– Myth –
All Strains Of Bacillus coagulans Are Created Equal
Navigating the world of probiotic genus and species can be confusing enough before you even drill down to the strain level. But in the world of probiotics, strain differentiation is not just important, it’s vital. For example, some people may tend to lump all strains of Bacillus coagulans together—but they can be as different from one another as humans and mice.
To better understand how strains of Bacillius coagulans can differ, consider the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. A genomic comparison of 100 different strains of Lactobacillus rhamnosus was completed with the well-known strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG serving as the baseline. Researchers found that samples of the exact same genus and species ranged in genetic similarity of 99.9% similar to only 87.6% similar. To make that comparison more relevant, when comparing the genomes of human and mice, there is an 88% similarity in genes. So saying that one strain of Bacillius coagulans (or any genus and species of probiotic for that matter) is the same as another is like making a blanket statement that humans and mice are the same --- it's doubtful that many would agree with such a statement.
To really understand the benefits, safety and efficacy of Bacillus coagulans you must look at each specific strain. One strain of Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086, marketed as GanedenBC30, is a highly documented, clinically studied, safe and effective strain but other strains of Bacillus coagulans do not share unique characteristics. For example, a majority of Bacillius coagulans strains germinate at temperatures much higher than body temperature (50 to 60 degrees C) a great benefit if the function of that strain is the commercial production of lactic acid but it won’t benefit a human considering the relatively low temperature of the human body (98.6 degrees F / 37 degrees C). If the strain doesn't germinate, it will not provide metabolic benefits and therefore will not benefit the host (i.e. be considered probiotic).
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. As probiotics become more prevalent in the marketplace, it's vital for food manufacturers to understand what can often be nuanced differences. If an ingredient supplier tells you that all Bacillus coagulans are the same, they are simply incorrect. Be sure to ask them for strain specific:
- ATCC or equivalent strain identification information
- GRAS notices and related safety data
- Peer-reviewed, published data relating to efficacy at various daily consumption levels
- Germination parameters
- Cleaning protocols
- Enumeration and identification protocols
- Daily consumption levels required to support claims with references to supporting data
- Testing protocols established by USP
Contact Ganeden to find out more.