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Bacillus coagulans


What is it?

Bacillus coagulans is a type of bacteria. It is used similarly to lactobacillus and other probiotics as "beneficial" bacteria.

People take Bacillus coagulans for diarrhea, including infectious types such as rotaviral diarrhea in children; traveler's diarrhea; and diarrhea caused by antibiotics. Bacillus coagulans is also used for general digestion problems, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis), a bowel disorder called Clostridium difficile colitis, excessive growth of “bad” bacteria in short bowel syndrome, and infection due to the ulcer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

Some people use Bacillus coagulans to prevent respiratory infections and ramp up the immune system. It is also used to prevent cancer or the formation of cancer-causing agents. There is also some interest in using it as an additive to vaccines to improve their effectiveness.

Bacillus coagulans produces lactic acid and, as a result, is often misclassified as lactic acid bacteria such as lactobacillus. In fact, some commercial products containing Bacillus coagulans are marketed as Lactobacillus sporogenes or "spore-forming lactic acid bacterium." Unlike lactic acid bacteria such as lactobacillus or bifidobacteria, Bacillus coagulans forms reproductive structures called spores. Spores are actually an important factor in telling Bacillus coagulans apart from lactic acid bacteria.

How effective is it?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for BACILLUS COAGULANS are as follows:

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...

  • Diarrhea, including viral diarrhea in children, traveler's diarrhea, and diarrhea caused by antibiotics.
  • Digestion problems.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis).
  • Clostridium difficile colitis.
  • Fighting growth of unwanted bacteria.
  • Helicobacter pylori infection, which causes stomach ulcers.
  • Respiratory infections.
  • Cancer prevention.
  • Immune system strengthening.
  • As an agent added to vaccines to improve their effectiveness.
More evidence is needed to rate Bacillus coagulans for these uses. There has been no reliable research done in people.

How does it work?

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There is not enough information to know how Bacillus coagulans might work for medical purposes. Some research in animals (but not yet in humans) shows that Bacillus coagulans might increase immune system function and decrease harmful bacteria.

Are there safety concerns?

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There is not enough information to know if Bacillus coagulans is safe to use. This product has not been studied in people.

Pregnant or breast-feeding women should stay on the safe side and avoid using Bacillus coagulans.

Are there interactions with medications?

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Moderate

Be cautious with this combination.

Antibiotic drugs
Antibiotics are used to reduce harmful bacteria in the body. Antibiotics can also reduce other bacteria in the body. Taking antibiotics along with Bacillus coagulans might reduce the potential benefits of Bacillus coagulans. To avoid this potential interaction, take Bacillus coagulans products at least 2 hours before or after antibiotics.

Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)
Bacillus coagulans might increase the activity of the immune system. Taking Bacillus coagulans along with medications that decrease the immune system's activity might decrease the effectiveness of these medications.

Some medications that decrease the immune system's activity include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

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There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Are there interactions with foods?

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There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?

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The appropriate dose of Bacillus coagulans depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Bacillus coagulans. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Other names

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B. Coagulans, Bacillus Bacteria, Bacillus Probiotics, Bactéries Bacilles, Bactéries à Gram Positif Sporogènes, Bactérie Gram Positive en Forme de Bâtonnet, Gram Positive Spore-Forming Rod, L. Sporogenes, Lactobacillus Sporogenes, Lactobacillus Sporogènes, Probiotic, Probiotique, Spore-Forming Lactobacillus.

Methodology

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To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.methodology (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/methodology.html).

References

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To see all references for the Bacillus coagulans page, please go to http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/1185.html.

  1. Czaczyk K, Tojanowska K, Mueller A. Antifungal activity of Bacillus coagulans against Fusarium sp. Acta Microbiol Pol 2002;51:275-83. View abstract.
  2. Donskey CJ, Hoyen CK, Das SM, et al. Effect of oral Bacillus coagulans administration on the density of vancomycin-resistant enterococci in the stool of colonized mice. Lett Appl Microbiol 2001;33:84-8. View abstract.
  3. Hyronimus B, Le Marrec C, Urdaci MC. Coagulin, a bacteriocin-like inhibitory subtances produced by Bacillus coagulans I4. J Appl Microbiol 1998;85:42-50. View abstract.
  4. Probiotics for antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Pharmacist's Letter / Prescriber's Letter 2000;16:160103.
  5. Duc LH, Hong HA, Barbosa TM, et al. Characterization of Bacillus probiotics available for human use. Appl Environ Microbiol 2004;70:2161-71. View abstract.
  6. Velraeds MM, van der Mei HC, Reid G, Busscher HJ. Inhibition of initial adhesion of uropathogenic Enterococcus faecalis by biosurfactants from Lactobacillus isolates. Appl Environ Microbiol 1996;62:1958-63. View abstract.
  7. McGroarty JA. Probiotic use of lactobacilli in the human female urogenital tract. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 1993;6:251-64. View abstract.
  8. Reid G, Bruce AW, Cook RL, et al. Effect on urogenital flora of antibiotic therapy for urinary tract infection. Scand J Infect Dis 1990;22:43-7. View abstract.
Last reviewed - 09/14/2011




Page last updated: 27 October 2014