Could Bad Gut Health Be Causing These Common Health Issues?

Could Bad Gut Health Be Causing These Common Health Issues?

The Bioxyne Team

The connection between digestive issues and the gut microbiome is now well understood by consumers, but what many people don’t know is that gut health is connected to a host of other common ailments.

Fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog See.Need.Want recently interviewed Bioxyne’s Chief Scientist Dr Peter French, who has studied the connection between the microbiome and immune health since 2002.

In this detailed interview, Peter explains the importance of maintaining gut health, how gut bacteria affects the immune system and mental health, and what we know about how PCC (Lactobacillus fermentumVRI-003) affects all these things.

“PCC® has been shown to be effective at inhibiting a range of pathogenic bacteria in the laboratory, and to boost immune and gut health in clinical studies,” Peter told See.Need.Want editor Rosie McKay. “Given the clear connection between the gut and the brain, PCC® is likely to have a positive effect on the function of both.”

Read the interview

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Hay fever and PCC®

Hay fever and PCC®

The Bioxyne Team1 comment

Olia Gozha

With Spring on the way, while most of us look forward to warmer weather and longer days, those of us who suffer from severe symptoms of hay fever are less excited. Many dread the onset of itchy eyes, runny noses and constant sneezing. Some turn to over the counter drugs to dry up their symptoms. But there may be a better way.

With the increased knowledge that out gut microbiome is critical for a range of health conditions, including our immune system, researchers have focused on the use of probiotics – good bacteria – to assist with our gut and immune health. And now there is evidence that probiotics could alleviate the symptoms of hay fever. There are at least 18 studies that show that some probiotics can produce a significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life in hay fever sufferers. How they do this appears to be by boosting what is called the Th1 immune response.

A clinical study on babies with moderate to severe eczema, which, like hay fever is a response to an environmental allergen, showed that Bioxyne’s probiotic, called PCC® (A Lactobacillus strain) boosted the Th1 immune response and significantly improved the symptoms of eczema in comparison to a placebo control.

PCC® therefore is likely to have a similar effect on hay fever symptoms. And it has been shown to boost gut health as well! You don’t get that benefit with the OTC hay fever drugs!


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How to take your probiotics

How to take your probiotics

The Bioxyne Team

Dominik Martin

It’s simple. The PCC® in Bioxyne’s products is freeze dried – which means that all you need to do to bring it back to life is to swallow it with plenty of water. 

For proTract for infants with atopic dermatitis, just open a capsule and sprinkle it onto your infant’s drink (if it’s a warm drink, add the probiotic after you have warmed it up).

For adults, you can take one Progastrim® or Progastrim®+Vitamin C capsule with a glass of water every day.

If you are taking antibiotics, wait at least two hours after your antibiotic dose before consuming PCC® in either Progastrim® or proTract products.

This was part four of a four-part series about what probiotics are and why they’re good for you.

Part one: What are probiotics?

Part two: How probiotics are named

Part three: How probiotics work and why they’re good for you



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How probiotics work and why they’re good for us

How probiotics work and why they’re good for us

The Bioxyne Team43 comments

Christopher Campbell

Scientists now understand that the health of our gastrointestinal (GI) tract is vital to our health generally. Scientific studies have demonstrated that probiotics can directly influence our health primarily through their effects on the GI tract. These effects include:

  • helping to maintain a healthy balance of intestinal microbes,
  • preventing pathogenic microbes from inhabiting the intestinal tract,
  • boosting the general immune response through stimulating important immune areas located in the intestinal tract,
  • maintaining the health of the intestinal wall to stop bacteria getting through it and causing disease,
  • inhibiting cancer-associated enzymatic activity, and
  • nurturing the intestine’s ability to absorb healthy nutrients.

The health benefits of probiotics

Foods fermented by probiotic bacteria (think kimchee, yoghurt, sauerkraut) have for centuries been revered as health-giving, but it’s only in the last few decades that scientists have begun to compile solid scientific data that supports the association between probiotics and good health.

Have a look at the graph below to see the growth in scientific research on probiotics in the past 20 years.

(Source: NCBI PubMed)

While the association between gastrointestinal health and probiotics has been widely accepted, more recently we’re seeing a clear association between probiotics and immune health.

It’s important to note that unless a probiotic strain has been tested, we don’t really know if it has any health benefits.

Bioxyne’s probiotic PCC® has been scientifically and clinically tested in Australia. Through double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, PCC® has demonstrated clinical efficacy in:

  • reducing the incidence and severity of respiratory infections (colds) in infants and adults
  • reducing the symptoms of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (eczema) in infants
  • boosting the effectiveness of the FluVax (flu vaccinations)
  • improving bowel function in adults.

This was part three of a four-part series about what probiotics are and why they’re good for you. Next up is ‘How to take your probiotics’.

Part one: What are probiotics

Part two: How probiotics are named


Name: Lactobacillus fermentum VRI-003

Nickname: PCC®

Origin: A human with robust gastrointestinal health

Career Objective: To boost gut and immune health of adults and infants through daily dosing of clinically trialled doses of PCC®.


University of New South Wales:

  • Certificate of High Survival in Stomach Acid and Bile
  • Certificate of Inhibition of Gastrointestinal Pathogens
  • Certificate of Binding to the Intestinal tract

Previous Experience in Humans:

2005: Clinical trial of PCC® showing improvement in symptoms of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in infants

2008: Clinical trial of PCC® showing reduction in symptoms of respiratory tract infections in elite male athletes

2009: Clinical trial of PCC® showing boost in the immune response to the flu vaccine

2011: Clinical trial of PCC® showing reduction in symptoms of respiratory tract infections in elite male athletes

All of these trials confirmed that PCC® is safe for children and adults

Current Experience in Humans:

2016- present: Clinical trial of effect of PCC® on the gut microbiome of healthy adults

Current Employment:

  • Bioxyne Limited. Active ingredient in:
    • proTract® for Atopic Dermatitis
    • Progastrim® for gut health, and
    • Progastrim® + Vitamin C for colds
  • Pharmanex (NuSkin). Active ingredient in:
    • ProBioPCC

Contact details:


Dr Peter French, Director of Science, Bioxyne Limited, Sydney

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Why our probiotic products only contain one strain of bacteria – and why that’s good for you

Why our probiotic products only contain one strain of bacteria – and why that’s good for you

The Bioxyne Team

Arkady Lifshits

Our probiotic products contain Bioxyne’s patented probiotic strain, Lactobacillus fermentum VRI-003 (or simply PCC®).

It’s a myth that products containing multiple strains of probiotics are better for you – that’s because we know that different strains do different things and unless those strains have been clinically tested and trialled to see how they react together, no one can really be sure about their impact on health.

Our probiotic, PCC®, has been shown in several clinical studies to boost the immune systems of both adults and infants, and to decrease the incidence and severity of cold symptoms in athletes and infants.

It has also been shown to significantly boost the response to the flu vaccine, and to improve gastrointestinal health.

We know the effective dose is 2 billion live bacteria daily – because we tested that number in several clinical studies. That’s why we have that number of live bacteria in each capsule.

We don’t combine PCC® with any other strains in our products because we don’t know if they might interfere with its potent activity to provide a real health benefit.

So our PCC products contain a single specific strain of a clinically tested probiotic, and the recommended dose is that that has been used in our clinical studies.

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3 Myths about probiotics busted

3 Myths about probiotics busted

The Bioxyne Team

Brooke Lark

In the 1980s, there was an advertising campaign with the slogan “Oils Ain’t Oils” with Sol and his gangster friends. It was designed to introduce the motorist to ‘man made’ synthetic oils being sold by Castrol. The point of the slogan is that you can’t assume that all oils for your car do the same job.

The same can be said of probiotics.

People often get confused as to which probiotic to buy. There are so many on the market, and they have strange ingredient names like “Lactobacillus acidophilus” or “Bifidobacterium Bifidum”. Often they will have three or more of these names listed, and numbers like “20 billion” or “100 billion” live bacteria.

What does it all mean? How do you choose? Aren’t they all good for you? If so, why not buy the cheapest? Or the one with the most live bacteria? Or the one with multiple different bacteria? After all, more is better, right?

Not correct. Because not all probiotics are probiotics!

At Bioxyne, we would advise you to buy the one that has been clinically tested or trialled at the same dosage as is in the capsules, to give you confidence that the product can provide a health benefit – which is essential for a bacteria to be classified as a probiotic.

To make the best purchase decision, it is useful to understand some facts behind some common probiotic myths:

MYTH 1. All “probiotics” are good for you.

Fact: Not correct. Different members of the same bacterial species work differently (or sometimes not at all), and unless you test it, you don’t know if it will work to improve your health or not.

While it is true that all probiotics are members of specific families such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, not all members of those families deserve the title of probiotics, because they do not all provide a health benefit. Only some specific members do.

Would you say that all humans can paint like Claude Monet, or sing like Elvis Presley? So why do many probiotic manufacturers imply that anystrain of Lactobacillus acidophilus, or Bifidobacteria (for example) are inherently beneficial? It has been scientifically demonstrated that many are not.

We humans are all members of the Homo sapiens species. Elvis and Monet were Homo sapiens too, just like you and me. But their individual talents are different to yours and mine. In the same way, individual members (called strains) of the Lactobacillus acidophilus species are different genetically and also differ in their ability to provide a human health benefit. A review of the label on the bottle should show what individual strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus (or other probiotic species) the product contains. And unless that strain has been tested in a clinical trial, you don’t know if what’s in the bottle is any good.

MYTH 2: The more bacteria (CFUs) the better

Fact: Not correct. There is no scientific evidence for this.

The right number of bacteria (with the number of live bacteria typically referred to as a ‘colony-forming unit’ or CFU) is that number that has been shown in clinical tests or trials of that probiotic strain to provide a health benefit.  Consuming hundreds of billions of an ineffective probiotic is no better than consuming 1 billion of it. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter how many billions you take. A group of medical doctors in London who studied probiotics confirmed this in 2009[1]:

“The consensus is that there is no standardized number of probiotic bacteria that would ensure an effect. The effective quantity, for a given effect and a given strain, is the quantity which has demonstrated an effect in the relevant human trial.”

Has the company selling the probiotic studied how well it works in a clinical trial? Many have not. And if they have not, you have no way of knowing if it is going to do you any good.

MYTH 3: The more different types of bacteria the better.

Fact: There is no scientific evidence for this.

According to the group of London gastroenterologists who studied probiotics:

“A combination of probiotic strains in a product does not necessarily add to the benefits of each strain. A combination of strains needs to be studied to prove its efficacy.”

This makes sense, because we know that different strains act differently, and sometimes have the opposite effect to each other, so unless you test the combination in a clinical test or trial at the same dosage as in the final product, you cannot be certain that the combination will work any better than just one of the strains.

Progastrim® contains Bioxyne’s patented probiotic strain, Lactobacillus fermentum VRI-003. That is quite a mouthful, so we call it PCC®. It has been shown in several clinical studies to boost the immune systems of both adults and infants, and to decrease the incidence and severity of cold symptoms in athletes and infants.

It has also been shown to significantly boost the response to the flu vaccine.

The effective dose is 2 billion live bacteria daily. That’s why we have that number of live bacteria in each capsule – just the right number,and we don’t put any other strains in there because we don’t know if they might interfere with the potent activity of PCC® to provide a real health benefit.

[1] Rowland I, Capurso L, Collins K, Cummings J, Delzenne N, Goulet O, Guarner F, Marteau P, Rémy Meier R. Current level of consensus on probiotic science - Report of an expert meeting-London, 23 November 2009. Gut Microbes 2009; 1:6, 436-439.

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We explain the science behind PCC®

We explain the science behind PCC®

The Bioxyne Team

Cell and molecular biologist Dr Peter French is Bioxyne’s Scientific Director.

Peter has worked on the connection between gut health and immunity since 2002.

In this short video, he talks about the connection between gut health and immunity, and the findings of several PCC® scientific and clinical studies.

“We’ve demonstrated that PCC can colonise the intestinal tract and, most importantly, we’ve got several clinical studies published in peer-reviewed international journals that demonstrate that PCC® when you take it, even one capsule a day, can significantly boost our mucosal immunity,” Peter said.

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What are probiotics?

What are probiotics?

The Bioxyne Team

Brooke Lark

Probiotics are living bacteria that give health benefits to their host when consumed in adequate amounts.

This might come as a surprise because we generally tend to think of bacteria as bad and the cause of some disease.

Well, in fact some bacteria are bad, and if they infect the body they can cause diseases. Some examples are: Salmonella (causes food poisoning),Neisseria gonorrhoea (yep, the bug was named after the disease it causes) and Helicobacter pylori (causes stomach ulcers). These are definitely bad bugs, and we need to avoid them.

Then there are bacteria that just live in or on us, and don’t do anything other than just sit there. These aren’t necessarily bad, but they may not be much good either.

Then there are the good bacteria -and these are called ‘probiotics’. They’re good because when we consume enough of them, they improve our health and help keep us healthy if we take them every day.

Science has demonstrated over and over again (there are now almost 2,000 papers published every year) the health benefits of certain, specific types of probiotic bacteria. They are usually members of two main bacterial ‘families’ – Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. Just like all families, some members are really good, and some less so. And you can’t tell which is which just from their name. You have to have evidence to know which ones work, and which ones are just there for the ride and rely on their family name to get them a job.

This next part is really important when choosing a probiotic to maintain or improve your health:

For a product to rightfully claim it contains probiotic bacteria, the bacteria must be alive and have been shown in clinical studies to give health benefits.

Not all bacteria that claim to be probiotics are probiotics just because they carry the name “Lactobacillus”.

So, let’s talk about how probiotics are named...

This was part one of a four-part series about what probiotics are and why they’re good for you. Next up is ‘How probiotics are named, followed by ‘How probiotics work’ and ‘How to take your probiotics’.



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What long-distance runners need to know about PCC®

What long-distance runners need to know about PCC®

The Bioxyne Team

Bruno Nascimento

Endurance training is excellent for heart health but it does take a toll on the immune system.

It has been known since at least 1993 from a range of studies that unusually heavy acute or chronic exercise is associated with an increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI).

The clinical data supports the concept that heavy exertion increases an athlete's risk of URTI because of negative changes in immune function and elevation of the stress hormones, epinephrine, and cortisol.

The Bioxyne team suspected that PCC would be of benefit to athletes and their compromised immune systems when our own preclinical studies showed that PCC® preferentially bound to the Peyer’s patches in the gut. Peyer’s patches is immune tissue in the gastrointestinal tract that plays a key role in mucosal immunity.

We proposed, therefore, that PCC® may boost the mucosal immune system, providing protection against respiratory tract infections leading to cold and flu symptoms.

In order to examine the ability of PCC® to boost the mucosal immune system in humans, we designed clinical trials on long distance runners and other elite athletes, who are known to be more susceptible to contracting URTIs than the general population.

To carry out the study, we took 20 male elite distance runners in the height of winter. They were training to compete in events ranging from 800 metres to the marathon (42.2 km).

After recruitment, our athletes completed an initial treatment month (28 days)receiving either L. fermentum VRI-003 (PCC®) or placebo. A washout month followed the completion of the first treatment month. Previous studies have shown that it typically takes a probiotic bacteria 3–8 days to pass through the gastrointestinal tract. We then swapped what our participants were taking, so that those receiving PCC® as the first treatment received the placebo as the second treatment and vice versa. The athletes were monitored for an additional fortnight (referred toas ‘‘follow-up’’) after completing the second treatment. During each treatment month subjects were required to take three capsules, twice daily.

Athletes maintained daily diaries recording symptoms, days, severity and medications.

The most important finding of the study was a significant reduction in the number of days of respiratory illness symptoms, and a trend towards a lower severity of illness, during PCC® treatment compared with placebo.

It’s clear from the clinical data that elite endurance athletes can benefit from taking PCC® when undertaking intense training for competitions, because it improves resistance to common illnesses associated with the increase in stress hormones at that time, which will ultimately impede their training and performance.

The study authors noted that “different strains of L. fermentum have different immune-stimulating ability” - PCC® it seems is particularly effective at boosting mucosal immunity in elite athletes.

Learn more about the study here.

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