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Bacillus coagulans, a Novel Probiotic for Food & Supplements?

Bacillus coagulans is a very resilient bacterium, able to withstand heat, acid, and food processing and offers an interesting option for the fortification of food and supplements.

Bacillus coagulans is interesting as a probiotic because it is spore-forming bacteria and perhaps most importantly for food and supplement applications, is able to better withstand heat and food processing than many other common probiotics.1, 2 In one study, over 99% viability of the bacteria was preserved at 24 months in a powdered tea or coffee beverage.3

Over 99% viability of the bacteria was preserved at 24 months in a powdered tea or coffee beverage

B. coagulans also survives the acidic environment of the stomach to germinate in the small intestine, where it has been demonstrated to aid digestion of both carbohydrate and protein, inhibit growth of pathogenic bacteria (such as Clostridia perfringens4) and provide immune benefits.5, 6

B. coagulans also survives the acidic environment of the stomach

In two randomised controlled trials, B. coagulans supplementation reduced pain and bloating in people with IBS and improved bowel motion frequency.7, 8

In a controlled trial of 29 recreationally trained males assigned to consume either 20 g of casein protein, or protein plus B. coagulans probiotic (1 billion CFU) for two weeks, the probiotic significantly increased recovery at 24 and 72 hours, and decreased soreness at 72 hours post-exercise compared to protein-only. There was also a trend (p = 0.08) towards reduced muscle damage in the probiotic-supplemented group, while in a Wingate test, performance was reduced in the protein-only group but was maintained in the probiotic group.9

Toxicology assessments have demonstrated the safety of B. coagulans for chronic consumption up to up to 9.38 × 1010 CFUs per day.10

Bacillus coagulans is an interesting probiotic for use in food and supplements due to its extreme tolerance of heat, processing, and acidic environment and is demonstrating promising results for several health and performance outcomes.


1.         Adibpour N, Hosseininezhad M, Pahlevanlo A, Hussain MA. A review on Bacillus coagulans as a Spore-Forming Probiotic. Applied Food Biotechnology; Vol 6, No 2 (2019): Spring. 2019.

2.         Sanders ME, Morelli L, Tompkins TA. Sporeformers as Human Probiotics: Bacillus, Sporolactobacillus, and Brevibacillus. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2003;2(3):101-10.

3.         Majeed M, Majeed S, Nagabhushanam K, Arumugam S, Beede K, Ali F. Evaluation of probiotic Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 viability after tea and coffee brewing and its growth in GIT hostile environment. Food Research International. 2019;121:497-505.

4.         Kawarizadeh A, Tabatabaei M, Hosseinzadeh S, Farzaneh M, Pourmontaseri M. The effects of probiotic Bacillus coagulans on the cytotoxicity and expression of alpha toxin gene of Clostridium perfringens type A. Anaerobe. 2019;59:61-7.

5.         Jäger R, Purpura M, Farmer S, Cash HA, Keller D. Probiotic Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 Improves Protein Absorption and Utilization. Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins. 2018;10(4):611-5.

6.         Cao J, Yu Z, Liu W, Zhao J, Zhang H, Zhai Q, et al. Probiotic characteristics of Bacillus coagulans and associated implications for human health and diseases. Journal of Functional Foods. 2020;64:103643.

7.         Hun L. Original Research: Bacillus coagulans Significantly Improved Abdominal Pain and Bloating in Patients with IBS. Postgraduate Medicine. 2009;121(2):119-24.

8.         Madempudi RS, Ahire JJ, Neelamraju J, Tripathi A, Nanal S. Randomized clinical trial: the effect of probiotic Bacillus coagulans Unique IS2 vs. placebo on the symptoms management of irritable bowel syndrome in adults. Scientific Reports. 2019;9(1):12210.

9.         Jäger R, Shields KA, Lowery RP, De Souza EO, Partl JM, Hollmer C, et al. Probiotic Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 reduces exercise-induced muscle damage and increases recovery. PeerJ. 2016;4:e2276.

10.       Endres JR, Qureshi I, Farber T, Hauswirth J, Hirka G, Pasics I, et al. One-year chronic oral toxicity with combined reproduction toxicity study of a novel probiotic, Bacillus coagulans, as a food ingredient. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2011;49(5):1174-82.

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