Bacillus probiotics are rather unique microbes in our digestive system.
The major difference of Bacillus organisms and other probiotics is that Bacillus microbes are "spore" producing.
In spore form, probiotics are protected from the harsh stomach acid which enhances their deliver into the intestines much better than traditional unprotected strains like Lactobacilli or Bifidobacteria.
Although many are actually bacteria naturally found in the gut, we consume them through our interactions with soil. Spore organisms are prevalent in soil. When we consume the spores from interacting with soil in everyday life, the spores germinate in our small intestine and live there for up to three weeks. They then turn into spores again and are released in the environment until another host picks them up!
While in our system, Bacillus probiotics provide us with a number of health benefits.
One of the most popular Bacillus strains is Bacillus coagulans.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition that involves immune attack on the joints. Immune imbalances underly the true causes of RA.
So, what underlies immune imbalance?
Often, imbalances of healthy gut flora are involved with the incidence of RA. Up to 70% or more of our total immune system is actually located in our gut. This balance of microbiota in the gut is incredibly important to keeping things balanced and happy.
Imbalances may involve both overgrowth of some organisms and/or a deficiency of others.
Often, spore organisms are part of our deficiencies because individuals from developed countries do not interact with dirt on an everyday basis. Spore organisms give us double benefit because they are known to produce healthy antibiotic compounds that help to crowd out pathogenic flora (and other compounds that feed our intestines and other healthy bacteria!).
If we're deficient, we're not getting the immune-balancing or the benefits of "crowding out bad guys"/"feeding the good guys".
Many of us are deficient as we are not eating food with soil on it consistently, nor are most of us outdoors all day. The next best thing is supplementation.
When it comes to RA, a double-blind, randomized controlled trial looked at supplementation with the spore probiotic Bacillus coagulans and its effect on pain scales and measures of quality of life in 46 men and women with symptoms of RA.
The study reported significant improvements in pain assessment score and pain scale when compared to placebo.
Those receiving the Bacillus supplement reported improvements in:
- Global and self-assessments of disability
- Ability to walk two miles
- Physical reach
- Ability to participate in daily activities.
No adverse side effects were reported for those receiving Bacillus supplements. While we normally think of probiotics as promoting gastrointestinal health and comfort, they play a vital role in our immune health.
Immune health affects all of our tissues and body systems inside and outside of the gut - including incidence and severity of rheumatoid arthritis