Benefits of Spore Probiotics
Also known as “soil-based organisms”, spore producing bacillus bacteria species live in the top soil, and have been ingested by humans over the course of their evolution, as they harvest tubers and other veggies from the ground and eat them fresh. Spore-based probiotics provide bacteria species we rarely ingest anymore, due to washing, peeling and cooking our vegetables.
The goal in supporting the bacterial ecosystem with probiotics is to promote a balanced and diverse bacterial environment that is predominantly made up of “good” bacteria. It’s well known that in order for probiotics to be effective, they need to make it through the harsh environment of the stomach and down to the intestinal lining. Spore-producing bacteria largely survive stomach acid so they can thrive in the intestines where they can do the most good.*
One of the benefits of probiotics is their ability to support tight junctions in the gut lining.* Without tight junctions between the enterocytes, the intestinal lining becomes permeable, allowing molecules to enter the bloodstream that should be contained in the GI tract. Intestinal permeability, often due to inflammation from various causes, is also known as “leaky gut.” Serum testing can determine if an individual is experiencing intestinal permeability.
A 2017 randomized, placebo-controlled trial published in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology set out to determine if a spore-based probiotic supplement taken orally could support intestinal health. Serum was tested for endotoxins prior to a high-fat meal, as well as three and five hours after the meal. The study featured healthy men and women with an average age of 21 with 13 people in the placebo group and 15 people in the spore probiotic group. The probiotic that was used in this study was a spore-based probiotic that included 4 billion spores from gram-positive, spore forming strains of Bacillus (Bacillus indicus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus licheniformis, and Bacillus clausii). Two capsules were taken daily for 30 days.
The researchers found that the spore-based probiotic formulation helped support intestinal health as illustrated by its impact on endotoxin concentrations in the blood.* This is consistent with other studies that have shown that spore-based Bacillus-strain probiotics help support gut homeostasis, as well as a healthy inflammatory response in the intestines. *
A high-quality spore-based probiotic supplement can support the following:
- Healthy gut pH*
- Microbial diversity*
- Short-chain fatty acid production*
- Growth of health-promoting commensal bacteria*
When choosing probiotic supplements for your patients, you may want to consider including a spore-based probiotic, especially for individuals who need extra intestinal barrier support. There are many high-quality spore-based probiotics available to healthcare professionals.
Elshanghabee F, Rokana N, Gulhane RD, et al. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2017;8:1490.
Kelly CJ, Colgan SP, Frank DN. Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 2012;27(2):215-25.
McFarlin BK, Henning AL, Bowman EM, et al. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology. 2017;8(3):117-126.Rogha M, Esfahani M, Zargarzadeh A. Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench. 2014;7(3).