There are three things that, no matter what walk of life a person comes from, everyone can agree serve as the foundations of a fulfilling human existence: 1) Loved ones who are there for you through the good times, and bad; 2) enough money to live comfortably (and in case of a mid-life crisis, buy an ill-advised sports car); 3) and perfectly regular, one-wipe poops.
I’m lucky enough to have loved ones who have been incredibly supportive — special shout-out to my mother, who still loves me even after the time I swallowed three giant, appetite-suppressing Obalon balloons in an attempt to cheat my way to losing 20 pounds. And while I’m not making fuck-you money, I am able to keep my head above water in an incredibly expensive city like L.A.
But the one area that’s always eluded me in my quest toward a fulfilling life is in the bathroom. That is to say, my number 2’s have always been, well, at least since probably my mid-20s, something of a crap (noice) shoot. I never knew what I was going to get: Logs or mush, two wipes or five, and regularity was nothing more than a dream.
So, when my colleague Cooper Fleishman shot me a link over Slack for a fancy and highly lauded synbiotic supplement called Seed that promised to turn me into a poop maestro, I was intrigued. You’re telling me, the guy whose mission is to cheat his way to a healthy life, that instead of changing my diet, or working out more, all I need to reach my goal of perfect poops is to take a pill once a day?
Hell yes, I was intrigued. In fact I signed up for Seed immediately, and within a few days, I had a jar of little green capsules on my desk.
It was time to show my turds who’s boss.
The Problem: I want pooping to be a simple, stress-free affair, and as regular as an atomic clock.
The Alleged Cure-All: Seed, a company who’s synbiotic helps users overcome all of their bad life choices — alcohol use, poor diet, lack of sleep, stress, etc. — and restores balance to our microbiomes.
Our microbiomes, I learned, are the community of bacteria that live in our bodies, the vast majority of which reside in our intestines, where they help us digest our food and take in nutrients. If you’ve been under the impression that “bacteria” equals “bad,” you’d be wrong. Most bacteria are perfectly harmless, and many are quite beneficial.
The nice people at Seed sent me a couple of jars’ worth of their Male Daily Synbiotic, specially formulated for me, a man. Because Seed is a synbiotic, each capsule contains both probiotics (i.e., good bacteria) and prebiotics (i.e., nutrients to help those bacteria, and the ones already living rent-free in my gut, thrive). A jar costs $49.99 for a one-month supply.
By restoring balance to the microbiome, Seed’s synbiotic is designed to help people who poop too much poop less, people who poop infrequently become more regular and increase speed of transit and ease of evacuation (literally how the industry describes it) as well as reduce bloating, flatulence, anal itching and cramping.
The instructions explained that I should start my regimen by taking one pill only the first couple of days, ramping up to two and then three, daily. The reason, it was explained, was that when you introduce new bacteria to your gut, things can go a little haywire at the get-go — kinda like the guys who show up late to the house party and begin drinking all the booze and talkin’ loud, until you kindly explain they need to simmer down because you’ve got elderly neighbors and a hard curfew at 11.
What the Science Says: In reading the highly detailed Seed website and in speaking with Seed’s two co-founders, Ara Katz and Raja Dhir, I was able to learn a little bit about the science behind the company’s synbiotic.
What separates Seed from, say, drinking a couple of bottles of Kombucha is that Seed isn’t just a random assortment of microorganisms; it’s a proprietary blend of bacteria (the list of which can be found here), each of which are rigorously researched and clinically tested to not only survive packaging and shipping but also the perilous journey into the bowels of your, ahem, bowels. Meaning that Seed can safely promise that when their probiotics work their way down your digestive tract, they’re alive and making a positive difference in your gut.
And, unlike most other probiotics, Seed’s are all human-derived, which in layman’s terms means that Seed’s bacteria are chosen to get along great with your existing gut flora, and will adapt nicely to their new home.
All of which is to say you probably need a PhD to understand how it all works.
Relevant Subreddit: r/Poop (NSFL). Every person who posts here should immediately begin a strict synbiotic regimen, or at least start eating massive amounts of fiber. I’m going to go throw up now.
Top 5 Poops, Ranked by Satisfaction:
- The Sausage (one thicc log, feels like pure nirvana)
- The Snake (smooth and long; better than sex)
- Deer Droppings (individual pellets, requires some straining)
- Montezuma’s Revenge (liquid shite; burns something fierce)
- The Red Devil (blood in your stool; you’re cold because you’re dying)
The Experience: While I was excited to begin taking Seed, I also went into the experience a bit skeptical — because my life-hacks rarely ever work without additional effort from me, and because I’ve taken probiotics before, eaten Activia and drank gallons of Kombucha (sometimes all at once), never with positive results.
To say Seed turned my poop-filled world upside down, then, would be putting it mildly.
I noticed Seed working almost immediately. That said, the first thing that happened was my tummy started to ache. I had expected this considering I’d been told it was a possibility, but it still threw me for a bit of a loop. Thankfully, the stomach pains were only intermittent, and by day three, they were gone completely.
Once that bit of unpleasantness dissipated, the fun began. All those things that Seed explained would change about my poop sessions did indeed change: Over the course of my month’s supply, I began going to the bathroom in the mornings, like clockwork; 10-to-15 minute trips to the toilet turned into 2-to-3 minutes; and what used to require multiple wipes now only required one.
I repeat: One wipe. Clean, simple, efficient.
Not only that, but the color and quality of my doo-doos improved as well. I had achieved one-log status, which is like the Platinum status of poops, as far as poop statuses go.
Ara and Raja, Seed’s co-founders, explained to me that changes to the quality of my bathroom breaks would be the most noticeable effect of taking Seed, but it wasn’t the only thing I noticed. The human microbiome isn’t just relegated to our guts — bacteria live in other parts of our bodies, too, like our mouths, our armpits, and most importantly, our skin. And, after a month, I definitely saw changes in the health of my skin, which appeared more glow-y and flush.
The Takeaway: Seed is a hell of a product, especially for someone who is always looking for life’s shortcuts. It requires little to no effort, is relatively affordable (especially in relation to its benefits) and has no apparent negative side effects. I mean, it’s literally a magic pill — except instead of getting thinner, taller or better in bed, you shit magnificently.
Yet, as awesome as I found Seed to be, I did have one major concern: What would happen if I stopped taking it? So, about three weeks into my four-week supply, I took a couple of days off, and I’m sad to report that my bowel movements seemed to revert to their low-quality selves rather quickly.
I remember asking Ara and Raja why, if Seed was simply adding good bacteria and nutrients to my system, the regimen required three pills a day. They told me that when you get acclimated to something, and then you stop taking it, you might see less positive results. Which is good for Seed, since it locks customers into continued use, but bad for you if you’re not prepared to shell out $50 a month for poop pills for the foreseeable future.
So, yes, it works extremely well, and I highly recommend it, but it’s worth keeping in mind that, unlike say actually improving and/or maintaining diet and exercise, Seed will likely require continued use to realize its positive benefits.
But if you could become a poop maestro in only a month, wouldn’t you do it — no matter the cost?
Jeff’s Rating: 9.5/10