What is it?
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.
How does it work?
Are there safety concerns?
Pregnant or breast-feeding women should stay on the safe side and avoid using Bacillus coagulans.
Are there interactions with medications?
- 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?
- There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.
Are there interactions with foods?
- There are no known interactions with foods.
What dose is used?
To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.
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