Essential Formulas – Probiotics for Liver Health

By Ross Pelton

Scientific Director, Essential Formulas

Ross Pelton is a pharmacist, nutritionist, author and a health educator who is widely recognized as the world’s leading authority on drug-induced nutrient depletions. He was named one of the top 50 most influential pharmacists in the United States by American Druggist magazine for his work in Natural Medicine.

Optimizing Liver Health with Probiotics – A Guide to Probiotic Selection

The effect of probiotics on human health is one of the most studied topics in medical research today. Scientists have registered over 1,000 clinical studies on probiotics’ impact on the human body, encompassing more than 700 conditions.

Recent studies on probiotics’ effect on the liver have shown promising results. Researchers have identified in clinical trials that probiotics can improve the microbiome, which, along with lifestyle changes, can be beneficial for liver health.

A Probiotics Primer

Our bodies host millions of naturally occurring microorganisms that confer positive effects. These include about 1,800 species of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and yeasts that medical science believes are helpful for human health. About two-thirds reside in the intestinal tract, but they live elsewhere on our bodies as well, including the skin, nose, mouth, and urogenital tract.

The human body also contains harmful bacteria it encounters in the environment. One function of friendly bacteria is to help manage pathogenic microorganisms so they don’t take over and cause problems. Probiotics help our bodies break down and absorb nutrients, produce certain vitamins, aid with digestion, and support a healthy immune system.

Recent studies on probiotics have suggested that these tiny microorganisms positively impact intestinal tract health and may also affect many other systems in the body. Scientists are looking into how probiotics impact mood, stress, and every system and organ in the body. One recent area of scientific inquiry is probiotics’ impact on the liver.

Learn more with Dr. Ohhira’s Frequently Asked Questions.

Three Partners in Gut Health

When it comes to a healthy microbiome, probiotics are only part of the story. There are actually three “biotics” that work together to help us maintain a healthy gut. 

The first is prebiotics, which are the foods the gut microbiota eat. They consist of indigestible, resistant starches that beneficial microorganisms consume to live in your body. Examples include rice, beans, legumes, green bananas, or boiled and chilled potatoes.

Probiotics are the microorganisms that have shown positive effects on the human body. When introduced into the body, they feed on the prebiotics you eat and, in the process of living, create helpful byproducts.

Postbiotics are the helpful byproducts and effects probiotics create when they consume prebiotics and live in your gut. They include short-chain fatty acids, enzymes, and metabolites such as vitamins and amino acids.

Why Is the Liver So Important?

The liver is the largest solid organ in the body. Located in the upper right abdomen, it is about the size of a football. The liver breaks down and converts certain substances, balances energy metabolism, and removes toxins from the bloodstream. In addition, it stores fat-soluble vitamins and minerals such as copper and iron and releases them as needed.

The liver is a multifaceted organ that produces bile to help with fat digestion in the small intestine, breaks down proteins, creates immune system factors, produces proteins for blood clotting, breaks down unusable red blood cells, and stores extra blood sugar as glycogen. Without a working liver, we cannot live.

Probiotics and Liver Health: The Science

Scientists have named the connection between the liver and the microbiome the gut-liver axis. Recent studies have shown that those with chronic liver concerns often also suffer from gut dysbiosis and an imbalance and lack of diversity in gut microorganisms.

Health issues involving the liver are linked to specific lifestyle patterns, including obesity, alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of physical activity, or any combination of those factors. Physiology, age, antibiotics, other drugs, and diet can impact the gut’s microbial balance, creating gut dysbiosis and other pathogenic microbial factors that can also affect liver health.

A recent study showed that those with the above lifestyle patterns were at higher risk of liver dysfunction. Probiotics can have a “good regulating effect” on liver function and other factors.

Which Probiotics Are Best for Liver Health?

So, what probiotics should you take for liver health? A 2023 review of studies found that different Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species in probiotics for liver health had the most significant impact. The researchers saw a normalization of microbiota and intestinal permeability, indicating that probiotic supplementation and lifestyle changes support overall liver health.

Scientists are encouraged by this research, but they have not conclusively isolated a particular probiotic impacting any particular condition, so many studies include a probiotic supplement containing multiple strains. The researchers encourage further clinical studies to learn how the gut, probiotics, and liver function are related.

What to Look for in a Probiotic Supplement

When you’re looking for a probiotic supplement to improve liver health, Dr. Ohhira’s products, including Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics Supplements and Dr. Ohhira’s Professional Formula, are created with the highest quality, combining ancient Japanese wisdom and up-to-the-minute scientific concepts. Dr. Ohhira has brought together the best of both worlds to deliver probiotic formulas second to none.

Also, check out Dr. Ohhira’s Reg’Activ Detox and Liver Health supplement, which is designed to promote healthy liver function. It contains Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 which was discovered by Award-winning microbiologist Marika Mikelsaar, MD, PhD and her team of research scientists to be a producer of the super antioxidant glutathione. Among other benefits, Glutathione promotes healthy liver function.

Many probiotics are on the market these days, so how do you choose the best one for your health? Dr. Ohhira has intentionally included the characteristics below in his quality products. As you research probiotics, ask these questions. To support gut, liver, and overall health, Dr. Ohhira has created his outstanding products that meet all these essential criteria.

  • Is the probiotic supplement designed so it survives the stomach acids?
  • Is the probiotic supplement shelf-stable?
  • Does the probiotic supplement contain only pure, natural ingredients?
  • Has the probiotic supplement been fermented for at least three years so the strains can learn how to co-exist?
  • Does the probiotic supplement contain multiple Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains for a diverse microbiome?
  • Does the probiotic supplement focus on diverse strains rather than very high numbers of colony-forming units (CFUs) and only one or two strains?
  • Does the probiotic supplement contain prebiotics and postbiotics?

We’re Here for You

If you have additional questions about probiotics and their impact on health or want to understand Dr. Ohhira’s formulations better, please call us at 972-255-3918 or contact us online. We’d love to hear from you!


By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
Scientific Director, Essential Formulas

Ross Pelton is a pharmacist, nutritionist, author and a health educator who is widely recognized as the world’s leading authority on drug-induced nutrient depletions. He was named one of the top 50 most influential pharmacists in the United States by American Druggist magazine for his work in Natural Medicine.

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