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Why Bacillus?

Since the advent of microbiology in the 1800s, microbes have generally been understood to interact with and impact the human body. However, the vast underlying significance of the gut microbiome to human health has only just begun to be fully appreciated and scientifically investigated within the past couple decades. In addition to playing a role in gut health, the microbiome has also been associated with the immune and nervous systems, skin health, mental health, and beyond. In light of these discoveries, oral supplementation with live microbes, or probiotics, has become increasingly popular.

According to the World Health Organization, probiotics are live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. This globally recognized definition sets a critical requirement that probiotics, such as certain strains of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Bacillus, demonstrate a health benefit in a properly designed clinical study. Examples of substantiated health benefits of probiotics include the support of gastrointestinal health, immune health, and promotion of beneficial gut bacteria. However, Bacillus species in particular exhibit several attributes well suited for use in dietary supplements and food, including shelf stability and the ability to withstand various food processing methods. Bacillus species, such as B. subtilis, have also been largely demonstrated to be safe for use in food and oral supplementation.

Stability of Bacillus

  • Food Processing: Because Bacillus cells form spores as part of their life cycle, they are naturally durable against heat, radiation, and other harsh conditions. The spore coat functions similarly in the way a seed coat protects the viability of a plant seed. Bacillus spores thus successfully endures many manufacturing processes and formulation into a wide variety of foods and beverages.
  • Shelf stability: Bacillus spores are not only durable throughout various manufacturing processes, but are also remarkably stable during long-term (more than a year) storage, without the need for refrigeration.
  • GI tract: The durability of the Bacillus spore also facilitates its transit through the harsh microenvironments of the human gastrointestinal tract (e.g., acidic gastric pH, low oxygen conditions, and bile salts) without further encapsulation to deliver viable CFUs to the consumer and their body.

Safety of Bacillus

  • Bacillus species naturally occur in the human gutBacillus spores are well adapted to survive and germinate in the gut environment. Multiple independent studies have reported the presence of Bacillus species, specifically  subtilis and B. velezensis, in intestinal and human fecal samples, independent of probiotic supplementation. Collectively, these data show that Bacillus are naturally safe and present in the human body.
  • Bacillus have been safely used in traditional fermented foods of many east Asian cultures for centuries. Producers of the Japanese fermented soybeans, natto beans, have utilized Bacillus subtilis var. nattofor commercial production since the early 1900s. Sequencing and characterization of these strains support safe use of Bacillus in foods and dietary supplements. Additionally, Bacillus strains such as B. subtilis and B. velezensis are naturally present in Korean kimchi, Egyptian kishk, and a variety of cultural adaptations of fermented soy beans including miso, thua nao, and doenjang.
  • BIO-CAT Microbials’ Strain Safety and Efficacy:

Other Bacillus Applications

  • Bioremediation: Several Bacillus species are capable of bioremediation by metabolizing heavy metals in contaminated soil and industrial waste water.
  • Crop health: Bacillus are important to agriculture by converting free nitrogen in soil into ammonia, which crops need for growth. Bacillus, are also capable of producing antimicrobial compounds that inhibit the growth of crop pathogens.

Manufactured in the USA

OPTIBIOME® Bacillus strains are produced by BIO-CAT Microbials in our GMP-certified facility located in Shakopee, MN. Our owner-operated business has more than 15 years of experience in Bacillus fermentation and new strain development. BIO-CAT Microbials is a vertically integrated business with PhD scientist-led innovation. We offer expert fermentation and final product blending, fast customer-directed testing, as well as iterative product customization resulting in flexible partnership opportunities.


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