of why I am suspicious of probiotics.

  1. v.t. says:

    Unfortunately, the big pet food manufacturers got on the “natural” wagon a few years ago and are now on the pre- and probiotic use in pet foods, marketing now. I don’t know they are basing on sound science at this point or not, my guess is marketing strategy to keep up with the common “fads” just to appeal pet owners. (and to somehow make up for it from having raised their prices to almost non-affordable for most conscientious pet owners).

    A slow trend with the big ones, but a following trend all the same. I hate to see it because following the leads of others puts their reputations at risk.

  2. Pingback: Evaluating Medical Advice and Credentials on the Internet « The SkeptVet Blog

  3. Matthew says:

    All I have read here is nothing but hateful, & jealous. Jordan Rubin Cares about the people unlike our government who supports toxic pharmaceutical drugs over natural god given remedies. To all you non-believers shut your mout your day will Come, & to all who share an open mind listen up. ” God gathered dust of the earth & made man, Then breathed life into mans nostrils.” If We were made of dust then doesn’t it stand to reason that the things in the soil & vital to our health. Vitamins,Minerals, & soil organisms are essential As I can vouch that nothing has worked for my “crohns” better than primal defense from garden of life. People who have nothing good to say should keep their mouth shut, if garden of life & its products were bad for you we would know & time will tell if so. this country is greedily pathetic in relying on pharmaceutical drugs

  4. steve adefa says:

    Primal Defense is awesome. I have used it for many years. I have not had a cold or flu in at least 15 years. I have used Primal Defense on my cats and it corrected problems in their stools. I have several friends who have used it to restore health to their gut with great results. I have no connection with Mr Rubin and am quite baffled by the naysayers. Garden of Life is a great line of products. Do your own research and talk to people who have used these products over the long haul.

  5. skeptvet says:

    Similar anecdotes exist for every medical therapy or prodcut ever invented. Either they all work or anecdotes are meaningless. Do a little reserach on the history of medicine and science, and the answer will be pretty obvious.

  6. Megan says:

    It sounds like you have more of a problem with Jordin than with the actual product. You are doing your very best to discredit this man and his company and you don’t even know him, that’s pretty shameful.  Of course the FDA would have a problem, with him, their interest lies in keeping the American public sick and dependent on pharmaceutical drugs therefore making them richer, and making us sicker. I don’t trust anything the FDA says, nor you for that matter. Medicine has its place, yes it saves lives however, when it comes to curing health issues, that cannot be done with a drug! Probiotics offer an array of benefits If you get a good quality brand. Also to add, there are most certainly companies out there marketing natural medicines that dont it do what they claim, and also the ingredients are questionable as to wether what is really in that pill is truly what the label states, however Jordin R is not one of them! I trust his products, the man has ethics and at least I know what the label says is what’s in the product. Articles like this do more harm than good!!!

  7. skeptvet says:

    The personal discussion about him is merely to show that the foundation of his ideas is not in any way scientific. He might very well be a saint as a person, but his ideas to translate into good medicine.

    As for the conspiracy theory nonsense about the FDA, that’s pure BS. You can place your personal faith in one person and imagine the entire FDA is corrupt and out to get you if you want, but it is a ridiculous and irrational way to decide what medicine to take. Science works better.

  8. Fay says:

    I use Primal Defense and it works. I initially read Jordan Rubin’s book, The Maker’s Diet, because my son was ill – to the point of death – with ulcerative colitis. He was 14 at the time, 5′ 5″ tall and down to 73 pounds. Four months into following the diet, he had gained back 17 pounds and also gained back his life which was certainly close to the grave. He had no color but gray in his skin from months of bleeding and could not sleep from pain. The drugs (prednisone & asacol) from the GI docs did nothing but waste precious time. My son ulitimately gained another 20 pounds in 2 more months and is alive today at 17….
    Primal Defense helped save his life along with REAL FOOD and prayer.
    Your article skeptvet, sounds angry and unwilling to look at science. Science is an open-ended field of study. Open-ended…..

  9. skeptvet says:

    Your article skeptvet, sounds angry and unwilling to look at science. Science is an open-ended field of study. Open-ended…..

    Actually, my article does look at the science, and your response simply cites your own experience and faith. All scientific knowledge is provisional and subject to change as the evidence changes. Faith, on the other hadn, is fixed and resistant to change, so there would be no point in my even suggesting that you reconsider your belief. The idfference, is that I don’t accuse you of being angry or willfully ignorant just because I disagree with you.

  10. Nic says:

    From the way you write, it seems you have never experienced an illness where “science” failed you, when doctors and all their dozens of prescription drugs did not work and it was a choice between searching for alternatives or giving up. There is always a need for science and medicine but there is also a need for more than what you’re calling “science”. Thank goodness we have people who think for themselves and look outside the box and products and companies like Garden of Life. One of the problems with this article, is that you are targeting one man/one company to try and prove your own opinion. Do you personally know this man or witnessed his life experiences and education? Have you physically been to the Garden of Life headquarters or plant? It seems you want everyone to know that your opinion is based on science which in your mind equals fact. It’s not. It is still just your opinion. There is way more to health than just science, thank God. Even if you had proven your point, how you responded to comments negates any good points you may have made. Very closed minded.

  11. skeptvet says:

    1. Of course I have experienced the failures and limitations of science-based medicine. These are frustrating, sometimes heartbreaking, but they don’t justify simply making stuff up and believing what we want to believe regardless of evidence. Randomly trying things out of desperation is not wise or open-minded, it’s simply desperate, however understandable the desperation may be.

    2. It makes no difference how nice, smart, or well-intentioned the founder of the organization is. If his claims are not supported by good evidence and if he is actively selling a product based on unscientific nonsense, that is wrong regardless of his intentions. My argument is not with a person but with a set of ideas and behaviors that aren’t in the best interests of sick pets.

  12. Stephanie says:

    I have severe Crohn’s disease and in desperation, tried Jordan Rubin’s Garden of Life Primal Defense. It’s the one thing I DIDN’T research. Boy, do I wish I did. I cannot say that it made me get worse. I can say that I DID get worse after using it. Can I say that this product MADE me get a fistula or made me get surgery? No. Can I say that all that happened shortly after using Primal Defense? Oh, yes I can. SkepVet, I respect you and what you are doing. You really should ignore these foolish people with their bad grammar and an obvious (and suspect) bias. You are clearly an intelligent person and that is obvious to any other intelligent person who reads what you write.

  13. skeptvet says:

    Thanks for the support. I’m sorry that you had to experience this, and I respect you’re sharing your experience.

  14. Meg says:

    It’s obvious you are an atheist so naturally, you are going to have some ill words for those who believe in God. Just because science is the more “logic” way, it doesn’t mean faith doesn’t work. Science told me there’s no cure for autism. Guess what? Having faith in God and this product healed my 4 yr old son!! AND here’s the real shocker. Reading your article was the defining moment in my decision to purchase Primal Defense! Tell Stephanie she’s right. You are doing a great job here…for after reading your opinion, everyone can see your issue is within yourself. Have you tried the product?

  15. skeptvet says:

    The issue isn’t whether God is real or fixes things for us, it’s whether we can simply trust anything anyone claims if they base their claims on faith. the problem with faith as evidence is that you have to either believe everything anyone says or decide whose faith to trust and whose not to. Science, at least, provides the kind of evidence everyone can see and evaluate for themselves.

  16. v.t. says:

    Meg, skeptvet’s blog is science-based-medicine, evidence-based-medicine. There is not one post on this blog addressing his religious preferences or affinity. Leaving faith and god out, can you try to focus on evidence?

    Btw, it might interest you to know that even atheists are vulnerable to quackery.

  17. Cathy says:

    Skeptvet thanks for doing the footwork and gathering information on Jordan Rubin. I think these people that are being cruel on here are just speaking based on their emotions. Quite a few of them have had results from taking primal defense and some have had even life changing results.
    I have suffered from chronic yeast infections my whole life and chronic constipation no matter what type diet I try and Primal Defense has helped. I was on a round of steroids and antibiotics for bronchitis and sinusitis (I have had sinus surgery 4x) and have taken so many courses throughout my 39 years. When I purchased Primal Defense I had a bad yeast infection and was tired of taking Diflucan. I was also having stomach problems which have also been slightly relieved since starting primal defense. I say slightly because it has literally been a week and a half since I started taking it. I am not an advocate for Primal Defense at all. I just know I have taken other probiotics and have not seen the results I have seen with this product.
    Will I keep researching and trying to find other probiotics to help my yeast problem? Most likely! Especially from reading what you wrote I really am going to research him and his product. will I continue buying Primal Defense? Seriously if it keeps working like it is for me I most likely will, as long as it is safe and I see results within my life. I guess I am up in the air about it and I also appreciate that there are people like you out there willing share what they find so that people like me can take the results I have taking the product, the stuff that you write and others write and make my decisions based on that. I also say to all the mean people attacking you out there that if they don’t like what you wrote go and try to prove you wrong! Until then stop writing mean and hateful stuff!

  18. Chron's Mom says:

    Try VSL#3 it has clinical trials and is one of the number one recommended probiotics by doctors.

  19. webber29 says:

    wow! I refuse to go through my whole story here or any other public arena but Primal Defense saved my life when doctors did NOTHING to help me. Because of the price I stopped the Primal Defense and tried a million other cheaper probiotics, nothing worked, I starting getting worse again. For about 1 1/2 years I went through much hell with my intestines, I bit the bullet and went back on Primal Defense. After 2 wseeks I am close to being normal again. This happened 2 weeks ago, so it’s fresh and I know what has helped me, a ton. I made sure not to take anything else, so I could see the benefit. I will never stop taking Primal Defense again. As far as scientific evidence, lol not all science tells the truth, at least it doesn’t tell everything. Testing on healthy people will show you nothing. Testing on people who are about to give up because they are so bad is what will give you more answers, correct ones. Unless you go through something horrible, as I have, you will never understand the benefits. One last thing, just because the governement investitgated something and charged someone, doesn’t mean they are right. They have been trying to get rid of alternative medicine for many years because it is a threat to their precious, money making drugs that can do more harm then good. Your article is biased. Talk to people who have used this stuff and stop relying on ‘scientific evidence’, science lies more then people do.

  20. v.t. says:

    webber29, the big pharma conspiracy hype is really getting old.

    Testimonials are not evidence. I’m sure you’d love it if big pharma relied only on testimonials to develop and market their products. I’m sure big FDA would love that as well.

    Big Alternative is alive and well, rest assured, and no one is trying to “get rid of alternative medicine” in the way you think – the problem is that when alternative is found to be useful in terms of safety and efficacy – via scientific method – it ceases to be alternative and becomes, that’s right….medicine. So far, Big Alternative hasn’t done much of anything to prove without a doubt, that it is useful beyond anecdotes, hype and marketing gimmicks – I would hope you would welcome progress in medicine, that which is beyond the quackery of old which is simply being reinvented by quacks.

  21. Tony Smith says:

    The problem I have with this article – it claims that there’s no scientific proof that the products help. Fine. But he also suggests – without evidence – that the products harm.

  22. skeptvet says:

    Where do I suggest that? I do claim that trusting a product for which there is no evidence of safety or efficacy is itself taking a risk, and that seems obvious. But I don’t discuss the specific risks of the product because I haven’t found any evidence on the subject. Your comments have consistently suggested that I am unfairly criticizing products which are sold as helfpul without evidence to support these claims. This seems clearly a product of your own biases, and it strikes me as strange that you find my critique objectionable but you say nothing about the company selling this stuff with active claims that it is safe and beneficial even when they provide to real evidence to support these claims, and appear not to care if there is any or not.

  23. webber29 says:

    Honestly, if you have not been on both sides of the fence you can not understand. I do not rely on scientific evidence, if I did, I would not be here. Whether you believe me or not does not matter to me. What does matter to me is, I am still here. Doctors did not help me, they can not, and in many cases, will not help with chronic illnesses. Synthetic drugs are not the answer, they mask symptoms, not improve on them. Not to mention the horrible side effects, even though they are approved by the FDA. Many times the FDA approves only based on the chemical companies testing alone, we can not trust big chemical companies today, nor do I trust the FDA to tell me what is safe and what is not. I do my own research and decide whether something is suited for me or not and I watch very closely for any changes. After spending many years doing medical research, I know enough so I may make good decisions. While under conventional medicine treatment, my health only declined, since I have taken my own health into my own hands, there has been a major improvement, and that is good enough for me. Have I eliminated doctors completely? Of course not, I have enough sense to know when I need one but also when I don’t, however, I still control my own health, which I feel is my right to do so. My doctor and I work together these days and he is very open about alternative supplements and knows this is my first choice. Whether they have been approved by the FDA or not. These days, our government has shown us, they do not always make the right choices for it’s citizens.

  24. skeptvet says:

    You are free to believe what you like, of course. Hopefully, you will seek a variety of sources information and be able to learn even from those who dont’ agree with you. And hopefully, you will be able to recognize that no one person can know everything or always be right.

    The problem with medicine based on faith, personal experience, or your own “research” (by which you likely mean reading books and web sites that present arguments which support the philosophy of health you already hold), is that it is an insular and self-referential mindset in which errors go undetected because you can’t step outside of your own point of view to see thm. That’s why we all need other people’s perspectives, and why truth is most reliable when it is uncovered by many people working from different angles. That’s how science works. The “try it and see what happens” approach has been used to support everytherapy ever tried. So either, everything works, or that’s not the best way to decide. Just something to consider

  25. Stephanie says:

    Thank goodness for Jordan Rubin’s book “The Makers Diet”. My son was 21 years old and down to 118 lbs. Couldn’t keep food down and would shake when he talked. He was a mess. Finally after years of problems they diagnosed him with Crohn’s and other digestive problems. They put him on a harsh steroid medicine that had awful side affects. This stabilized him after a few months but he was not getting better. A friend of a friend told us about the Makers Diet. We were very desperate, my son up to about 125 lbs still in a lot of pain and not doing well at all. He agreed to go on the diet. We followed it perfectly and could tell he was doing better. As the months went by he continued to get better and gain weight. During this period he also took the supplements Jordan Rubin recommended, including Primal Defense. By 6 months he had made great progress so we knew this was working. By 1 year he was back living a normal life. He takes the mildest does of medicine for Crohn’s and stays on the diet. His Dr. at Mayo clinic first snubbed us about the diet but now says to my son “as long as your blood work looks as good as it does I will allow you to self heal thru this diet”. My son doesn’t want the side affects of medicine used for Crohn’s (one being cancer after several years) so he has dedicated himself to the Maker’s Diet and supplements from Jordan Rubin. At this time the Dr. says his blood work looks better than his own. He still has Crohn’s but under control. He lives a normal life except for his strict diet and supplements. If my son gets over confident and goes off the diet for several days he gets sick immediately so we know for sure it is working for him……………………So to sum it up is what your saying ab0ve true and accurate, I have no idea. I only know that his program including the diet saved my sons life. We feel very blessed to have been introduced to his program. My son has been to many Crohn’s support groups to find a lot of ill and miserable people who are not on a natural diet and do not take supplements that help this disease. When he talks to them about it they are amazed. Maybe the government should do more testing on these diets and supplements so they can make the public feel more comfortable about them. Most people try these diets or supplements for a couple months and give up. It takes a year of strict dedication to actually heal the body. If you are ill and reading this just think about it.

  26. v.t. says:

    Stephanie, why do you think the government should have to test the claims of others? It’s not up to the government, it’s up to whomever is making claims.

  27. fluidtherapy says:


    Thanks for sharing yet another hackneyed, unsubstantiated, and ridiculous tale on the alleged miracles of unproven natural remedies — and faith — while, simultaneously dissing recognized treatment modalities and facts. It’s SOOOOOOO believable! Yet, according to the tale, your son allegedly STILL takes a medicine indicated for Crohn’s and, despite such, you STILL believe the diet has been the reason for his success! Right? It’s not the medicine, it’s the diet! Please forward your son’s entire medical record so that I may scrutinize such and review the facts. In the meantime, I’ll be avoiding all fluoridated water and microwaves until such information arrives.

    PS — the diet is not the secret you so infer

  28. Dan says:

    Well I can anecdotally attest to the fact that I am an IBS sufferer who read all these wonderful things about Primal Defense (sadly with the exception of this page). After only 5 days of taking those pills, I’m currently on day 6 of uncontrollable diarrhea and plan on going to my medical doctor tomorrow to get my stool tested for infectious bacteria. Not sure if it is god or science punishing me now but I honestly don’t care. I’m shocked the FDA allows such products on the market or at least without a pretty stringent warning. I should have looked deeper into Primal Defense before taking them.

  29. Dan – you are probably experiencing the healing crisis. you have to ease into the probiotics slowly and expect discomfort as your gut cleans itself out. I’ve been on PD for years and tried all types of other brands and none work like PD. you may also have fungal issues and the fungal defense *going slow* can help.

    everyone on this article especially the biased and misinformed author of this post should check out a boon by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride called Gut and Psychology Syndrome. her diet is similar to the Maker’s Diet in some ways and she has the proof that probiotic therapy works. her probiotics are Bio-Kult and now they are easier to get in the USA I am about to try them. note that the probiotics alone aren’t going to cure serious disease thus the inherent flaw in the studies.

    the standard American diet (SAD) is toxic and for many people with IBS or Crohns they have food intolerance and inflammed gut lining and resulting leaky gut syndrome. pets also ans unnatural kibble diets especially the horrendous grain based ones are killing our pets. putting them on a probiotic might help but its not going to work miracles if you don’t start feeding them a species appropriate diet and stop poisoning them with commercial foods.

    and the FDA has sold out to big pharma and Monsanto etc. look it up. see the revolving door and conflict of interest as their top agency employees go back and forth between the FDA (and other alphabet soup agencies) and then back to all the high oay and perks from their previous employers like Merck and Monsanto.

    start with some documentaries like Food Inc and Fresh and new ones coming out as well. its not a “conspiracy theory” but conspiracy fact.

    the FDA and USDA etc go after small farmers that threaten their lobbyists and former/future employer corporations’ bottom lines and their stock options. While small natural supplement companies and small farmers get harassed, sued, threatened and fined out of business.

    I am writing a book on natural cat rearing and another for dogs and I will have an entire chapter devoted to probiotics and another on gut healing diets ans therapies. they work but you won’t see studies on Pubmed because studies are expensive and there is no profit in it for these big corporations especially those that cash in on us being chronically ill (our pets too).

    Check Out thr GAPS Diet website and forums. meet the thousands of parents who have healed their children with asthma or autism or various psychiatric disorders. Call it anecdotal nonsense if you like but I trust my community of fellow parents and pet owners telling me what worked for them over some government agency who caters to special in interest and gives us excitotoxins like aspartame while banning natural alternatives like stevia (for years!).
    Dr. Russell Blaylock has a book on that too and all his research. he’s also a neurosurgeon.

    I recommend Primal Defense to everyone who asks and I require it for anyone adopting a pet from me. I make no money from the company and I only recommend products that work. having my diet changes help but not stop the excruciating gut cramping I suffer ans taking three PD Ultra capsules per day keeps that from happening. I am forever grateful I found this product and even as I try out the Bio Kult and Primal Diet I will stick with my GMO free Garden of Life supplements.


  30. skeptvet says:

    Such a tremendous ammount of made up information with no evidence provided to support it, just reference to the opinions of others, with some conspiracy theory thrown in. When science doesn’t work, I guess try propoganda and accusations of “bias” and “selling out to Big Pharma.” While everyone is entitled to an opinion, opinions without evidence needn’t be taken seriously.

  31. Diane says:

    Holy smoke, Dawn (Natural Texan). Just a few questions sprang to mind when I read your post…

    Where on earth are you getting your information that commercial food, especially food with grain in it, *kills* animals? If that’s true, how is it that my cat and dog are still alive? Why is it that you do not (I’m pretty sure) consider my dog’s and cat’s health evidence that your belief is incorrect, but you consider your cats’ health evidence that your belief IS correct? Why is it that when my cat gets kidney disease or hyperthyroidism or cancer, it will be due to his commercial diet and lack of Primal Defense, but when one of your cats gets one of those illnesses, it will be due to the FDA’s corruption and Monsanto’s control of the farming industry?

    “Alphabet soup agencies”??? Are you implying that agencies whose names can be abbreviated with letters are illegitimate? That you can’t be bothered to distinguish between agencies because the abbreviations sound similar? Are you implying that such agencies ARE indistinguishable from each other? What?

    Why would you insist that people feed an untested, unmonitored product to healthy cats because you believe the product has helped you with human gastrointestinal disease????

    What qualifies you to write books on health care for cats and dogs?

    I watched Food, Inc., too, and I found it extremely disturbing, too. And I enjoy a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person, but really. You are making astonishingly irrational leaps. It’s great to have an open mind, but as someone once said, it’s not a good idea to have such an open mind that your brain falls out.

  32. v.t. says:

    And, Dawn, please provide your credentials for an accredited biological or veterinary nutritional background, in order to publish your natural rearing cats and dogs books.

    Oh wait. Anyone can write a book with no credible reference. Maybe I’ll write one to debunk yours.

  33. Damien M says:


    Yeah it’s all a big conspiracy eh !?
    Because Progress in Nutrition or whatever it was , is not peer-reviewed etc !

  34. Lyn says:

    What is wrong with the “proof in pudding” test? If people experience positive results, why is it that “scientific minds” question their “eye witness testimony”? I have great respect for Jordan Rubin after reading “Patient Heal Thyself” and learning about soil based organisms and food based nutrients. I took antibiotics throughout my life and was grateful for the results of recovery of kidney infections, pneumonia, and strept throat episodes. However, it finally caught up with me with chronic yeast infections and food allergies, due to the intestinal flora becoming totally wiped out. Garden of Life Primal Defense recovered me from all this. I am thankful for discovering this since the Primal Defense for Kids has also greatly helped my grandson’s SEVERE intestinal problems which occurred after he got a batch of 9 vaccines including MMR, which immediately resulted in autism and other vaccine injuries. Although this is substantiated by medical evidence, I am shocked that some doctors still try to tell us that this is all a “coincidence”, as though we did not see this with our own eyes. It is the same with the nutritional therapies that have dramatically improved his autism. If it is not a drug, then what we witness with our own eyes doesn’t count? A very sad state of affairs for the medical system in America, when we are the ONLY country in the world that does not recognize alternative medicine and incorporate it into our medical system. Since the USA is now 52nd in infant mortality, the claim that America has the “best medical system in the world” is not supported by the evidence. USA also has the highest autism rate in the world, now 1 in 50, but the fact that we also have the highest vaccine schedule in the world supposedly has nothing to do with this, when little infants are injected with 36 vaccine doses by age 18 months??? When my daughter was born 40 years ago, the autism rate was only 1 in 15,000, and the vaccines that she recieved were a fraction of this, given individually and spaced out. It was not until the vaccine schedule skyrocketed 25 years ago that the autism rate rapidly climbed. As long as people keep believing the medical propaganda regarding this, the vaccine industry will make alot of $$$ but the parents will lose a fortune caring for their autistic children…..and the children will continue to suffer.

  35. skeptvet says:

    What is wrong with uncontrolled individual observations is thhat they are prone to innumerable sources of error. We see what we want and expect to see, we are blind to data which conflicts with our preconceptions and beliefs, we interpret correlation as causation, we underestimate the role of chance and handle very small and very large numbers poorly, and we are subject to many cognitive biases which shift our conclusions in predictable directions unconnected with the reality of a situation. Every failed medical therapy in history has had believers who saw for themselves that these therapies worked even when they didn’t. Science is useful in reducing error and misunderstanding, but only if we have the humility to see the need for it.

  36. ann mary says:

    I have been useing primal defense for about two years I dont get sick anymore but I am experiencing ver soft bowl movements recently Im unsure as to what is causing this.I DO enjoy not getting sick no more

  37. Jelf Boho says:

    Lotta pissed off shills around here… It’s funny how if someone insulted Prilosec or Claritin, i doubt you’d see any pissed off users (like myself) coming around to make ad hominem attacks against the author. I know I wouldn’t really care if someone else said that they might not be as great as people think. It’s only these faith based yahoos that cant STAND dissenting opinions so they’ve gotta yap and yap and try to shut everyone else up. These kooks wouldnt know the difference between the scientific method and personal anecdotes if you slapped them across the ass with it.

  38. Elaine says:

    Different things work for different people. I think the answer always lies somewhere in the middle. I’m out to buy and try primal defense. Will it work for me? Who knows?
    I’m willing to try it and judge for myself but it does not assume it’ll work for you.
    It’s all good and we are all a little right and a little wrong. We are part of the human process.

  39. skeptvet says:

    While I appreciate your desire to avoid polarization, the problem with your approach is that the truth isn’t always in the middle, and haphazard trial and error doesn’t reliably give us the right answer. Lots of people “tried” bloodletting and decided it worked for them, but what really was happening was they were getting better despite, not because of that treatment. The argument you make is called the Argument to Moderation, and it is a well recognized error.

  40. Sheila says:

    …. all of this arguing about science VS faith….

    Can you please prove to me that wind exists?

    (I have a point – I promise.)

  41. v.t. says:

    Wind farms. Waves on water. Blowing leaves. Wind chill factors. And numerous other examples.

    But, what’s your point?

  42. Art Malernee Dvm says:

    This should be fun if a parachute is involved in Sheila’s wind argument.

  43. Michael says:

    I was bedridden and couldn’t even feel my feet or stand up. I took a pill with water 3x that day between meals. The next day I could feel my toes so now years later I know I am not well I took 8 with some Ozarka Spring water but I’d recommend the powder. It’s like, it works for me, who cares about naysayers? I am a Christian (not afraid of death, not trying to get raptured anywhere else, I know better than trust the FDA or US medicine/surgery which are more likely to kill a person often with large gashes though keeping them bedridden for 10+ years is far more profitable) and I know we have the potential for more life than we are given. If we could bear each other’s burdens (as Christians), stop fixing what isn’t broken, get the PROPER medical & medicines & food & water available like our government does who would just as well kill us all to unburden society (these are Laodicean times, water is scarce or undrinkable, read your bible not commentaries from false prophets don’t expect a free pass Jesus didn’t get either).

  44. skeptvet says:

    Faith-based medicine kills a lot more people that your imaginary bogeymen the “FDA or US medicine/surgery.”

  45. Sean says:

    I don’t know anything about Garden of Life and their business practices, but to suggest that probiotics are a scam or ineffective is ridiculous.

    Do a little research about Clostridium difficile colitis. My mom contracted it in the hospital after being on antibiotics for another infection. C. Diff. (as it’s called), is an extremely aggressive intestinal bacteria with a very high resistance to the very harsh antibiotics that treat it(that also have terrible side-effects). Relapse is common after treatment and even more difficult to treat after it comes back.

    Taking large amounts of probiotics, however, often cures it without any of the risks posed by the antibiotics (which include permanent damage to the nervous system). My mom never took the antibiotics. The probiotics did all the work.

  46. skeptvet says:

    If you think I’ve suggested probiotics are a scam, you haven’t read what I’ve written about them. There is no question probiotics have demonstrated uses. However, the fact that, for example, they are helpful for antiobiotic-associated diarrhea, doesn’t mean they are effective for renal failure. Each organism or combination of organisms has to be properly evaluated for each specific use. The problem with probiotics is that the few uses that have been validated are considered by some as validation for every possible use suggested. There are many things probiotics haven’t proved useful for.

  47. lee hayes says:

    I cannot vouch for all of the stated benefits but….I have been taking probiotics for about 2 weeks. Here is one thing I have noticed. I have a rash that I developed several years ago after working out at the gym. The doctor said it was a fungus or something that came from using the hot tub and prescribed a cream and shampoo that made it go away. It came back every time I would stop using the cream and more if I worked out or sweated. Well I have been working out for 4 weeks and 2 weeks on the probiotics. The rash slowly got smaller the first week and disappeared the second week after starting the probiotics. Can’t say for sure about much else but that is a definite. My wife started taking them as well and has noticed a huge increase in focus and energy.

  48. Felix says:



    I used some probiotics when my endo put me on Victoza for type 2. As you may know this class of medicine can lead to severe constipation. At first I simply tried prunes but then moved on to probiotics. They appeared to help immensely. I say appeared because obviously without a controlled setting it is possible my body just acclimated along with (duh) drinking more water. I have found at least on label Primal Defense and Ultimate Flora look the best. I now see one called Keybiotics of course making all the typical grandiose claims . Do you have any preferred brand/manufacturer? Do you use them at all? Thanks. FYI I think the brand I have in fridge now is Ultimate. I did look for a wide variety of strains. I know from researching their are thousands of strains in the gut so obviously there is a limit to the efficacy.

  49. skeptvet says:

    Fo patients, I sometimes use Fortiflora and Prostora, both of which have pretty good quality control records and at least some supporting clinical data.

  50. RegretsPD says:

    Well I decided to do some more thorough research tonight because of some severe stomach pain, diarrhea and chest discomfort along with a headache and foggy mind and heartburn keeping me awake again for another night.

    I have been taking PD for a little over 2 weeks now and have to say it was the biggest mistake I could have made. As a sufferer of severe IBS for most of my adult life I have searched for anything that can provide some relief. I have know of PD for quite sometime but could never justify the cost.

    Now that I am in a better position in life I decided to try and see if it could heal me the way so many people have claimed it has done for them. Well first 2 or 3 days were fine but after that I started noticing stomach aches a few hours after taking the pill, then severe pain and then arrived heartburn (severe) and now currently at this very moment I feel as first described above.

    It can’t just be a coincidence that these symptoms show up not soon after taking the pills. It could simply be that perhaps I am having an allergic reaction to an ingredient in the product or it could be that this item is not as safe and healthy as all those claims admit.

    It is frustrating because I have tried for years to find something that worked and I truly hoped this would and I am very disappointed in myself for falling for the companies marketing tricks and have wasted $60 on quackery. Worse, I have affected my fragile health more so than had I just left things as they were.

    Live and learn I suppose.

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