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9 Promising Health Benefits of Bacillus coagulans

Written by Biljana Novkovic, PhD | Last updated:
Jonathan Ritter
Puya Yazdi
Medically reviewed by
Jonathan Ritter, PharmD, PhD (Pharmacology), Puya Yazdi, MD | Written by Biljana Novkovic, PhD | Last updated:

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B. coagulans

B. coagulans is a promising probiotic that can lower insulin levels, improve cholesterol, IBS, and arthritis. This bacterium was recently shown to stimulate muscle recovery in athletes.

What is Bacillus coagulans?

Bacillus coagulans is a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium which is considered safe or beneficial as a food additive. It can also produce lactic acid and is therefore sometimes misclassified as Lactobacillus sporogenes [1, 2].

Potential Health Benefits

B. coagulans probiotics have not been approved by the FDA for medical use and generally lack solid clinical research. Regulations set manufacturing standards for them but don’t guarantee that they’re safe or effective. Speak with your doctor before supplementing.

Possibly Effective

1) Gut Health

IBS

In multiple clinical trials, B. coagulans decreased bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and stool frequency and increased the quality of life in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) [3, 4, 5, 6].

A combination of simethicone and B. coagulans reduced bloating and discomfort in patients with IBS [7].

Gut Microbiota

B. coagulans elevates beneficial bacteria (Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Clostridium lituseburense, Bacillus spp. and Eubacterium rectale) levels in volunteers. This, in turn, results in elevated concentrations of butyrate, acetate, and propionate [8].

Daily consumption of B. coagulans in elderly increased populations of beneficial bacteria and anti-inflammatory cytokines [9].

B. coagulans spores beneficially modulate GI microbiota, by increasing lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and decreasing Enterobacteriaceae in rats [10].

B. coagulans decreased coliform counts and increased both Lactobacilli and Bacillus spore counts in rats [11].

Abdominal Pain

B. coagulans + fructooligosaccharide (FOS) decreased abdominal pain duration and frequency in children with GI disorders [12].

B. coagulans synbiotic seems to be effective in the treatment of childhood functional abdominal pain [13].

B. coagulans significantly improved abdominal pain and the quality of life in adults with postprandial intestinal gas-related symptoms and no GI diagnoses [14].

Constipation

B. coagulans symbiotic effectively improved bowel movements and fecal properties in functionally constipated persons [15].

B. coagulans added to mineral oil can increase the improvement in constipation symptoms of children without specific side-effects [16].

GI Inflammation

B. coagulans improved survival and modestly attenuated the colonic pathology (crypt damage, edema, leukocyte influx) in mice with C. difficile-induced colitis [17, 18].

2) Blood Sugar & Insulin

B. coagulans containing a synbiotic decreased blood insulin levels; HOMA-IR and HOMA-B in pregnant women [19].

Consumption of synbiotic bread with B. coagulans reduced insulin levels, improved blood lipid profile and increased good cholesterol (HDL-C) in type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients [20, 21, 22].

Similarly, consumption of the synbiotic bread with B. coagulans improved NO and MDA levels in T2D patients [23].

Synbiotic containing B. coagulans improved insulin, hs-CRP, uric acid and plasma total GSH levels in diabetic patients [24].

B. coagulans, inulin and beta-carotene coadministration decreased insulin, HOMA-IR, HOMA-B, triglycerides, VLDL-cholesterol levels, and total-/HDL-cholesterol ratio. This treatment also elevated plasma nitric oxide (NO) and glutathione (GSH) [25].

3) Blood Lipids

A synbiotic containing B. coagulans reduced TAG, VLDL and elevated GSH levels in 52 pregnant women [26].

B. coagulans reduced total blood cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and marginally increased HDL-cholesterol in a small-scale clinical study of 17 patients [27, 28].

Insufficient Evidence For

Researchers are currently investigating whether B. coagulans has other health benefits. The potential benefits in this section have produced positive results in at least one clinical trial, but these studies are small, contradictory, or otherwise limited. Talk to your doctor before supplementing with B. coagulans for any reason.

4) Muscle Recovery

In a small clinical study, B. coagulans in combination with protein reduced muscle damage and soreness, improved recovery and maintained physical performance in athletes after strenuous exercise [29].

In the same study, B. coagulans enhanced protein absorption, a potential mechanism for indirectly improving recovery and training adaptations [29].

Increase in vertical jump power was noted following 8 weeks of full body workouts 4-times per week daily while ingesting B. coagulans [29].

5) Rheumatoid Arthritis

Adjunctive treatment with B. coagulans was safe and effective for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. B. coagulans improved pain, improved self-assessed disability, reduced CRP levels, and improved the ability to walk 2 miles, reach, and participate in daily activities [30].

B. coagulans significantly inhibits fibrinogen (Fn), blood amyloid A and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in arthritic rats [31].

7) Feeding Tolerance in Infants

Preterm infants supplemented with B. coagulans had improved feeding tolerance [32].

8) Urogenital Infections

B. coagulans reduced vaginosis symptoms in women when co-administered with antibiotics [33].

Animal and Cell Research (Lacking Evidence)

No clinical evidence supports the use of B. coagulans for any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. However, the studies listed below should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.

9) Immunity

B. coagulans metabolites stimulate the maturation of antigen-presenting cells [34] and increase T-cell production of TNF-alpha in response to adenovirus exposure and influenza A exposure in healthy adults [35].

B. coagulans ameliorates parasite infection, hepatic and intestinal damage, in Schistosoma mansoni infected mice [36].

Safety

B. coagulans is considered safe for chronic human consumption. Probiotics, in general, are considered safe but should be avoided in patients with organ failure, immunocompromised status, and dysfunctional gut barrier mechanisms [37, 1].

About the Author

Biljana Novkovic

Biljana Novkovic

PhD
Biljana received her PhD from Hokkaido University.
Before joining SelfHacked, she was a research scientist with extensive field and laboratory experience. She spent 4 years reviewing the scientific literature on supplements, lab tests and other areas of health sciences. She is passionate about releasing the most accurate science and health information available on topics, and she's meticulous when writing and reviewing articles to make sure the science is sound. She believes that SelfHacked has the best science that is also layperson-friendly on the web.

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