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What is Bacillus Coagulans?

By J.M. Densing
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Bacillus coagulans is a type of bacteria with supposed probiotic properties, i.e., it is a microorganism that could have health benefits due to similarities to good bacteria naturally found in the body. It produces lactic acid and is marketed as being beneficial to digestive and immune health. Manufacturers of products containing Bacillus coagulans also claim that it is extremely durable and more likely than other probiotics to reach the intestines alive. It is thought to be safe for use by humans, but the possible probiotic properties need further study for confirmation.

The use of probiotics for health benefits is a growing practice. Probiotic microorganisms are usually bacteria that act in similar ways as friendly bacteria naturally found in the body. The microorganism Bacillus coagulans is found in several probiotic supplements currently on the market. These supplements are supposed to act in the body in a beneficial manner, thus aiding the actions of friendly bacteria in functions that include digestion and immunity.

Bacillus coagulans is a bacterium that produces lactic acid, which is a necessary substance in the human body. It is thought to aid the friendly bacteria in the intestines with the task of digestion and to help in ridding the intestines of hostile bacteria that are likely to cause illness. Bacillus coagulans is also reputed to be supportive of immune system functioning. It is marketed for its purported importance to overall health and its ability to help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria within the body when it is disrupted.

As a spore forming bacteria, Bacillus coagulans is able to withstand extreme conditions. It is used in supplements in a dormant state as a spore encased in a protective coating similar to a seed. The protective coating protects the probiotic from being destroyed during the manufacturing process or damaged by stomach acids before it is able to reach the intestines. Manufacturers claim that a higher percentage survives long enough to become active compared to other probiotics. Once the proper conditions are present, such as the temperature and moisture levels found in the human intestine, it is able to start growing,

The use of Bacillus coagulans as a probiotic for humans requires further research. There are very few available studies and many are inconclusive. Although benefits were shown in some cases, it was unclear which substances in the tested supplements were responsible. There are a few studies that show limited probiotic benefits in humans, and a few that support use in animals. It is considered to be safe for human consumption; in short, probiotic benefits are possible but unproven.

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