How do I choose a probiotic?
Not all probiotics strains are the same. Different strains offer different benefits and some probiotic strains survive manufacturing processes, shelf life and digestive transit better than others. When choosing a probiotic consider the following:
Is it safe and has the FDA reviewed the safety data?
Does it survive the extremes of manufacturing?
Does it survive the shelf life of the product?
Will it survive digestive transit?
Is there published research to support it?
Once you’ve gathered all of this information, then you’re ready to decide which probiotic is right for you.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits. Although bacteria and other microorganisms are often thought of as harmful “germs,” many microorganisms are critical partners in helping our bodies function properly. For example, beneficial bacteria normally present in our intestines assist in digesting food, destroying disease-causing microorganisms, and producing vitamins. Large numbers of microorganisms live on and in our bodies. In fact, microorganisms in the human body outnumber human cells by 10 to 1. Many of the microorganisms in probiotic products are the same as or similar to microorganisms that naturally live in our bodies. Probiotics may include a variety of microorganisms with the most common including two broad groups of bacteria, known as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Other bacteria may also be used as probiotics such as Bacillus bacterial spores (e.g., Bacillus coagulans), and yeasts such as Saccharomyces boulardii.
Bacillus bacterial spores are of particular interest because they are uniquely designed to survive the harsh gastric environment and arrive at the intestinal system alive, ensuring full potency.
The Basics of Probiotic Survivability: If Its Not Live, Its Not a Probiotic
Probiotics are the fastest growing category in the supplement industry. Recent research performed by the National Institute of Health has defined probiotics by three strict criteria:
- The organism must be a normally occurring organism in the digestive tract.
- In order to consistently trigger a healthy boost in immune function, the organism must be supplemented in concentrations higher than what normally occurs in the digestive tract.
- The organism must be able to survive in the digestive tract as well as in the environment.
Interestingly, there are almost no probiotic products in the marketplace that meet all three of these criteria, particularly the third criteria, which states the microorganism has to be live or it does not fit the definition of a probiotic. Studies by the Food Safety Authority of the United Kingdom and at least three different publications have confirmed that over 90% of strains used in probiotic products today do not survive the gastric system. Thus, they do not fit the profile of live microorganisms or meet the definition of a probiotic.
True probiotics must naturally survive the gastric barrier.
Physicians Exclusive commissioned Silliker Food Science Center, a leading food science laboratory, to test the survivability of probiotic strains of four products, including two probiotic dietary supplements and two yogurt products. The first probiotic supplement was a formulation composed of five Bacillus bacterial spores, including Bacillus coagulans. The second probiotic supplement formulation was composed of the most common Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species used in the probiotic market today. The third and fourth products in the study included a leading brand name yogurt and a leading brand name Greek Yogurt. The study looked at the survival of these probiotic sources in United States Pharmacopeia (USP) standard gastric solution, which is the most widely accepted simulated gastric model used in industry today.
The results of this study were consistent with the findings of several other publications on the survivability of common probiotic strains. The blend of Bacillus bacterial spores was the only product to show 100% survival through the gastric barrier, while over 99.99% of the probiotic bacteria in all of the other tested products were killed by the stomach environment. If the probiotic contained in a food product or supplement does not survive and arrive at the site of colonization alive (i.e., your intestinal tract), it is not a probiotic.
What is GanedenBC30? Why is GanedenBC30 in Probiotic MELT®?
GanedenBC30 is a form of Bacillus coagulans, which is a spore-forming probiotic. Similar to a seed, GanedenBC30’s genetic material is protected by a hard shell. This spore safeguards the probiotic from the heat, cold and pressure of manufacturing processes, allows for stability during the product shelf life and protects the cells from the acid and bile they are exposed to during transit through the digestive system. Once it is safely inside the small intestine, the probiotic germinates and colonizes to provide benefits. GanedenBC30 survives conditions other probiotics cannot. Most probiotics are extremely fragile and thus few cells survive digestion to populate the intestines. GanedenBC30 is different in that it was designed by nature to survive and thrive in conditions other probiotics cannot. While most probiotics are delivered in capsule or tablet form, or in cultured dairy products, like yogurt, GanedenBC30 can be consumed in a variety of foods and beverages like Probiotic MELT®.
GanedenBC30 is the only Bacillus that the FDA has reviewed for safety. Ganeden has conducted extensive safety studies on GanedenBC30, which have been published (Endres 2009, Endres2011) and culminated with Ganeden receiving FDA GRAS. These tests prove that even when GanedenBC30 is consumed at much higher levels than what is found in food and beverage products, that there are no safety concerns. FDA GRAS is strain specific, and GanedenBC30 is the only Bacillus that has been granted FDA GRAS status.
GanedenBC30 is the only Bacillus that has been the subject of over 20 studies published in peer reviewed journals. In multiple studies, GanedenBC30 supports digestive health when consumed daily. A large majority of the body’s immune system is located within the intestines. When GanedenBC30 is consumed daily, it creates a healthier intestinal environment, supporting immune function. GanedenBC30 is the only Bacillus that has been endorsed by Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Michael Roizen, Dr. Andrew Weil.
References for Ganeden BC30
Safety Assessment Of A Proprietary Preparation Of A Novel Probiotic, Bacillus Coagulans, As A Food Ingredient
Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2009; 47: 1231–1238
J.R. Endresa, A. Clewella, K.A. Jadea, T. Farberb, J. Hauswirthc A.G. Schaussa
One-Year Chronic Oral Toxicity With Combined Reproduction Toxicity Study Of A Novel Probiotic, Bacillus Coagulans, As A Food Ingredient
Food and Chemical Toxicology Article in Press
J.R. Endresa, I. Qureshia, T. Farberb, J. Hauswirthc, G. Hirkad, I. Pasicsd, A.G. Schaussa
A Prospective, Randomized, Double–blind, Placebo–controlled Parallel–group Dual Site Trial To Evaluate The Effects Of A Bacillus Coagulans–based Product On Functional Intestinal Gas Symptoms
BMC Gastroenterology, 2009, 9:85
Douglas S Kalman, Howard I Schwartz, Patricia Alvarez, Samantha Feldman, John C Pezzullo and Diane R Krieger
Survival And Metabolic Activity Of The GanedenBC30 Strain Of Bacillus Coagulans In A Dynamic In Vitro Model Of The Stomach And Small Intestine
Beneficial Microbes, 2010; 1(1): 31–36
A.J.H Maathuis, D. Keller, S. Farmer
Impact of GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086) on population dynamics of the human gut microbiota in a continuous culture fermentation system
International Journal of Probiotics and Prebiotics, 2011, 6 (1): 65-72
Harue Honda, Lesley Hoyles, Glenn R. Gibson, Sean Farmer, David Keller and Anne L. McCartney
Use Of A Continuous Culture Fermentation System To Investigate The Effect Of GanedenBC30 Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30, 6086) Supplementation On Pathogen Survival In The Human Gut Microbiota
Anarobe 2011, 17 (1): 36-42
H. Honda, G.R. Gibsona, S. Farmerb, D. Kellerb, A.L. McCartneya
Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30 (BC30) improves indices of Clostridium difficile-Induced colitis in mice
Gut Pathogens, 2011, 3:16
Leo R Fitzpatrick, Jeffrey S Small, Wallace H Greene, Kelly D Karpa and David Keller
Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 limits the recurrence of Clostridium difficile-Induced colitis following vancomycin withdrawal in mice
Gut Pathogens, 2012, 4:13
Leo R Fitzpatrick, Jeffrey S Small, Wallace H Greene, Kelly D Karpa, Sean Farmer and David Keller
Bacillus Coagulans Significantly Improved Abdominal Pain And Bloating In Patients With IBS
Postgraduate Medicine, 2009; 121(2): 119–124
Effects Of A Proprietary Bacillus Coagulans Preparation On Symptoms Of Diarrhea–Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol 2009; 31(10): 655–659
Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 Modulates Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in Older Men and Women
The Journal of Nutrition May 2015
Edna P Nyangale, Sean Farmer, Howard A Cash, David Keller, David Chernoff, and Glenn R Gibson
Immunomodulation of Antiretroviral Drug-Suppressed Chronic HIV-1 Infection in an Oral Probiotic Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses October 2014, 30(10): 988-995. doi:10.1089/aid.2014.0181.
Yang Otto O., Kelesidis Theodoros, Cordova Robert, and Khanlou Homayoon
GanedenBC30 Cell Wall And Metabolites: Anti–inflammatory And Immune Modulating Effects In vitro
BMC Immunology 2010, 11:15
Gitte S Jensen, Kathleen F Benson, Steve G Carter, John R Endres
Probiotic metabolites from Bacillus coagulans GanedenBC30 support maturation of antigen-presenting cells in vitro
World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2012, 18(16): 1875–1883
Kathleen F Benson, Kimberlee A Redman, Steve G Carter, David Keller, Sean Farmer, John R Endres and Gitte S Jensen
A review of probiotics studies in HIV research suggests improved immunological presentation and preservation of viral host restrictive factors of TH17 in HIV patients
Retrovirology, 2012, 9(Suppl 1):P22
M Selbovitz, Keller, Miller, Moore, Farmer and Bray
A Patented Strain Of Bacillus Coagulans Increased Immune Response To Viral Challenge
Postgraduate Medicine, 2009; 121(2): 114–118
A Controlled Clinical Trial To Evaluate The Effect of GanedenBC30 On Immunological Markers
Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology 2010, 32(2): 129-132
M. Kimmel, D. Keller, S. Farmer, D.E. Warrino
Effect of prebiotics on the fecal microbiota of elderly volunteers after dietary supplementation of Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086
Anaerobe Volume 30, December 2014, Pages 75–81
Edna P. Nyangale, Sean Farmer, David Keller, David Chernoff, Glenn R. Gibson
Bacillus coagulans : A Viable Adjunct Therapy For Relieving Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis According To A Randomized, Controlled Trial
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2010, 10:1
David R Mandel, Katy Eichas, Judith Holmes
Bacillus Coagulans As A Probiotic
Food Science & Technology Bulletin: Functional Foods 2010, 7 (7): 103-109
D. Keller, S. Farmer, A.L. McCartney, G. Gibson