When you have a diverse probiotic population or “cultural diversity” in your gut and throughout your body, chances are good that you will have the most comprehensive protection that probiotics can offer. For example, most of us are aware that probiotics are key to proper digestion and nutrient absorption. They also play a major role in supporting a healthy immune system as well as possible roles in healthy metabolism, blood sugar levels, weight and mood. Interestingly, each probiotic strain can glean a range of differing biochemical effects, which is why it’s smart to have that cultural diversity when you consume probiotics.
That’s why I want to introduce you to another probiotic that you may not have heard of before. It’s the beneficial bacteria called Bacillus coagulans, and it’s one tough and prolific probiotic. Bacillus coagulans produces lactic acid and, as a result, is often misclassified as lactic acid bacteria like Lactobacillus or bifidobacteria. Unlike either one of those beneficial bacteria, however, Bacillus coagulans forms reproductive structures called spores—and that sets it apart from lactic acid bacteria. What’s more is this powerful probiotic’s spores are actually activated in the harsh acidic environment of the stomach and start to rapidly populate in the intestine, where it can support healthy gut microbes and immune response.
That may not sound like much of an achievement, but it is. Many probiotics find it difficult to survive the journey through the stomach, let alone to thrive in it. In short, to be effective, probiotics have to make it through the gastric and bile acids to reach and colonize the intestinal tract for any beneficial effect. Most don’t make it through the gastric and bile acids, but Bacillus coagulans is protected by a spore coating that withstands the dangerous stomach territory to land safely and populate the intestines.
That’s not all there is to know about this probiotic, though. It also supports gastrointestinal, respiratory, immune and cellular health. It fights off “bad” bacteria and can support healthy levels of inflammation, including the areas of C-reactive protein (CRP) and in joint health. C-reactive protein, incidentally, is a protein found in the blood that increases in response to inflammation. It’s a marker for a variety of unhealthy states, including cardiovascular and cellular unhealth, unhealthy bacterial, viral or fungal infiltrations, unhealthy levels of inflammation, autoimmune imbalances and compromised bodily tissues.
You may wonder just how Bacillus coagulans can affect inflammation levels. Once Bacillus coagulans makes it to the intestines, it releases inflammation-balancing molecules and/or acts against organisms in the gut that are responsible for unhealthy inflammation/immune responses. In fact, once activated, Bacillus coagulans produces bacteriocins (bad bacteria killers) and lowers the pH by producing lactic acid. These work in tandem to crowd out the “bad guys” that might be creating inflammatory havoc. Additionally, Bacillus coagulans produces short-chain fatty acids like butyric acid, which supports cellular health in the small and large intestines as well as supporting the mucosal immune system.
If you ask me, that’s one tough probiotic—and one that you should know about.