Why you won’t find a corn-free commercial probiotic supplement.

Example ingredients list for a high-qulity probiotics:

Lactobacillus species
5.0+ billion CFUs*

Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Lactobacillus casei

Lactobacillus paracasei

Lactobacillus gasseri

Lactobacillus salivarius

Bifidobacterium species
5.0+ billion CFUs

Bifidobacterium bifidum

Bifidobacterium longum

Bifidobacterium breve

Bifidobacterium infantis

Bifidobacterium lactis

Other Ingredients: None.

All of those ingredients are microorganisms. That’s what probiotics *are*, by definition: beneficial bacteria. Organisms need to eat something, which means sugar, and that usually means glucose, either exclusively from corn or from mixed sources that could be corn. If there is a probiotic out there that is grown on a corn-free medium, I would LOVE to know about it.


Your best bet is to make your own probiotics, if you can tolerate the ingredients required. 

But to my understanding, if you for some reason need to take a probiotic supplement rather than making your own, the best you can do is no inactive ingredients, that way the only corn you’re getting is what the probiotics ate, and whatever wasn’t filtered out from the medium when they were being harvested. 

My thinking on it is that if you are going to be getting some corn exposure, you’d best pick the highest quality, most pure supplement out there, so you’re getting the most benefit in return.

Edited 2012-04-12: Apparently there are some probiotics that are grown on inulin, a sugar from chicory, that may be corn free. I have yet to contact any of these companies to be positive that they always uses only inulin and never add corn glucose, but that sounds hopeful.

Update 2013-05-09: I had my naturopath look into two products that seemed promising:


I am struggling to remember exactly what she told me, but it wasn’t promising. I think she said Klaire wouldn’t tell her what it was grown on, just said “no corn protein” over and over, which basically means corn. I think Kirkman said microrystalline cellulose, but that doesn’t sound right as does that really have enough sugar in it to feed a probiotic beastie? They also said it is not possible to grow probiotics only on inulin, something else is required.

Based on that I decided to stick with the Gutpro becuase I already have it, it is higher quality than the other options, and the other options don’t sound safer.

12 thoughts on “Why you won’t find a corn-free commercial probiotic supplement.

  1. Hi, Thanks for the info. I have been using Pure Probiotic by Pure Encapsulations and I just called to find out what they feed their microorganisms. I am waiting for a call back…….. Did GutPro tell you what exactly they use to feed their probiotic? Thanks

    1. I didn’t call GutPro directly, but I believe Erica from Corn Free Lifestyle contacted them and they told her the medium was corn-based. Suspect they use glucose from corn to feed it. I started reacting to it a tiny bit about a month ago and quit using it, and have no probiotic right now, sadly.

      I love Pure Encapsulations because they are so forthcoming with their ingredient sources, but I have the sinking feeling they are not going to reveal their exact medium for probiotics to you.They may go so far as to say “no corn protein,” but probably won’t tell you more than that. I base that on the wording in their product information sheet: “grown on a proprietary dairy-free and soy-free medium.” But I could be wrong, and I hope I am. 🙂 Good luck. Even if they won’t reveal the medium to you, if it is working for you I would encourage you to keep using it. Probiotics are very important.

  2. Sorry to hear you had to give up using GutPro. My wife is allergic to inulin, which as you noted is made from chicory. Chicory is in the aster family. My wife is allergic to most every plant in the aster family. She’s been taking Kirkman Labs’ Pro-Bio Gold, which is inulin-free. In fact, about a year ago, Kirkman stopped using inulin as a culture medium, so all of their probiotics are no inulin-free. I just located GutPro today and found it has no fillers and no inulin. It’s just bugs in a loose powder or capsule. I’m going to call the company on Monday to see what they say about how the product is cultured. My wife isn’t allergic to corn, but I just want to make sure the GutPro product is what they say it is. I hope you find a probiotic that you can take. Take care.

    1. Hi Peter,

      Thanks for sharing that info! I think since she is fine with corn she will be fine with the GutPro. The traces of corn in it are so small anyway that it’s unusual to react. I’m just lucky that way. 🙂

      Best of luck, and let me know via comments or the “ask corn allergy girl” link if I can be of any non-corn allergy assistance to you. Not sure exactly how, but you never know.


  3. Hi, Someone from Pure Encapsulations called me back on Friday about what they use to feed their microorganisms. I wish I wrote down exactly what she said but basically the company that manufactures it said that information is proprietary. She could not tell me for sure, but she said most likely it is glucose based. I asked her about the different options they could feed it with and she said no, she said it was most likely glucose. I have heard good things from different corn free sites about Blue Ice fermented cod liver oil and their butter oil. Supposedly there is a probiotic effect because it is fermented? The difficult thing with my son is that the reactions are behavioral/emotional so I don’t always know what/where caused it. Every time I try to find something that is “safe”, I find out it either is manufactured on a line that makes corn or it is somehow derived from corn. I have been trying really hard to find out about spirulina thinking that could be a good source of nutrients and vitamins but I have to look into the information they gave me to see if there is a corn link. Thanks again for putting your time into this site because it is a huge help!!!

  4. I couldn’t tolerate Pure Encapsulations Magnesiun or their Multi Vitamins when I tried them fall of 2022. I had gut issues within an hour after taking either pill. I found out I have a number of food intolerances when I had MRT testing done, corn sensitivity being my greatest allergen. I spotted the Pure company response to a question regarding an ingredient acetyl palmitate, which they said is made from fermenting corn. This explains why my gut doesn’t tolerate their products.

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