User:Lehua Gray/Notebook/Consumer Probiotics Database

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Project Description

Possibility:

With each new discovery our scientific understanding of human microbiotic symbiotes progresses. With the Human Microbiome Project and other recent work we are discovering that our flora have a profound effect of our behavior and our bodily systems, including digestive, immunological, and neurological. This opens up new possibilities for treatments which target our microbiomes to cure or alleviate the symptoms of digestive disorders, immunodeficiencies, auto-immune disorders, depression, panic disorders, and others still to be discovered. This has the potential to greatly improve quality of life for those suffering from disease, prevent diseases in healthy individuals, and improve overall health through the use of specialized, targeted probiotics strains

Problem:

The probiotic industry is currently a chaotic mix of carefully researched products and false advertising. There are no consumer advocacy groups within the probiotics industry, unlike the vitamin and supplement industry and despite the fact that it shows greater promise for raising human health standards if properly implemented. There is no single clearinghouse of information which can help consumers make choices about what to buy, so most end up buying whatever pill bottle they see first, often times something with negligible or questionable health benefit. As a result there is much less incentive for probiotics companies to be meticulous and honest or to work on new implementations or microorganisms. Progress in this area of medical science is being slowed by this dearth of reliable, compiled information for consumers.

Goal:

TO MAKE INFORMATION ABOUT PROBIOTICS ACCESSABLE, UNDERSTANDABLE, AND USEFUL FOR CONSUMERS IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE GOOD MARKETING PRACTICES AND NEW SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS WITHIN THE INDUSTRY.

Proposal:

Create a user friendly website which will compile all available information about probiotic cultures and brands in an accessible and honest way, eventually contributing our own data to the project. A Consumer Probiotic Resource/Project/Database

Steps:

  • 1. Compile known data from manufacturer websites, consumer labs, scientific journals, etc. (retain citations!)
    • a. A list of probiotic brands
    • b. A list of species
    • c. A list of properties
    • d. Journal articles
  • 2. Organize info into pages
    • a. About the science of probiotics
    • b. Recent advances
    • c. A recommendation engine
    • d. Each strain a link, each brand a link
    • e. A chart of which strain does what and in what brands it can be found
    • f. A ranking system
    • g. Blog area for new info
  • 3. Write!
  • 4. Website design: appearance, code, and monetization
    • a. Monetization: Website must be self-supporting
      • i. Referrals to Amazon.
      • ii. Ads?
      • iii. Donations
      • iv. Talk to the industry for sponsorship?
  • 5. Post everything online
    • a. Purchase a Domain
  • 6. Create protocols for my product testing
    • a. Which properties to test, i-n
    • b. Research each property, ask advice
    • c. Write a test for each, ask advice
    • d. Perform test for each, replicate
    • e. Post instructions, ask for advice
    • f. Test with others (kids, a free class, a high school bio teacher)
    • g. Finalize protocols, recruit testers
    • h. Correlate results.

Possible properties to test:

  • Number of active cultures
  • Resistance to shelf wear
  • Acid resistance
  • Resistance to antibiotics
  • Competitive advantage compared to: e. coli, h. pylorii, etc.

Notes

  • Project is currently in Stage 1: research. I hope to roll out an early version of the database by December


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