This is an important guide to understanding bacillus coagulans, the powerful and effective probiotic strain (formerly known as bacillus sporenges)
Bacillus coagulans is unique and effective in many ways. If you are considering taking probiotics, this is a great place to start.
Important Note: Not all bacillus coagulan strains are the same. The foundation of this article and the research in here pertains primarily to the strain bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 (Trade name Lactospore®). There are many other forms on the market so it is very important to know the difference. From this point forward, when we say “bacillus coagulans”, we are specifically referring to the MTCC 5856 strain (Lactospore®).
How and why does bacillus coagulans work so well compared with other probiotics?
First, bacillus coagulans is extremely robust. One major concern with a lot of probiotic strains is they become instantly destroyed, and hence ineffective, when going into the harsh environment of the stomach. Bacillus coagulans is “shelf stable”, which means it can survive at room temperature and in a wide variety of conditions. A lot of probiotics need to be refrigerated to stay alive, and they die quickly when entering the stomach. On the other hand, bacillus coagulans survives and even thrives when in the gut. That is one major reason it is so effective. A lot of people are unaware of this important information and become confused or disappointed when other probiotics don’t seem to work for them.
It is also a vegan probiotic because it is a spore, as opposed to a probiotic from dairy. As mentioned above, these spores are very robust and really thrive once in the gut. Some spore-forming bacteria are extremely dangerous and can cause food poisoning, but bacillus coagulans is a major exception.
Bacillus coagulans is a very well-studied probiotic. It has the only approved health claim for helping with IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) pain management and associated symptoms. It has been shown to help with both diarrhea and constipation associated with IBS. When the spores are ingested and set up shop in the gut, they improve the ratio of “good bacteria” to “bad bacteria”, thus helping to normalize bowel movements and reduce IBS pain. The spores do this by producing lactic acid and secreting fatty acids, both of which are beneficial to the good bacteria. The good bacteria then “crowd out” and starve the bad bacteria in the gut. Once this ratio of good to bad bacteria tips in favor of a healthy balance, a whole host of other health benefits follow suit. It is worth noting that bacillus coagulans also produces the “L+” isomer of lactic acid, which is the preferred form of lactic acid. This leads to some of the other impressive health benefits.
What are the health benefits of bacillus coagulans?
• IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome): Bacillus coagulans has been shown to help manage the pain and discomfort associated with IBS, such as gas and bloating. It also helps relieve both constipation and especially diarrhea associated with IBS. It has shown this in double blind studies. Health Canada has even approved the health claim for “IBS pain management” for the patented form of bacillus coagulans called Lactospore®.
• General Health: More and more research is coming to light which illustrate the positive overall health benefits of the right kinds of probiotics. Bacillus coagulans has a general overall health benefit because it improves the gut health – increasing the good bacteria and decreasing the bad bacteria. The “gut microbiome”, which is essentially all the various microorganisms living inside the gut, is essential to our health, and bacillus coagulans improves the entire gut microbiome. It also helps with our digestion.
• Immune System: Bacillus coagulans has been shown in a 30 day clinical trial to significantly improve the immune response to both the influenza virus (the flu) and adenovirus. More scientists are realizing that the health of our immune system depends on us having a healthy gut. Also, after you take antibiotics, your gut microbiome will have been compromised. Bacillus coagulans can help jumpstart the process of getting your beneficial bacteria back and working for you again.
• Arthritis: There have been a couple of clinical trials showing how bacillus coagulans can help with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The subjects who took bacillus coagulans showed lower levels of inflammation than the subjects who took a placebo. They also had less pain and a greater ability to walk 2 miles than those who were taking the placebo.
There are more and more studies coming up which will show us even more health benefits. Some other potential benefits of bacillus coagulans may include helping to improve mood, reducing muscle stiffness and aiding recovery after exercise, and decreasing overall inflammation.
What is a proper dose of bacillus coagulans?
One important point to understand is that probiotics are often marketed by touting the number of CFU’s (colony forming units) in a single dose. That number is basically the estimated number of “viable bacteria” or fungal cells in a single dose of a given probiotic. The thinking then goes that it would be “the more the better” essentially. This is why you will see large printing of “15 billion CFU”, or “25 billion CFU”, etc on various labels of different probiotics trying to stand out from the crowd.
The important thing to realize is that this is not even close to the whole story on dosing or potency. Remember, a lot of probiotics die immediately after being ingested. So it doesn’t really matter how many CFU’s you have if most, or all, of them die when you take them. With bacillus coagulans this is very different because the spores will not only survive the harsh environment of the stomach, but actually thrive there. The typical, and well-studied, effective dose of bacillus coagulans is 2 billion CFU.
Where can I buy bacillus coagulans?
We have searched long and hard for the best and most well-studied form of bacillus coagulans we could find. We are using a patented strain called “bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 (Trade name is Lactospore®). We offer it in premium veggie caps and we don’t use any magnesium stearate or unwanted fillers.