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Probiotics & The Immune System

Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”

A growing body of evidence suggests that probiotics play an important role in maintaining the function of the immune system. Additionally, researchers are finding that the microorganisms in our gut profoundly impact immunity in humans (and other mammals).

The GI tract’s intestinal mucosa functions as a barrier against antigens.
Probiotics re-balance gut flora to bolster immune defenses.

In various studies probiotics have been found to reduce the number of respiratory tract infections, the average length of illness, need for antibiotics, & work absences.

What are the benefits of probiotics?

Regular use of probiotics can help reduce the risk of developing cold & flu, and reduce the duration and severity of cold & flu if you do get sick.

Bacillus Coagulans is a novel lactic-acid producing probiotic which studies have found to be beneficial for its ability to:

  • promote intestinal digestion
  • produce enzymes to facilitate excretion and digestion
  • regulate host symbiotic microbiota and inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria
  • normalize immune cell functions

“Compared with traditional commercial probiotics, B. coagulans is more likely to exert its probiotic role in the intestinal tract than traditional live probiotics due to its ability to produce spores. B. coagulans can survive from the stomach in the form of spores and germinate in the intestine, thereby exerting its probiotic effect.”

Studies have confirmed that B. coagulans is able to normalize the amount of immune system cells (the number of lymphocytes, macrophages, and T-cells) as well as those cells’ ability to promote immune system function (Bomko, Nosalskaya, Kabluchko, Lisnyak, & Martynov, 2017).

Daily oral consumption of Bacillus Coagulans in capsule form “significantly increased T-cell production” in response to viruses (Baron, 2009). “[B. coagulans] probiotic may be a safe and effective therapeutic option for enhancing T-cell response to certain viral respiratory tract infections”.

References:

Hooper, L. V., Littman, D. R., & Macpherson, A. J. (2012). Interactions between the microbiota and the immune system. Science (New York, N.Y.), 336(6086), 1268–1273. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1223490

Baron M. (2009). A patented strain of Bacillus coagulans increased immune response to viral challenge. Postgraduate medicine, 121(2), 114–118. https://doi.org/10.3810/pgm.2009.03.1971

Bomko, T. V., Nosalskaya, T. N., Kabluchko, T. V., Lisnyak, Y. V., & Martynov, A. V. (2017). Immunotropic aspect of the Bacillus coagulans probiotic action. The Journal of pharmacy and pharmacology, 69(8), 1033–1040. https://doi.org/10.1111/jphp.12726