Here are three unusual “yogurts” (of course, they are not yogurts, but fermented foods that look and smell like yogurt) that provide unique effects. I’ve named them for the original source of the microbe: Poo Yogurt, Vagina Yogurt, and Dirt Yogurt.

Poo Yogurt
I call it “Poo Yogurt” because it is made with a specific strain of E. coli, an organism you usually associate with feces and urinary tract infections. But there is a strain of E. coli called Nissle 1917, originally isolated by a German physician, Dr. Alfred Nissle, during World War I. Dr. Nissle observed that, while most soldiers succumbed to the voluminous, often life-threatening diarrhea of cholera, dysentery, and other infectious diarrheas, one soldier appeared to be immune. He therefore isolated a strain of E. coli from this soldier’s feces that appeared to protect him from diarrheal diseases. The strain was subsequently named the Nissle 1917 strain and has been demonstrated to be safe and effective over a century of investigation. Several human clinical trials, for instance, have shown that E .coli Nissle 1917 is modestly beneficial in people with ulcerative colitis, diverticular disease, as well as diarrhea.

But E. coli Nissle 1917 has an image problem: Because it is a common fecal microbe and the most common cause of urinary tract infections, it’s a hard sell to people, fearful of the dark side of this species. It is therefore not sold in the U.S. but is sold in some parts of Europe (as a product called Mutaflor), coming from a German manufacturer. Surprisingly, you can make a delicious yogurt with this microbe to amplify the benefits, much as we do with L. reuteri and others. We ferment at the same temperature of around 100° F, but fermentation time is shorter, as this microbe reproduces faster and no more than 24 hours is required. “Poo Yogurt” may not sound very appetizing, but it is an interesting addition to your choice of therapeutic microbes to ferment.

Vagina Yogurt
The healthy vaginal microbiome should be dominated by the species Lactobacillus crispatus, but it has been lost or is reduced in number in one-third of all females due to antibiotic exposure. Having L. crispatus as the dominant vaginal microbe yields extraordinary effects on a woman’s health: reduced risk of miscarriage during pregnancy, reduced risk of premature delivery of a child, reduced likelihood of Candida and other vaginal infections, partial restoration of vaginal moisture and sensation, and—remarkably—reduced urinary tract infections and urge incontinence (urinating upon coughing, sneezing, or laughing). Preliminary evidence suggests that, if this microbe can be detected in sperm, it may protect men from prostatitis. In other words, a woman may transfer L. crispatus to her partner (if she has it) during sexual intercourse that may, in turn, provides benefits in prostate health.

L. crispatus is commercially available as a mixture of microbes in the Jarrow Fem Dophilus Advanced product. Ferment using the same conditions as that used for L. reuteri. To my surprise, it yields the most delicious yogurt I’ve ever had: thick, rich, and tastes like cream cheese. Ladies in my community consuming this yogurt are indeed reporting dramatic effects including, for example, sharp drops or complete cessation of urinary tract infections and reductions in urge incontinence. I know of no harmful effects that result should a male consume the yogurt, but there may be a happier way for a male partner to obtain it.

Dirt Yogurt
Bacillus subtilis is a spore-forming species that can be found in soil where it enhances growth of plants. Because it grows in stacks of hay, it is sometimes referred to as the “hay” or “grass” bacillus.  B. subtilis has been shown to exert important effects on the human host, effects that include improved bowel habits, improved body composition (less abdominal fat, more lean muscle), increases microbial diversity in the gastrointestinal microbiome, and has a broad range of antimicrobial effects against the species of colonic dysbiosis and SIBO.

B. subtilis grows rapidly, so fermentation for no more than 24 hours should be required, but I found that I obtained a thicker end-result with 30 hours of fermentation. Ideal fermentation temperature is around 90° F. Be sure to not cap your fermentation mixture tightly, as B. subtilis is an extravagant carbon dioxide producer and the gas needs to vent. I used the DE11 strain of B. subtilis that I obtained from the inexpensive VitaLife Kombucha from Aldi’s. This strain yields effervescence from carbon dioxide production (which this strain is very good at producing, excellent for fermenting juices to yield sparkling juices). You can try other strains, not all of which yield such extravagant carbon dioxide. Most notably, the DE11 strain did not yield the ropy, slimy texture that the natto strain of B. subtilis does.