Bacillus coagulans, also known as B. coagulans, is a probiotic bacteria. Probiotics are often found in fermented foods and are eaten by human beings to beneficially improve digestive flora. We’re here to tell you that Bacillus coagulans can go even further than that. Curious about this powerful probiotic, including its recommended dosage and scientifically proven health benefits? Read on!
What Is Bacillus Coagulans?
Bacillus coagulans is what’s known as “good” gut bacteria. While Bacillus coagulans produces lactic acid, it is nevertheless not the same thing as the probiotic Lactobacillus, a lactic acid bacteria. B. coagulans generates spores, making it distinct from Lactobacillus, though it is sometimes sold as Lactobacillus sporogenes aka “spore-forming lactic acid bacterium,” as is the case with the product LactoSpore.
Being able to produce reproductive structures like spores means that B. coagulans can be dormant during conditions or illnesses that might kill other probiotics. This is what makes B.coagulans particularly strong and unique: it’s able to even withstand high levels of stomach acid, rendering it useful for alleviating upset stomach and other uncomfortable digestive conditions and diseases.
What Are the Benefits of Bacillus Coagulans?
So here’s the long and short about what B. coagulans can do for your health based on both animal and human studies. While Natural Medicine’s database states that B. coagulans does not have enough data or evidence to declare a consensus agreement on its benefits, check out these scientific findings and decide for yourself. While more research is needed and ongoing, these are nevertheless quite promising findings.
Helps Relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition characterized by recurring abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and often higher levels of depression, anxiety, and intestinal infections. This 2014 study of IBS patients revealed that B. coagulans improved the symptoms of the test participants significantly over the placebo control group. Based on these findings, B. coagulans may be beneficial to those with Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or ulcerative colitis.
A 2014 study from Japan found that B. coagulans improved bowel function when given to people self-described as having regular issues with constipation. The placebo group was given soy okara powder while the test group received soy okara powder with a proprietary probiotic strain of B. coagulans known as Lilac LAB. Not only did the test group report better functioning, but also experienced fewer incidents of incomplete bowel evacuations.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
This study from 2010 examined the anti-inflammatory powers of B. coagulans on 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients. Each person in the test group was given B. coagulans alongside their other medications. After 2 months they reported less disability than the control group, and improved abilities to function through their daily activities like walking. Researchers also found that the probiotic group had reduced amounts of C-reactive protein (CRP) in their blood, which is an inflammatory marker.
Intestinal Gas Reduction
A 2009 study showed that B. coagulans helped reduce post-meal intestinal gas and bloating. Those reports included reductions of abdominal pain caused by gas, flatulence, and stomach distension—symptoms that improved better with the test group than they did with those taking a placebo.
Treatment for Respiratory Infections
B. coagulans can improve more than just the health of your gastrointestinal tract. Ten men and women given a proprietary strain of B. coagulans showed increases in their T-cell production when exposed to influenza A and adenovirus exposure. Your T-cells are on the frontline of fighting off diseases, and B. coagulans may help support them and the overall immune response. In fact, a number of studies have shown that the antimicrobial abilities of Bacillus coagulans inhibits Candida albicans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, B. subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), and E. coli, all dangerous viral infections.
How to Get Bacillus Coagulans
If all those benefits sound good to you, your next question may well be: “Where can I get some Bacillus coagulans of my own?”
B. coagulans is naturally found in fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt. It can also be purchased in supplement form, in gelcaps, capsules, and with vegan and vegetarian restrictions in mind. Many supplements contain the dormant form of the spore, which will be active once it arrives in your intestinal microbiome.
There are many strains of B. coagulans on the market, some of which have been deemed generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With so many strains available, there is no general guideline on dosage, so the recommendation is to follow the instructions on the label once you’ve chosen a brand you trust.
Bacillus Coagulans: Side Effects and Risks
The FDA does not closely regulate health supplements, so be careful when choosing a product and consult your doctor if you have any hesitation about taking a probiotic, or questions about how it will affect your health. This is especially recommended if you have a gastrointestinal disorder you are already taking medication for. Some risk factors and side effects you may want to be aware of are:
- Probiotics have the potential to set off allergic reactions.
- B. coagulans probiotics could interfere with immunosuppressants or antibiotics.
- There are no studies showing the effects of ingesting B. coagulans for longer than 6 months, so proceed cautiously.
- It is recommended that pregnant or nursing women not take this probiotic because there are no studies showing whether or not it is safe in those circumstances.
The Bacillus Boost
Far from being a harmful bacteria, those suffering from gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or ulcerative colitis may want to speak to a trusted health care professional about the possible benefits of taking Bacillus bacteria as a probiotic product. Bacillus coagulans probiotics have shown promising results in helping to relieve gut conditions and strengthen our immune systems against harmful bacteria and viruses. If you think it sounds right for you, do some digging, talk to your doctor, and give it a try.