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Episode 273: New PB Restore and PB Assist+

In this episode we sit down with Alex DaBell, Vice President of Global Nutraceuticals and Innovation for doTERRA's R&D Department, about the amazing research and science that went into creating the new ProBiome line. Then we'll talk to Tatiana Grant about her experience as a member of the focus group for the new products, PB Restore and PB Assist+.

This episode is sponsored by the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation. To honor giving Tuesday we’re partnering with the Maui community to raise $100,000 toward replanting 10,000 trees all over the island. $10 plants a tree, and your gift to Maui will echo for generations. Click here to make a donation. View solicitation disclosures here:

If youd like to enroll to be a doTERRA member and receive a 25% wholesale discount on all products click here.


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doTERRA: Your microbiome functions like a huge, invisible organ that influences every aspect of your health.

Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field.

Today's episode is brought to you by the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation®. Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement. To honor it, we're partnering with the Maui community to raise $100,000 toward replanting 10,000 trees all over the island. You can join us in making a lasting impact by donating. Click on the link in the episode description to donate. $10 plants a tree and your gift to Maui will echo for generations.

Today, we're excited to talk to Alex DaBell, Vice President of Global Nutraceuticals and Innovation for doTERRA's R&D Department, about the amazing research and science that went into creating the new doTERRA ProBiome® line.

Then we'll talk to Tatiana Grant about her experience as a member of the focus group for the new products.

Alex, thank you so much for being here with us today.

Alex Dabell: You bet. It's my pleasure to join you.

doTERRA: To start off with, I want to go back to the basics for some of the people listening who might not know a lot about the microbiome. So, what is it and why is it so important that we take care of it?

Alex: It's a great question, a great place to start. I think most people at some point have heard the word microbiome. But what is it, right? It's this collection of bacteria all throughout our bodies. And usually people associate the microbiome with the gut. And that's where a large portion of our body's microbiome resides.

But we actually have microbiomes and these populations of bacteria that are in our bodies, that are on our bodies and in our respiratory system, all of our mucosal layers. So, they perform really, really important functions in helping to support our digestive process and our immune system, our cognitive health, many, many different roles.

So, it's important that we keep those bacteria healthy and doing their vital roles.

doTERRA: Absolutely. It's always incredible to me when I hear about the microbiomes, how many different parts of our body they support.

Now, I know that doTERRA recently created a new doTERRA ProBiome supplement, the PB Restore. Can you tell us about the research that went into this product and why it's so exciting?

Alex: This area of the microbiome, and all the research around the role that these bacteria play in supporting our health and wellness has been heating up. Certainly over the past decade, but still today, there's so much new research coming out every day, literally, on the role that healthy microbiome plays in supporting the various body systems.

So, we wanted to take advantage of all this new research that's available and double down on supporting the microbiome in selecting specific bacterial strains--probiotics--to include in our ProBiome product offering. So, we reviewed a lot of literature to examine which strains make sense to include in these products, which bacterial strains make sense to support different areas of the body, even outside of the gut.

So, aside from literature review, we did some surveying of strain survivability and looking at different unique ways to deliver these probiotic bacteria so that they would arrive alive in our gut. We want them to be healthy and thriving even after you put them in your mouth. They need to be alive and functioning to perform their role in the intestines of the digestive tract. And so, we've incorporated some unique delivery technologies and did some research on optimizing those to provide the absolute best bacteria delivered in the most efficient, effective way to support all of our microbiomes.

doTERRA: Absolutely. And it's incredible to see the differences between some of the other products available on the market and what doTERRA has brought to the table.

Now, we also updated the PB Assist+ Jr that people have known and used for a really long time. We updated it to the PB Assist+ sticks. Can you tell me the top things that people need to know about this update?

Alex: Yes, people have loved not just the dual chamber capsule, but this stick pack format, the PB Assist+, formerly known as PB Assist+ Jr, and we didn't want to detract or take away from anything that's working so well for so many people. So, we've chosen to keep that convenient delivery format of this powder that you can simply pour straight into your mouth. It tastes amazing, almost like a candy. It's so delicious. It's very easy for everybody in the family to use.

But even though we've had this product with the convenient delivery format, we wanted to take advantage of the diversity of strains. So, we've increased the number of bacterial strains in this particular stick pack product, along with the strain diversity, we've increased the number of cells, so, these bacteria cells. As we've increased the number of types of strains that accompanies an increase in the total CFU, or in this case, AFU--active fluorescent units--in the product.

So, you see an increase in the count. And you see an increase in diversity.

doTERRA: So, you mentioned that diversity a couple different times. Can you explain why it's so important when it comes to the microbiome?

Alex: Absolutely. This is a critical focus point for us in supporting our microbiome. Each of us is unique. I think we understand that we are all different in one way or another. But the bacteria in our bodies is also unique. They have different makeup and they produce different, what we call postbiotic metabolites. So, when these bacteria consume, (the food for the bacteria is called prebiotics), then the probiotics bacteria are producing postbiotics. So, it's a little bit of an equation.

But you can imagine if we only had one type of probiotic bacterial strain, then we don't get the diversity of the postbiotic metabolites that we can really benefit from. So, by including a really wide variety of bacteria, we can encourage a wide variety of postbiotic metabolite production. And that's what we're going for with this diversity in the microbiome.

Some of these metabolites that people recognize are things like vitamins, short chain fatty acids, even different types of neurotransmitters like serotonin or Gamma-aminobutyric acid, it's also commonly referred to as GABA. But this is the gut brain axis that people hear about. All of these neurotransmitters produced in the gut can then transit to the brain and support the brain. And it's incredible to see how many different things are in there. I mean, you named off six or seven different very important things that people recognize that are coming from these postbiotics produced.

doTERRA: Yeah, absolutely.

Alex: And this goes to--the diversity of the postbiotics that are produced-- really goes to support the entire body, even outside of the gut. So, when we make these postbiotic metabolites, they can then enter the bloodstream and go to different areas of the body and support the immune system or support our skin health, certainly our brain health and affect our mood and how we're feeling.

doTERRA: That really is just so incredible.

Now, before we released these products, we were able to do a focus group with participants using the new ProBiome products. What did this group look like? What were they doing?

Alex: Yeah, these were healthy individuals, adults, in the case of the PB Restore--we had a diversity in age with the stick pack products. But with the with the Restore products in particular, we had a diverse section of people who were made up of women and men, older and younger, different lifestyles, different backgrounds, consuming different types of foods, different levels of activity.

We really wanted to showcase that if we can provide these healthy bacteria to a diverse population, then they can go to work regardless of the person. They can go to work in that person's body to support their unique circumstances by producing these postbiotic metabolites. And that's what we saw.

Even though everybody is unique, by providing these bacteria, people reported, universally, some shared experiences and outcomes that we really focused on. Things like a better mood, improvement in their skin--how their skin is looking. Some of these short term outcomes--better gut function with their digestion. Then, if we were to follow these people over a longer period of time, we'd probably anticipate things like modulation in their immune system or even change in some of their metabolic markers, which would be really fascinating to look at.

doTERRA: And those things are so powerful. I think almost all of us would love a better mood and clearer skin and, you know, all of those things.

Alex: Absolutely. The healthy microbiome is something that's important for each and every one of us. And now that we have a way to really support that microbiome and its function in our bodies, it's something that we should all be taking advantage of.

doTERRA: So that leads me to my final question. We've gone through a lot of information, a lot of science. If there were three things that people should know and really remember about these new ProBiome products, what would they be?

Alex: The first one that I've had a lot of opportunity to visit with people about: sometimes we get specific in our recommendations of how to use different products, and we can overlook the fact that to benefit from a product, the first step is to use it. And then we talk about optimizing when to use it. What are the companion products we should use it with? And really dialing things in. But the first step is to make sure that you're using it consistently.

And I bring that up on these ProBiome products in particular, because bacteria are transient, meaning we can't just use them once and then they're there forever, and they're going to perform their functions forever. They may be there and then they can die or they can slough off and be eliminated from our body. So, we need to use these products regularly so that they can continue to perform their functions, even as one population is replaced by another. So, consistent use is one of the points that I would make.

Another one, we touched on, the importance of diversity. When we look at different microbiome or probiotic products in the marketplace, sometimes you see very narrow offering. There's not much diversity in what's available from a probiotic strain perspective, but we really focus in on why that's important. And we have provided that in both of our products, having a wider diversity of strains than we've ever offered before. And that's so important because each of these different strains performs a different function. So, we want to have a broad selection of strains to provide a broad spectrum of benefits. So, diversity is definitely key.

And then the other point that we touched on was the importance of the delivery system. For these bacteria to function they need to be alive. So, when we take the product, it's not enough that we're putting it into her mouth. It actually needs to be alive and thriving when it gets to our gut. And that's where it really performs its function in consuming prebiotic food to make the postbiotic metabolites that we benefit from.

So, those are really three important points that I think people should focus on.

doTERRA: Absolutely. Alex, thank you so much for sitting down with us today and teaching us so much about our own microbiome and these incredible ProBiome products.

Alex: You're welcome.

doTERRA: Tatiana, thank you so much for being here with us today.

Tatiana Grant: Thank you for having me.

doTERRA: Absolutely.

Now, I am so excited to talk to you, because you had a chance to be part of the focus group for the new ProBiome products. So, I want to start with what knowledge did you have about your microbiome before participating in this focus group?

Tatiana: Honestly, I thought I knew a lot, but come to find out, I truly knew nothing. When I thought about our microbiome, I thought mostly about digestion. But come to find out, it's so much more than that. So, throughout this journey, I learned that our gut is truly our second brain. It really has so much to do with our immune system, our hormones, skin, and even our mental health plays a really big part in it.

doTERRA: Yes, it really is incredible how many things are connected back to our gut and our microbiome.

Tatiana: Yeah, for sure.

doTERRA: Now, can you describe what the focus group looked like for you? You know, when and how often were you taking the supplements?

Tatiana: Yeah, well, it was me and my two daughters who were part of the focus group. So, it started out with just doing the Restore, and I would take it every morning on an empty stomach. It was funny because I kind of learned a lot during this process because before, with the PB Assist+, I used to take it with warm water or coffee in the morning. But throughout this focus group, I learned you're not supposed to do that. You're not supposed to take it with anything warm because that can actually kill it off. So, I started taking it with just room temperature water first thing in the morning before I ate breakfast.

Then, I believe it was about two weeks or so when they brought in the PB Assist+ sticks, and I would do one sachet of that every day and my girls would do the same.

So, they love to take it straight just like a Pixy Stick, but sometimes we also would like sprinkle it on fresh fruit like watermelon or strawberries, and they love doing it that way as well.

doTERRA: Yes, and thankfully the PB Assist+ sticks taste really good so kids don't mind doing it that way.

Tatiana: Oh yeah, my girls love it.

doTERRA: Now, as you went through this process and through this focus group, what sorts of things did you and your girls experience when you were taking the Pro Biome supplements?

Tatiana: So, I'll start with my experience first. The first few days I did experience a little bit of stomach discomfort. Nothing major, just some minor cramping, but that only lasted about two days. And then I also had a few more like skin breakouts than normal. But these negative side effects only lasted the first week for me.

And then after all that, these amazing effects started happening. So, my sleep and my mental clarity was incredible. I also seemed to manage my anxious feelings a lot more. I'm sure getting better sleep had a lot to do with it, but when I added in the PB Assist+ sticks my skin started glowing. I had friends and family members who were complimenting my skin.

But then the biggest thing I noticed that I really wasn't expecting at all, came from my hormones. So, my cycles aren't the best. But the first month of being on this, my cycle was the easiest cycle I've literally ever had. When we did our focus group, we would have like meet ups every week or so, and I asked if this was like a side effect because I wasn't sure if it had to do with the new microbiome product or if it was just like coincidence.

But unfortunately they wouldn't tell me anything. They didn't want my experience to impact anyone else's and kind of have that placebo effect. But then at the end, I asked again, and sure enough, it was something that most definitely affects our hormones, and I wasn't the only one who was having similar results. So, for me, that's my number one best effect that I had from being on the ProBiome line.

For my daughters, they noticed changes super, super rapidly. So, my oldest one, she's four, she's never gone to the restroom regularly. It's always kind of been a struggle, even since she was a baby. But when we switched to the PB Assist+ sticks, she was going every single day and sometimes even twice a day.

And then my youngest one, she's two. She suffers with extremely dry skin. And since being on the new ProBiome line, we haven't had any issues with her skin at all. So, they absolutely love it. They love the taste of it. Half the time they're the ones who remind me that they need their vitamins because they love it so much, so they're begging me for them.

doTERRA: That is incredible. And so it sounds like maybe, for you, there was a little bit of a transition period as your body got used to having this new microbiome support.

Tatiana: Yeah, absolutely. But it didn't last too long. I would say maybe a week tops. And it was definitely worth it because the final effects have been like amazing.

doTERRA: Absolutely. I think those are some benefits that we would all like to have in our lives.

Now, Tatiana, what are some of the other daily wellness habits that you and your daughters paired these supplements with to make sure you are getting the most out of taking them?

Tatiana: Our family eats fairly clean. I would say about 80 to 90% of our diet is whole foods, so we didn't really have to make very many drastic changes. We did cut out dairy, though, for a month. So that was something that was new. And then I also personally tried to work out more regularly. So, I'm sure that these impacted our results as well.

But throughout the whole focus group, we were all feeling really, really great.

doTERRA: That is so amazing to hear and I'm so glad that it was so successful for your family. I think a lot of people are really anxiously awaiting their chance to try these products, and you were some of the lucky ones that got to try them early.

Tatiana: Yeah, it's been awesome. So, I can't wait to have all my friends, family and customers get to try it because you guys are going to fall in love. It's amazing.

doTERRA: Well, Tatiana, thank you so much for sitting down with us today and talking a little bit about your experience with the new ProBiome products.

Tatiana: Thank you so much for having me.

doTERRA: Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you want to try any of the products you learned about, click on the link in the episode description or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.

And remember, if you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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