Bacillus coagulans is a probiotic bacteria that can greatly benefit your digestive tract and your body's immune response. How does Bacillus coagulans directly improve the microbiota profile of your gut? We have the answers.
What Is Bacillus Coagulans?
There are good and bad bacteria keeping a delicate balance in our bodies, and probiotic strains of beneficial bacteria (whether consumed naturally via cultured dairy products like kefir or taken in via dietary supplement) can help improve the health profile of our gastrointestinal tracts. One clinical study after another has found that consuming probiotics not only contributes to the frontline of our immune systems, but also helps manage inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Bacillus coagulans, aka B. coagulans, is unique because while it is a lactic acid bacteria, unlike Lactobacillus and other bifidobacteria, it's a spore-forming probiotic. This allows Bacillus coagulans to lie dormant under harsh conditions such as high amounts of stomach acid or antibiotic treatment. So, when other probiotics die off, Bacillus coagulans can survive and repopulate to help keep harmful bacteria in check even during your most vulnerable times.
Bacillus coagulans is included in the VeggieShake formula for this reason: among probiotics it's one of the strongest. Where is it found naturally and what are the Bacillus coagulans health benefits? Read on to find out.
The Health Benefits of Bacillus Coagulans
Classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the "generally recognized as safe" or GRAS list, Bacillus coagulans is found naturally in kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt. Bacillus coagulans is a beneficial gut bacterium that can be grown outside the body and consumed medicinally in probiotic shakes and supplements, but how exactly does it affect human health? Scientific studies have revealed the specifics.
1. Relief for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder of the large intestine that causes gas, bloating, cramping, abdominal pain, and sometimes constipation or diarrhea. A chronic, long-term condition, IBS is far too common, but Bacillus coagulans can help improve its symptoms, as shown in this 2014 study that found that Bacillus coagulans "improved abdominal pain and diarrhea in IBS patients" significantly over the placebo group.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis Aid
Another condition that can be improved by Bacillus coagulans is rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a progressive chronic disease that causes inflammation in the joints, including the ankles, wrists, and the smaller joints in the feet and hands.
A 2010 study shows that when Bacillus coagulans is added to the standard medications of adults with RA, it can improve the symptoms of the disease and increase the movement abilities of patients, allowing them to participate more energetically in daily activities like walking. Researchers in the clinical trial also found that Bacillus coagulans reduced the inflammation marker C-reactive protein in the patients' lab results, another sign of the anti-inflammatory abilities of this probiotic bacterium.
3. Reduce Gas and Constipation
Studies show that Bacillus coagulans can help relieve intestinal gas, flatulence, and stomach distention when ingested after a meal. Similarly, by improving the microbiome of the gut, Bacillus coagulans can also reduce the instances of constipation in those who experience it regularly. These types of digestive discomforts can derail your enjoyment of daily life, but they can potentially be neutralized with the introduction of Bacillus coagulans to your regular diet.
4. Prevent Traveler's Diarrhea
Traveler's diarrhea is an umbrella term describing the intestinal infections that can come from drinking contaminated water or food while traveling in developing parts of the world. By arming your gut's community of bacteria with strong and vigilant defenders like Bacillus coagulans, you can prevent these opportunistic viruses from taking hold in the first place. Additionally, you can potentially keep in check the bad bacteria of the gut in circumstances like antibiotic treatment that can otherwise decimate the beneficial bacteria in your body.
5. Block Flu and Respiratory Tract Infection
The effect of Bacillus coagulans on the immune system of participants in this 2009 study revealed that it has an ability to increase the T-cell production response to adenovirus and influenza A exposure, strengthening the body's ability to neutralize infectious contaminants before they detrimentally impact your health. Bacillus coagulans in practical terms is like a flu vaccine without the needle.
Potential Side Effects of Bacillus Coagulans
Any supplement that has such a strong impact on your body should be taken with care. Ask a health care professional before introducing it to your regimen if you are on any medications (especially immunosuppressant drugs), and keep in mind that probiotics in general can cause allergic reactions in some people.
Women who are pregnant or nursing are advised to avoid it only because there is not sufficient data to know the impact Bacillus coagulans may have on a pregnancy, but otherwise it's considered generally safe. Be sure to listen to your body when introducing any new supplement: if it improves your condition, fantastic, but if it causes any ill effect, give it a pass.
Bringing Back Bacteria
We're taught from an early age that bacteria and germs are bad, but there are some good bacteria out there, and Bacillus coagulans is one of them. The microorganisms in your gut both defend you from harmful bacteria and help strengthen the cells of your colon, potentially preventing the development of colon cancer. This is why we include the Bacillus coagulans probiotic strain in our health formulas here at VeggieShake, to help introduce the best kind of beneficial bacteria to your body.