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CoreBrain Journal - Dr Charles Parker
183 Probiotics Improve Mind Treatments – Trenev
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183 Probiotics Improve Mind Treatments – Trenev

Probiotics Reports: How They Improve the Mind

The real voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
~ Marcel Proust

Natasha Trenev  - As a developmental scientist, health activist, and internationally renowned probiotic authority, Natasha Trenev has spent years studying the effects of beneficial bacteria and has written several books on the subject of how probiotics improve the mind and overall health. Co-founder of Natren, Inc., she is a member of the

  • American Society of Microbiology,
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science,
  • Institute of Food Technologists,
  • Anaerobe Society of the Americas, and the
  • American Dairy Science Association.

She's considered by many "The Mother of Probiotics." Her considerable accomplishments that appear in her show notes here confirm this accolade.

Brief Introduction

Following her graduation from UCLA in 1970, a decade of research led to Natasha’s development of the first revolutionary method of producing an effective and scientifically validated single strain probiotic bacteria product. Her efforts led to the establishment of the entire probiotics category in North America, Australia, England, Holland, and Belgium.

Her interesting views on probiotic specificity are, in a word, remarkable.

Significant Contributions

Some of Natasha Trenev’s accomplishments include:

  • Introduced the previously unknown category of probiotics to the North American health food industry and dietary supplement industry;
  • Authored the Dairy Standards for liquid yogurt adopted by the California Department of Agriculture in 1969;
  • Established perishable sections in the health food stores across the nation from 1970-73 to sell yogurt;
  • Assisted in establishing perishable distributors nationwide to sell yogurt;
  • Worked with the Vice President of United Airlines to establish user-friendly rates to ship perishables cross country by air in 1971;
  • Authored Probiotic Standards adopted by the National Nutritional Foods Association in July of 1989;
  • Established the National Standards for Probiotics read into The Congressional Record in 1995;
  • Committed 35 years to convince retailers to sell probiotics in refrigerated sections of stores;
  • Invested 35 years educating the public, professionals, doctors, and scientists that probiotics are the most important health concept of the 21st Century

Today, Natasha’s reference library is the world’s largest private repository on the multiple implications of probiotics, and is referenced and recommended by prominent research scientists and medical schools.

*Photo by Drica Pinotti on Unsplash


Natasha's Experience In Setting Probiotic Standards

In 1980, I made arrangements with a research facility that gave me access to a laboratory, where I began culturing my own probiotic supplements. I processed cultures, supervised the freeze-drying and powdering processes, and even helped with the bottling. Everything was billed and shipped from my home. My husband trucked in dry ice every day to keep the live bacteria supplements from deteriorating in the garage, where we were forced to keep them stored.

For many years, I found myself continually frustrated by the lack of established standards for probiotics. Probiotics of the finest quality competed in the marketplace with probiotic products of such poor quality that I knew the consumer could not possibly benefit from them. Without reliable standards in place, there was no way for a consumer to compare the worth of any probiotic products and benefits.

For example, L. acidophilus was well known as a beneficial bacteria for humans by then, but even a knowledgeable consumer found it difficult to understand the benefits of a super strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus compared with the generic supplements (some filled with questionable organisms that contained no acidophilus) that also lined store shelves.

National Standards Set

I began working with the Natural Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) to set standards for probiotic supplements. In 1989, the Association wrote and adopted the NNFA Probiotic Labeling Standard. This ruling requires that probiotic supplement labels list the quantity and identity of the live bacteria species present, a viable cell count, an expiration date, certification of the absence of pathogens, storage requirements, and a list of any additional ingredients. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, virtually none of the probiotic supplement suppliers (except Natren) adhere to these standards.

In 1993, I was honored to be recognized as an authority in the field of probiotic cultures. At the request of the World Health Organization, I was invited to speak on probiotic bacteria and probiotic benefits at the Fifteenth International Congress of Nutrition in Australia. My audience consisted mainly of scientists and Ph.D.s, and I received a standing ovation.

Medical Professionals Recognize Probiotic Values

Of course, I was flattered by the enthusiastic response I received, but that really wasn't the important issue. What was important is that the applause from the audience indicated that the medical profession is finally beginning to acknowledge the science supporting the daily use of probiotics owing to multiple probiotics benefits. Probiotics are not relegated to research labs any longer. However, until beneficial bacteria supplements are as well-known as vitamins - and that day is coming - this news remains insider information.


Website, Connections & Books



Additional From CBJ Guests On Microbiota

  • CBJ/033 - Dr. Bill Miller - On the evolution of mind and the microbiome - Meta-Darwinism
  • CBJ/061 - Dr. Tom O'Bryan - Autoimmunity & The Gut
  • CBJ/097 - Dr. Rachel Fresco - Microbiome, Candida & Biofilm
  • CBJ/175 - Dr. Zach Bush - On Restore, Microbiome and Gut /Brain Health


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Thanks, Natasha for joining us here at CBJ to review the challenges so often seen with mind and gut connections that can change outcomes for so many.

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Our Next CoreBrain Journal Episode

184 Brit Brogaard - is a Danish/American philosopher and neuroscientist. Driven by her innate curiosity she is trying to answer some of the deepest fundamental questions about our brains. After co-authoring The Superhuman Mind, which is about how ordinary individuals can change their minds and brains, she continued looking at how we can bring about positive changes not just in the area of extraordinary abilities but also to mood, personality and the meaning of life. Brit has a different take on improved connections with the concept of synesthesia to improve mindset from direct experience with challenging life travels. Synesthesia is a favorite concept I've referenced over the years and Brit takes it to a much deeper level.

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