The word “probiotic” literally means “good
life,” and the real world applications are very
much in line with that definition. Probiotics
are live microorganisms, usually bacteria, that
live in the digestive system of mammals and aid
the body in a variety of ways. Lactobacillus
sporogenes is one such bacterium.
The name Lactobacillus sporogenes is actually a
misidentification of the bacteria which is now
known as Bacillus coagulans. The confusion
originated because the bacterium has
characteristics of both the Lactobacillus genus
and the Bacillus genus. In 1974, it was
reclassified into the Bacillus genus. Bacillus
coagulans does produce lactic acid, just as
bacteria in the Lactobacillus genus do. Bacillus
coagulans, however, is also a spore-forming
bacterium. Since Lactobacillus bacteria do not,
by definition of their scientific
classification, form spores, Bacillus coagulans
can not belong to that genus.
So, Bacillus coagulans is known to be a
spore-forming bacterium. What does that mean
scientifically and to consumers? The bacterium
forms an endospore, a thick wall which surrounds
its DNA and other internal cell structures. This
tough wall allows these bacteria to survive
stressful environments such as those with
extreme temperatures, chemicals, high acidity,
and certain types of radiation. Because of this
characteristic, Bacillus coagulans has the
potential to survive industrial processes which
other probiotics may not.
Several strains of Bacillus coagulans have been
consumed around the world for many years. It is
part of a 1978 patent for a method of improving
the flavor and shelf-life of natto, a Japanese
food made from fermented soybeans. In addition,
Bacillus coagulans is used as a veterinary
nutritional supplement, particularly with cats,
pigs, and shrimp.
Bacillus coagulans is also used for many health
applications. These include treatment of
infectious diarrhea, diarrhea caused by
antibiotics, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s
disease, ulcerative colitis, and as a cancer
preventative. However, extensive research on the
effect of Bacillus coagulans on these conditions
There are, however, several very recent studies
on the particular probiotic strain named
Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086. These studies
were at least partially funded by Ganeden
Biotech, which markets the GBI-30, 6086 strain
under the commercial name GanedenBC30, but were
performed by medical doctors.
One of these studies showed that Bacillus
coagulans could be an effective deterrent to
viral respiratory tract infections. The study
used ten healthy men and women, who each took
one capsule of the strain of Bacillus coagulans
known as GBI-30, 6086 once a day with water.
Blood from participants was tested in vitro
before and after the study’s completion. T-cell
production increased significantly with exposure
to adenovirus and influenza A, though no
significant response was shown to other forms of
influenza. Along with the fact that no serious
adverse effects were reported during the entire
duration of the study, this data offers a basis
for a safe and effective therapy to increase
T-cell production and reduce the risk of certain
viral respiratory tract infections in humans.
Another 2009 study investigated the effect of
Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 on irritable
bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a gastrointestinal
disorder which involves chronic abdominal pain
and changes in bowel results. Because IBS
sufferers usually have reduced amounts of good
bacteria in their digestive tract, probiotics
are becoming a common treatment. A variety of
probiotics have been shown to restore a proper
balance of these helpful bacteria and decrease
inflammation of intestinal mucosal tissues. This
particular eight-week study analyzed 44 men and
women with IBS symptoms, half of whom received a
placebo and half a preparation of Bacillus
coagulans GBI-30, 6086. The severity of
self-reported bloating and abdominal pain
decreased significantly in the patients
receiving Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086, but
not in those receiving the placebo.
Results of another study conducted on the same
Bacillus coagulans strain demonstrated the
safety of this strain for human consumption.
This data was published in the May issue of Food
and Chemical Toxicology and reported that
Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 is safe for
humans even in large consumption amounts. In the
study, this strain was administered to rats in
amounts almost 100,000 times beyond the
recommended dosage for humans, yet produced no
harmful effects. Given the safety of its use and
that it has been shown to survive manufacturing
processes that produce extremes of heat and
cold, use of Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 is
expected to increase.
Baron, Mira. (2009). Postgraduate Medicine. A
Patented Strain of Bacillus coagulans Increased
Immune Response to Viral Challenge. doi:
Endres, J.R. et al. (2009). Science Direct.
Safety Assessment of a Propietary Preparation
of a Novel Probiotic, Bacillus coagulans, as a
Hun, Larysa. (2009). Postgraduate Medicine.
Bacillus coagulans Significantly Improved
Abdominal Pain and Bloating in Patients with
Medical News Today. (2009). New Study Highlights
Safety of Probiotic Strain Bacillus
coagulans – Consuming Large Doses of Bacillus
coagulans Safe for Humans.
Natural Products Insider. (2009). Bacillus
coagulans Probiotic Strain Boosts Immune
Taylor, John R. and Mitchell, Deborah. The
Wonder of Probiotics. New York, NY: St. Martin’s
Trenev, Natasha. Probiotics: Nature’s Internal
Healers. Garden City Park, New York: Avery
Publishing Group, 1998.
complete description of probiotics, along with
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