The Health Benefits of Probiotics are Strain-specific
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits when consumed, 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 depend on the probiotic strain.
Probiotic Benefits are Strain-specific
Let’s dig a little deeper into the world of strain-specific 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. This is because probiotic strains each possess their own distinct characteristics. These properties may influence safety, efficacy, benefits and the strain’s suitability.
And while many probiotic products mention CFU (Colony Forming Units) or the number of viable bacteria in the product (sometimes designated as “live cultures”), this is only a piece of understanding the efficacy of a probiotic product.
Making it to Your Gut
Strains also play a big role in survivability, both in manufacturing processes and in making it to the gut intact (probiotic bacteria need to be alive when they reach your gut; otherwise you will not receive any benefits). Because of this, the number of CFUs in a product doesn’t mean you are getting the benefit you desire if the strain you are consuming hasn’t been studied and shown to support such a benefit at that serving size.
Know Your Probiotic
GENUS, SPECIES, AND STRAIN OF THE BACTERIA: You need all 3 to know what probiotic you are getting. For the probiotic ingredient BC30TM (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086):
- Bacillus is the genus
- Coagulans is the species
- GBI-30, 6086 is the strain designation
A strain designation identifies the specific strain in the product. And again, this is key, as strain specificity is important because different strains with the same species can have different health benefits. Think of it this way, looking at how we might classify Japanese cars.
Honda » Bacterial genus » Bacillus
Accord » Bacterial species » Bacillus coagulans
EX-L V-6 Sedan » Bacterial strain » Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086
Strain-specific Research on BC30TM Supports Efficacy
BC30 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 strain, and therefore the safety and efficacy data from this strain does not apply to others—even within the same genus and species.
It is this research that not only makes BC30 unique but is why food and beverage makers choose to create probiotic-fortified products with our ingredient. Look for the BC30 ingredient by name in your grocery shelves and online when shopping for your favorite items.