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Expert Insight

Are All Strains Equal?

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Probiotics is a catch-all term with strong consumer resonance, but a frequent misunderstanding is that all probiotic strains are the same. In the world of probiotics, strain differentiation is not just important, it’s vital, because the benefits of a probiotic actually depend on the probiotic strain. Because efficacy is strain-dependent, benefit claims need to be supported by strain-specific data.

Strain vs. Benefits

Scientists have found supplementation with different probiotic strains to be linked to different types of benefits, such as digestive and immune health. But you can’t take the positive findings of one study looking at a particular strain and its impact on health and use it to substantiate theories concerning the health benefits of another strain.  Probiotic strains each possess their own, distinct characteristics. These properties may influence safety, efficacy, benefits and the strain’s suitability for certain applications.

For example, a majority of other Bacillius coagulans strains germinate at temperatures much higher than body temperature (122 to 140 degrees F), but these strains won’t benefit a human considering the relatively low temperature of the human body (98.6 degrees F). If the strain doesn’t germinate, it will not provide metabolic benefits and therefore will not benefit the host (i.e., be considered probiotic).

Research Must Support That Strain Specifically

It’s vital for food manufacturers to understand that when selecting or recommending a probiotic, research must support that strain specifically. Clearly, probiotic strains each possess their own, distinct characteristics. These unique properties may influence safety, efficacy, applications and whether or not the strain may even be defined as a probiotic at all.

Strain-specific Research on GanedenBC30® Supports Efficacy

GanedenBC30® (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086) has long-term safety data and over 25 peer-reviewed, published papers on its health benefits. These have shown the probiotic to provide digestive health, immune health and protein utilization benefits. No other strain has the same attributes as this particular strain, and therefore the safety and efficacy data from this strain does not apply to  others—even within the same genus and species.


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