Nestle, the world's largest food company, has decided to embrace optimizing our microbiome, which consists of trillions of bacteria living in the digestive system and which has been linked to depression, multiple sclerosis, autism - you name it, and someone is claiming their product will fix it.

Why wouldn't they? Our own U.S. government has diverted science funding (even from NASA and the Department of Energy) to jump on the bandwagon with the National Microbiome Initiative, to the tune of over $120 million, about the same money American taxpayers are forced to give to "alternative" techniques to science and medicine. There is just one problem; there is no evidence this stuff works. With trillions of bacteria, do you really think your yogurt is changing anything and, if it does, that the change will be positive? The only instance where this has any value is replenishing gut flora after bacteria have been destroyed during C. difficile infections - with a fecal transplant.  All the yogurt in the world won't fix that.

If all this sounds like antioxidants of the 1980s that are still being promoted, there is a good reason: Our mitochondria also have a biological basis which was exploited by everyone claiming they could prevent "free radicals" and we'd stop all kinds of diseases. Luckily, none of those products actually did anything either, and for the same reason - they could have done more harm than good.

Today, mainstream media is publishing every suspect claim about the microbiome, and that means hucksters like Joe Mercola, D.O., can add it to his suite of money-making tools. Thus, it was only a matter of time before the big guns in food decided to "be responsive to the emerging medical science in this area," as University of California, Los Angeles gastroenterologist Emeran Mayer phrased it to Reuters. In other words, if the fad is here to stay, it's a good idea to sell some probiotic candy.

So while junk food and soda are being singled out as special causes of diabetes (even Type 1, if you are the maniac who runs the CrossFit video empire), companies can suggest that Nestle Crunch can prevent obesity, because microbiome. Or not. When the marketing buzzword is "pioneering" you can often bet the reality is "unproven." What's next, leveraging the unique probiotic properties of the vagina in order to make the ultimate locally sourced breakfast yogurt? Already been tried.

Nestle is hoping this turns into a $10 billion business. Nipping at their heels is Unilever, who makes food that is not only healthier, but more ethical - Ben  &  Jerry's ice cream.