A crucial breakthrough was when the Keystone strains of probiotics were discovered. These are the only uniquely universal strains that are compatible with our guts. They have a capability of reconditioning the dysbiotic flora, where they act as the orchestrators of the microbiome. They read the entire microbial environment and orchestrate what needs to go up or down. The key to understanding why they are different from any other probiotic bacteria on the market, is that the Keystone strain, marketed in South Africa under the name “Florish,” are bacterial spores, and not the bacteria found in conventional probiotics today. These Keystone strains that are gut reconditioning microorganisms, are significantly different from any other known strains, being bacterial spores, not merely “friendly bacteria”.

Companies manufacturing the conventional style of probiotics aim to improve digestion, nutrient absorption, immunity, and/or diarrhoea. However, the overarching goal of any probiotic should be to protect the human host. According to research, probiotics that reduce the effects of leaky gut are the most effective in reaching this goal. This is what the bacterial spores in Florish accomplish.  

These Keystone strains offer an understanding around the confusion of why we have been instructed to keep our probiotics supposedly alive in the fridge- assuming they cannot survive 24`C on our shelves, but we then put them into our body with a temperature of 36`C and with a PH of 1 . Stomach acid is so strong that if you happened to touch it with your finger, it would burn off your fingerprints. Anything that harsh kills off most bacteria. So when revisiting the viability of probiotics on the market, over 45 of the top-selling probiotics in the retail market that were tested recently by scientists, not one of them survived the gastric pH. One of the leading researchers, Dr Krishnan, concluded that the vast majority of the billions of dollars that people are spending on probiotics is being spent on- “just dead bacteria moving through your system. And then you’re pooping them out 12 hours later.”  

The challenge for the Florish bacterial spores is firstly to enter an environment of 36◦C, and then to survive through 25 feet of the intestinal tract into the colon, colonize, and then further, compete with 100 trillion other bacteria. The research team set out to investigate which fundamental features of a probiotic would allow it to both survive in the gut and combat metabolic endotoxemia.  

The research interestingly revealed that these Keystone spores have a naturally developed armour-like coating, a protein-calcified layer that they self-engineer that did allow them to survive through the three following stages encountered in the digestive tract.  

The first step is the stomach acid which acts as an actual physical barrier. Here the hydrochloric acid’s role is to kill off microbes that are trying to enter the system through food and other exposure. If something does get past the stomach acid, then the second gauntlet are the bile salts. Bile salts are released into the duodenum itself. Those are very strong antimicrobials and part of their function is to act as an antimicrobial to protect the system against bacteria coming in on a regular basis. The final gauntlet were the pancreatic enzymes that help digest food, but they also act as antimicrobials.  

The Keystone bacterial spores proved to be the only bacteria capable of passing all three barriers while playing a pivotal role in the microbiome. There are millions of different species of bacteria out there. Very few of them have this unique capability. Their coating endows them this unique capability of being outside of the body, and then coming into the body through the oral route and still surviving and getting to the intestines. The next step for the research team was to test whether they could improve the microbiome enough to protect against Metabolic Endotoxemia. 

Pre-clinical trials showed that the moment these bacterial spores moved into the small intestine, they broke out of their armour-like coating, and went to work straight away as the gut restorers, gut orchestrators killing off LPS and other bad bacteria.  

The conventional strains that are found in probiotics such as the Lactobacillus and the Bifidobacterium are all dead bacteria. Some of those dead bacteria can have a stimulatory effect as they pass through the gut. However, this is only a symptomatic temporary relief. The reason the effect wears off is because all probiotic strains, other than the Keystone spores, have a metabolic stimulatory effect only and are not able to effect a functional change within the gut and the microbiome. This explains why a patient does feel some benefit from the conventional probiotics, but that benefit is short lived.  

What transpired was that even if the conventional probiotics did survive digestion, they were not the strains that could thrive in the low-oxygen environment of the gut. The aim of a probiotic should be to always functionally change and repair the imbalance in the gut barrier, allowing it to function in the manner it was designed, that is to specifically to maintain the communication between the gut and the brain, and to prevent toxins such as LPS from entering. Only the Keystone range has been shown to achieve this. Clinical research was repeatedly able to demonstrate that just by using these Keystone probiotic spores for 30 days, patients were able to reduce the amount of the most toxic bacteria, LPS, from entering the body by almost 60%.  

The Keystone Strains

The genus (meaning the family of bacteria) that contains these Keystone strains is the Bacillus family. This is not to be confused with Lactobacillus.   Bacillus indicus, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus claussi, and Bacillus licheniformis are the five most well-known and well-studied strains that make up the Keystone range. There is extensive evidence to show that these Keystone spore-forming probiotics heal a leaky gut and decrease Metabolic Endotoxemia. No such verification has ever been demonstrated with Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria.  


Introducing Keystone probiotic strains into your system resolves the core problem by restoring the gut-barrier function and the gut leakiness. When the gut barrier function is optimised, we prevent the toxic LPS bacteria from entering the body and thereby dramatically reduce the risk for virtually 90% of chronic illness.  

NOTE : These Keystone strains are available in South Africa in a product under the label “FLORISH