Primal Defense Probiotics.

The longer I keep birds, the more strongly I feel about using Garden of Life Primal Defense probiotics as part of a daily supplement routine for any and all bird species. I often think about my neighbor who rescued two baby robins on separate occasions. With the first baby, she used Primal Defense on mealworms at my recommendation and the baby thrived until flying into the wild with a local flock of adults. The second baby faded away, and I asked if she had used the Primal Defense, but sadly, she had forgotten. 

The dose I use is approximately 1/16 teaspoon Primal Defense per cup of soft food. When birds are sick I may use higher doses in food, or administer Primal Defense via syringe on an empty crop. Over the many years that I have used Primal Defense, I have found it to dramatically decrease infections in my finch, canary, parrot and chicken flocks. Birds seem to do extremely well on Primal Defense, and I believe that this is because it is made from soil microorganisms similar to those that would be found in dirt from wild bird habitats. I am convinced that one of the primary reasons for why wild birds don’t get sick from eating rotten foods is that they consume beneficial soil organisms. These soil organisms protect avian health in a myriad of ways, with beneficial healing effects that extend throughout the organs and blood, even into the skin and feathers. Most other probiotic formulas, although much less expensive, simply do not achieve even an approximation of the results that can be achieved with Primal Defense. It would be like comparing canned peas to sun-warmed peas from the vine. 

Please make sure to use only the plain Primal Defense powder for birds, not the Ultra, flavored, etc. The plain formula comes in a blue, 81 gram jar. I like to purchase Primal Defense from Note that Primal Defense in small, reasonable amounts, is safe and highly beneficial to use when feeding baby birds of any age. It is invaluable in preventing infection when used daily in hand-feeding formulas.

NOTE: I often hear that avian probiotics need to contain avian-specific strains. An avian-specific probiotic would ideally colonize in a bird’s gut whereas probiotics found in soil like Primal Defense would not colonize but rather would need to be consumed daily as a food supplement. My feeling about this is simple: I have used avian-specific probiotics and in one case they appeared to quickly cause a fatality; in other cases they seemed ineffective at preventing infection. I use Primal Defense because it is safe and it works. 

Here follows a very long, excellent article from Garden of Life (the Primal Defense manufacturer) explaining why these soil organisms work so effectively to promote  healing and prevention of disease:

What is Primal Defense ?

Primal Defense is a whole food probiotic blend containing 14 strains of hardy plant based, non-dairy HSOsa (Homeostatic Soil Organisms.) HSOsa contain naturally occurring live enzymes, vitamins and minerals designed to optimize the digestive terrain, bowel and immune system function. These unique micro-organisms are shown to devour undigested matter, and eliminate yeast, parasites and bad bacteria from the intestines. Primal Defense contains the same nutrients used for thousands of years by some of the healthiest and longest living people in the world.

Why do we need Primal Defense?

Beneficial soil and plant based microbes used to be ingested through food grown in rich, unpolluted soil. However, for the last 50 years our soil has been sterilized with pesticides and herbicides, destroying most bacteria, both bad and good. Our modern lifestyle, which includes antibiotics, chlorinated water, agricultural chemicals, pollution and poor diet, is responsible for eradicating much of the beneficial bacteria in our bodies. A lack of beneficial microorganisms often results in poor intestinal and immune system health, contributing to a wide range of symptoms and illnesses.

What are HSOs (Homeostatic Soil Organisms)?

The main component in Primal Defense is HSOsa, which have been used for over 22 years by thousands of health care practitioners. The non-mutated naturally occurring colonies of probiotics are from the original, pristine cultures found in unpolluted soil and plants, now cultivated in U.S. laboratories using proprietary methods. The HSOsa are in a substrate of nutrient rich superfoods providing vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes and proteins. The probiotics are then made dormant using the Microflora Delivery Systema, which protects and delivers them directly to the GI tract where they multiply and flourish.

How do HSOs work?

Impervious to stomach acids and the digestive process, the microorganisms move through the stomach into the intestinal tract where they form colonies along the intestinal walls. HSOsa multiply in the intestines and actually compete with harmful bacteria and yeasts for receptor sites, crowding out pathogens and taking up residence. Once established, the organisms quickly begin producing the proper environment for nutrient absorption, thus reinstating a balanced pH.

According to early research and anecdotal evidence, the following is a summary of the actions of HSOsa .

Work from inside the intestines dislodging accumulated decay from the walls and flushing out waste.
Breaks down hydrocarbons, a unique ability to split food into its most basic elements allowing almost total absorption through the digestive system. This increases overall nutrition and enhances cellular development.

Produce specific proteins that act as antigens, encouraging the immune system to manufacture huge pools of uncoded antibodies. This increased production of antibodies may significantly boost the body’s ability to ward off disease.
Very aggressive against pathological molds, yeasts, fungi, bacteria, parasites and viruses.

Work in symbiosis with somatic (tissue or organ) cells to metabolize proteins and eliminate toxic waste.
Stimulate the body to produce natural alpha-interferon, a potent immune system enhancer and powerful virus inhibitor.

Provides critical Lactoferrin supplementation as a by-product of their metabolism. Lactoferrin is an iron binding protein essential for retrieving iron from foods. What is the difference between Primal Defense and other probiotics?

Even if they manage to get through the destructive stomach acids, most probiotic supplements can have a difficult time implanting in colons that are pH imbalanced or have too many harmful bacteria. HSOsa are designed to implant in any colonic environment. The Microflora Delivery Systemaensures that the probiotics colonize throughout the digestive tract where they are most effective. The probiotics contained in Primal Defensea are grown and incorporated into a living whole food substrate using the Poten-Zymea process, which allows them to thrive on their long journey through the GI tract.

Most probiotics on the market today grow bacteria, and then in a centrifuge, separate them from their substrate. We believe the substrate is as important as the probiotics themselves. Many probiotics have included fructooligosaccharides (FOS) in their product. FOS is an indigestible sugar that may cause digestive disturbances in certain individuals. Primal Defensea contains no FOS.

Since most probiotic supplements contain live cultures, they are temperature and age sensitive, therefore requiring refrigeration. If room temperature can begin to degrade these probiotics, imagine what the warm human body will do. Our HSOsa remain dormant until activated by body fluids, thus requiring no refrigeration. Many probiotic products measure their potency in colony forming units (CFU), whereas in Primal Defensea, it’s not the quantity of probiotics, it’s the quality. The hardy probiotic strains in Primal Defensea are resistant to heat, cold, stomach acid, chlorine, fluorine, ascorbic acid and bile. The efficacy of a probiotic should be based upon its ability to ferment foods.

What are physicians saying about Primal Defense?

“I use quite a bit of Primal Defensea for tough cases of bowel toxemia and irritable bowel syndrome. My patients like it, and I attest to Primal Defensea being a superior product for gut metabolism.”
-James Privatera, MD

“Almost all people who consult me for the care of irritable bowel syndrome, candidiasis, Lyme disease, or infections get their gut flora changed to healthier consistencies by my prescribing Primal Defensea for them. I am invariably using one of the lactobacillus preparations, and the HSOsa in Primal Defensea as the top of the line, the Cadillac of lactobacilli.”

-Seldon Nelson, DO

“For many years now, I have been involved in alternative medical care and integrated medicine. In the search for effective, safe remedies, I am constantly reviewing product claims and anecdotal reports. More often than not they fail to meet my expectations, that is, except for Primal Defensea. This product generated the most affirmative response I have ever seen.”

-Charles Hamel, MD

“As a mother and physician, I am enthusiastic about Primal Defense as a treatment for autism. Children with this disorder do not have normal gut functioning. Often they are infected with candida and clostridium, and fail to develop normally. If parents would put their little patients on a dairy-free diet and also supplement with Primal Defensea, much improvement in their communication skills would occur and many autistic symptoms would disappear. This happened for my son.”

-Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD

“I believe Primal Defensea is applicable as a food supplement for everyone, whether a person is sick or not. Where people specifically find advantages in using Primal Defensea is in situations involving chronic disease of gut origin. Since my expertise lies in the area of gastrointestinal disorders, this product is the primary therapy that I

utilize on a routine basis. People with arthritis, chronic constipation, CrohnÕs disease, colitis, and other gut-linked systemic conditions improve by supplementing with Primal Defensea.”
-Joseph Brasco, MD, Board Certified Gastroenterologist

“One of my patients had exceedingly elevated blood triglycerides at 305 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). Six weeks later, after taking the soil organisms, her triglycerides dropped to a mere 151 mg/dl. IÕm excited about the product. There are many positive experiences associated with it.”
-Phyllis Wilson Confer, DC

Primal Defense is cultured with the following:

Lactobacillus Acidophilus Lactobacillus Leichmannii Lactobacillus Bulgaricus Lactobacillus Lactis Lactobacillus Plantarum Lactobacillus Caseii Lactobacillus Brevis Bifidobacteria Bifidum Lactobacillus Caucasicus Saccharomyces Boulardii ** Lactobacillus Fermenti Bacillus Subtilis

Lactobacillus Helveticus Bacillus Lichenformis
Primal Defensea is a natural whole food probiotic blend of HSOsa (Homeostatic Soil Organisms) utilizing the Poten-Zymea process and the Microflora Delivery Systema. Primal Defensea contains naturally occuring enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and phyto sterols/sterolins.

** A lactic acid yeast that does not promote the growth of Candida.


Prohibitions. The following prohibitions should be observed:

NO CHLORINATED WATER. Chlorine can kill beneficial bacteria in the body. Use distilled or reverse osmosis filtered water only. Drinking chlorinated water once in a while (such as in a restaurant) is OK.
NO HARSH HERBAL COLON CLEANSES. These may be too invasive and interfere with the bacterial balance. If constipation occurs take a mild herbal laxative. HSOs cleanse the colon of putrefaction and balance colonic bacteria environment. This is generally accomplished in a gentle, systematic manner.

COLON HYDROTHERAPY (physical cleanses, water only, no oxygen) is an excellent method of removing die-off bacteria parasites, and also to remove broken up mucoid (putrefaction)

NO PARASITE KILLERS. Primal Defense and olive leaf extract will assist the body with the elimination of parasites, both regular and amoebic. Some herbal parasite killers may interfere with soil organisms ability to colonize.
ANTIBIOTIC DRUGS. It is believed that antibiotics MAY kill much of the bacteria in the GI track, although some strains may survive. There’s no definitive research on this subject. The developing biochemist recommends continuing to take Primal Defense (as far apart from the antibiotic ingestion as possible) and increasing the dosage after the antibiotics. Do not take Primal Defense within several hours of other medications.

Primal Defense Clinical Study Results


Homeostatic soil organisms improve candida, asthma, and other conditions in medically unresponsive chronic disease states. A physician skeptic performs the studyÉ

In January 2000, physician skeptic Paul A. Goldberg, M.P.H., D.C., professor of gastroenterology and public health at Life Chiropractic College, came across promotional materials about a probiotic product called Primal Defensea containing homeostatic soil organisms thought to be as old as the earth itself; a number of patients had questioned him about this product. Dr. Goldberg is not a big fan of nutritional supplements. He believes the claims surrounding products all too often exaggerate their benefits. He therefore challenged Garden of Life, manufacturer of Primal Defense, to allow him to do his own study utilizing a patient population that had been largely unresponsive to a wide range of medical treatments to see whether this formula could live up to its claims.* The completed study is scheduled to be published this fall in the peer-reviewed journal Progress in Nutrition.

Seventeen patients between 27 to 60 years of age, suffering from chronic diseases unresponsive to standard medical intervention for a minimum of three years, were given eighteen Primal Defense homeostatic soil organism (HSO) caplets per day for 120 days. Patients were evaluated by interview regarding their conditions pre- and post-administration of the Primal Defense caplets along with limited laboratory evaluation. At the termination of the study there were clinical improvements, of varying degrees, in subjects.

Scientific Validation for Primal Defense Soil Organisms
“Sixteen of seventeen subjects completing the study reported improvements in their symptoms including partial to complete relief from bowel problems, decreases in asthmatic symptomatology, increases in energy levels, improvement in skin conditions, improvement in chronic sinus infection and general improvements in overall well being,” notes Dr. Goldberg. “No subjects reported any worsening of their symptoms at the completion of the study.”

Notable Candida Yeast Reductions
Stool and/or blood testing before and after administration of Primal Defense revealed an appreciable lowering in candida yeast counts in each of the eight subjects who showed elevated yeast counts initially. That is astounding! Every person with elevated candida levels had a significant reduction. No subjects exhibited any significant increase in yeast counts. The results of the before and after stool microbiologies were notable. Based on these samples, the HSOs in Primal Defense appear to be effective at reducing candida yeast growth, Dr. Goldberg notes. Two subjects had candida antibody titers done prior to and after the protocol. Both showed a significant reduction in their titers along with pronounced clinical improvement in their symptoms.

Notable Improvements among Asthmatics
Two subjects had a history of asthma with current symptomatology for which they were on prescription medications. Both of these subjects had a 50 percent or greater reduction in their asthmatic symptoms and in their usage of prescription inhalant medications upon completing the protocol. “Particularly notable was the reduction in asthmatic symptoms seen in two patents who had been asthmatic for many years,” notes Dr. Goldberg. “This is consistent with the ‘hygiene hypothesis,’ which suggests that the upsurge in childhood asthma has accompanied the decrease in bacterial exposure of modern children in industrialized societies and that through greater exposure to bacteria (and other microorganisms) a decrease in the incidence of asthma might be possible.”

Notable Improvements in Intestinal Conditions
Eleven of twelve subjects who initially experienced intestinal difficulties reported improvement in their overall bowel function consisting of one or more of the following types: relief from chronic constipation, less irritable bowel-type symptoms, reduced frequency of diarrhea, and greater ease in elimination without straining. None of the subjects reported any negative effects on bowel functioning.

Results Explained
“I have long recognized the importance of the gastrointestinal flora in good intestinal functioning and in regards to a wide variety of systemic health problems,” notes Dr. Goldberg. “Dietary modification, fasting, detoxification, lifestyle alterations, all are of positive impact on the gastrointestinal flora when properly applied; yet, with so many forces in our modern lives working against the maintenance of healthy gut flora I felt that additional reinforcement to the flora would be beneficial, particularly in clients with serious chronic health problems.”

Dr. Goldberg adds that it has been suggested as far back as the Russian embryologist and immunologist ƒlie Metchnikoff (1845-1916) that taking supplemental beneficial bacteria to reinforce and balance intestinal flora promotes intestinal well-being and produces systemic benefits. “Mounting epidemiological data and clinical studies support the idea that exposure to a wide variety of bacteria, as found in nature in the soil and general environment, play an important role in the development of healthy immune systems and the general state of resistance, to a wide variety of ailments. Conversely, a theory known as the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ suggests that many people in modern societies have been too highly protected from normal bacteria. This isolation

from the bacteria in our environment, according to the ‘hygiene hypothesis,’ may contribute to the rise in chronic degenerative diseases such as asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and a host of allergic conditions.

“It has been suggested that bacteria found in the soil, referred to as homeostatic soil organisms (HSOs) when ingested orally in a probiotic formulation, may have advantages over non HSO-probiotic formulas due to their ability to implant and survive in the gut. The value of HSOs reportedly lies in promoting positive intestinal function with corresponding systemic improvements in the patient’s overall nutritional, immunological and gastrointestinal status.

“It has been postulated that human beings ingested HSOs as part and parcel of the dietary intake prior to the sanitizing of food products as it occurs today in most Western nations. There is increasing evidence that our well-intended attempts at sanitizing our homes and food supply with antimicrobial cleaning solutions, disinfectants and soaps may be excessive and contributing to immune systems that do not develop healthy responses to outside influences. This lack of challenge to our immune systems is becoming increasingly suspect in regards to the increasing amounts of asthmatic children, raised under increasingly sanitary conditions, in the United States.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that a variety of chronic gastrointestinal, allergic, autoimmune and degenerative conditions can be positively affected by the consistent (three months or longer) administration of an HSO formulation.”

Primal Defense has been awarded the Diabetes Resource Center’s “Seal of Approval” as a beneficial food for diabetic consumption<diabetesseal.gif>

Lainey Alexander

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, or by any veterinarian. All information, including any product or technique mentioned, is for educational purposes only. None of the information is intended to diagnose or treat any disease.