Prescript-Assist: New Label Means New Formula

Prescript-Assist is a spore-based probiotic supplement that many healthcare professionals have been promoting, particularly for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I have not been a fan and now am even less so since the original formula has changed in 2017.

What Changed with Prescript-Assist?

First of all, let me say that although we consumers are responsible for what we eat, drink and take, we should NOT have to read the label every time we buy something that we regularly buy. Manufacturers should not only say "New Label" on their products but should also plainly state if ingredients have changed. Buyer beware.

The original formula had leonardite (a prebiotic source of humic and fulvic acids) and 29 microbes:

  1. Arthrobacter agilis
  2. Arthrobacter citreus
  3. Arthrobacter globiformis
  4. Arthrobacter luteus
  5. Arthrobacter simplex
  6. Acinetobacter calcoaceticus
  7. Azotobacter chroococcum
  8. Azotobacter paspali
  9. Azospirillum brasilense
  10. Azospirillum lipoferum
  11. Bacillus brevis
  12. Bacillus macerans
  13. Bacillus pumilus
  14. Bacillus polymyxa
  15. Bacillus subtilis
  16. Bacteroides lipolyticum
  17. Bacteriodes succinogenes
  18. Brevibacterium lipolyticum
  19. Brevibacterium stationis
  20. Kurthia zopfii
  21. Myrothecium verrucaria
  22. Pseudomonas calcis
  23. Pseudomonas dentrificans
  24. Pseudomonas fluorescens
  25. Pseudomonas glathei
  26. Phanerochaete chrysosporium
  27. Streptomyces fradiae
  28. Streptomyces cellulosae
  29. Streptomyces griseoflavus

Its other ingredients were cellulose (vegetarian capsule), l-leucine and bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris) extract.

The old supplement was distributed by Enviromedica, a reputable supplement company. They promoted the supplement saying,

"Human clinical research — including a published peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial — shows that Prescript-Assist:

  • Replenishes healthy GI microflora*
  • Promotes a healthy gastro-intestinal environment*
  • Relieves occasional abdominal discomfort and bloating*
  • Alleviates occasional indigestion and nausea*
  • Promotes a normal bowel pattern*
  • Reduces flatulence*
  • Supports overall wellness and vitality*"

* = statements not approved by FDA

I received an email in October of 2017 from Enviromedica stating, "Enviromedica is disappointed to inform our customers that we are discontinuing our distribution of Prescript-Assist. While we regret the need to do this, the manufacturer has made a substantial change to the ingredients and manufacture of the product, which no longer meets Enviromedica’s quality standards."

What Does the New Formula of Prescript-Assist Contain?

The new formula looks similar enough, but there are significant differences.

The new formula has leonardite, PEA PROTEIN (allergy alert!), and 28 microbes:

  1. Arthrobacter globiformis
  2. Azospirillum brasilense
  3. Azospirillum lipoferum
  4. Azotobacter chroococcum
  5. Azotobacter paspali
  6. Azotobacter vinelandii
  7. Bacillus amyloliquefaciens
  8. Bacillus atrophaeus
  9. Bacillus licheniformis
  10. Bacillus megaterium
  11. Bacillus pumilus
  12. Bacillus subtilis
  13. Bacillus thuringiensis (yes, the same microbe, but perhaps not the same strain, as used in Bt-toxin GMO crops. We don't know because the strain names are not provided.)
  14. Bacillus firmus
  15. Brevibacillus brevis
  16. Cellulomonas fimi
  17. Kurthia zopfii
  18. Micrococcus luteus
  19. Nocardioides simplex
  20. Pseudomonas fluorescens
  21. Pseudomonas putida
  22. Rhodobacter sphaeroides
  23. Rhodococcus rhodochrous
  24. Rhodopseudomonas palustris
  25. Rhodospirillum rubrum
  26. Streptomyces griseus
  27. Streptomyces griseoflavus
  28. Streptomyces venezuelae

Its other ingredients are cellulose (vegetarian capsule), l-leucine and bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris) extract. Note that on the new label, some of the microbes are spelled out and some are abbreviated.

While some of the microbes in the old formula were concerning to me, the new formula is even more concerning with questionable, obscure microbes that I do not think we need to be taking as a supplement. Many of them are opportunistic pathogens and are not generally recognized as safe.

Thanks to reader JD for alerting me to the fact that most of the Prescript-Assist microbes are in the Tainio Biologicals, Inc. (Spokane WA) Biogenesis I Non-Polymer Biological Soil Inoculant. Twenty of the 28 microbes in Prescript-Assist are in the soil inoculant product. According to the Tainio website, "All products are for Agricultural use only. By your purchase of this product(s) you agree to only use the product(s) in strict compliance with the instructions of use on the product label and recognize that Tainio Biologicals, Inc. is not liable in any manner for any off label use."

There is no doubt that microbes are important for healthy plant root systems and overall healthy plants; however, I personally and professionally would not recommend purposefully taking such microbes into your human body as a "probiotic" supplement without any data to support their concentrated use as true probiotics.

What Should You Do about This Supplement?

If your healthcare practitioner has recommended this product to you, ask questions about why they recommend this particular supplement. Any research that was performed with the old formula does NOT apply to the new one. I think there are safer and more efficacious supplements available.


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