Colony Forming Unit (CFU) enumeration on Probiotic labels does not apply to Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™.
In fact, according to qualified microbiologists, this standard CFU testing is a highly inadequate method for identifying the true number of CFUs for our unique type of Probiotic formulation.
For many years we have struggled to explain to customers why Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ does not show CFU numbers on the label while all the world are eagerly using Colony Forming Units as a means of valuing the potency of their Probiotic. It is true that for most standard forms of Probiotics, these large numbers of CFU may be important to consumer in helping them determine the potential efficacy of these types of Probiotics. However, Professor Lee Dexter, world renowned microbiologist, was very quick to point out that:
“…CFU numbers in and of themselves have little to nothing to do with the potency or efficacy of a Probiotic...” [1) *
So, what are Colony Forming Units (CFU)?
The concept of Colony Forming Units (CFU) having value was first introduced by the US FDA and World Health Organizations (WHO), in 2002, when they decided to recommend that “the minimum viable numbers of each Probiotic strain at the end of the product shelf-life” be reported on labeling…”  This came as a recommendation not a new labeling law. CFU numbers quickly became a marketing message and Probiotics brands started competing based on how many CFU counts they put on their labels. Unfortunately for consumers, as reported later by the WHO “… most companies that give a number report the viable cell count at date of manufacture, a number probably much higher than existing at the moment of consumption…” 
We have tried to explain to our customers that this number is not really that important, because real live organisms that thrive in the soil and were then ingested from organic fruits and vegetable, do not really function this way. In fact, according to experts at a top ranking North American laboratory, “…A colony of bacteria or yeast refers to a mass of individual cells of the same organism, growing together. Colony Forming Units (CFU) are used as a measure of the number of microorganisms present in or on the surface of a sample…” “…The colonies that form are counted…”  THERE IS ONE EXCEPTION to this standard form of testing:
“…CFU is NOT a proper measure for individual cells or spores as a colony may be formed from a single or a mass of cells or spores...” 
It is in this last statement that we find the truth about the dynamic nature of Body Biotics™. Since we know that the term CFU has “little to nothing” to do with the efficacy of a Probiotic, we chose to hold true to our commitment to offer consumers a deeper understanding of the biological nature and full range of health benefits available to them from a “natural SBO Probiotics Consortia™,” like the ones which originated in the soil and once protected us through our daily consumption of organic “farm to table” foods.
Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ are dormant, alive and thriving in their natural ancestral food source. Because of the special method we use to protect and preserve these living organisms in their natural dormant state while encapsulated, our Probiotics DO NOT have a finite number.
Unlike many other Probiotics, Body Biotics™ has not been removed from their natural food source, altered, mutated, synthesized, or any other form of change or manipulation.
When you activate Body Biotics™ with water or juice, these “alive and thriving” organisms, trained in nature to withstand the harshest of environments, awaken and begin immediately to multiply.
Therefore, listing a CFU amount on the Body Biotics™ label would be inaccurate and misleading. What is important to know is that each individual will experience a multiplication of the number of organisms in one capsule of Body Biotics™ based on several important factors:
1. Dietary habits: unfriendly bacteria feed on sugars, starches, and carbs. Cutting back or eliminated those altogether, while eating more green leafy vegetables, helps speed up the rebalancing of the gut. *
2. Current condition of the gut: a pH balanced friendly gut welcomes this new addition, whereas, a hostile unfriendly gut immediately fights back against the friendly invaders. A war literally begins in an effort to crowd out the unfriendly bacteria and recreate a health balance between the two. (This battle may cause some mild discomfort until the new addition of friendly bacteria take on more and more territory along the GI tract) *
3. Alcohol and tobacco consumption: Not that you can’t have either, just remember, they will limit the multiplication number of each capsule. So cleaning up the gut and recreating balance may take longer to get the results you are striving to achieve. They still work great, just not as fast. *
4. Type and amount of water consumed daily: drinking 60-80 ounces a day of purified (non-chlorinated/non-fluorinated) water is critical to rebalancing the gut. As the unfriendly bacteria die-off and putrefaction is lifted from the gut wall, you must have enough water to remove these from your system. Kind of like flushing the toilet, waste must be removed to keep from repopulating the unfriendly environment. *
We hope this information helps you to better understand why CFUs are just numbers and do not really communicate true value of any particular Probiotic. Many factors go into creating a safe and effective Probiotic, like our Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™.
To learn more about SBOs and Probiotics Consortia, please check out our list of 22 “Explicit and Implicit” Claims for Soil-Based Organisms (SBOs) from our 700+ page FDA Structure/ Function submission letter at: http://www.bodybiotics.com/consumerannouncement.php
Professor Lee B. Dexter, March 2010 / The Safety and Efficacy of Bacillus sp. as Probiotics, Dexter / de Sante` video interview: http://www.bodybiotics.com/probioticssafetyandefficacy.php
Structure/Function Claims for Soil-Based Organisms™ http://www.bodybiotics.com/fdaexecutivesummary.pdf