Lactobacillus sporogenes is a name that is often incorrectly used when discussing Bacillus coagulans, a type of probiotic bacteria. Probiotics are microbes that offer positive health benefits when consumed live. According to an August 2009 review in the "Journal of Chemotherapy," the use of the term "Lactobacillus sporogenes" on the labels of probiotic products illustrates the problem of misidentification among probiotic strains offered for sale by retailers.
Probiotics in General
Probiotics are used in the management of numerous gastrointestinal disorders and mounting scientific evidence points to the effectiveness of various strains as a form of therapy. Beneficial bacteria exist in your intestinal system, where their presence helps prevent colonization by harmful microbes. Sometimes, your natural intestinal microbes can become depleted. In such cases taking products that contain live probiotic microorganisms can help restore normal intestinal flora.
Misclassification of Lactobacillus Sporogenes
Buyer beware: products labeled "Lactobacillus sporogenes" are misleading, according to MedlinePlus. They actually contain Bacillus coagulens, a bacteria whose ability to produce lactic acid causes marketers to assume it is related to lactic acid-producing bacteria such as Lactobacillus. In contrast to Lactobacillus, however, Bacillus coagulens produces spores -- a feature that lends this probiotic strain greater resistance to destruction in the gastrointestinal tract.
Effects of Lactobacillus Sporogenes
This particular strain of probiotic microorganism has been subjected to studies that have hinted as beneficial effects. According to "Alternative Medicine Review," Lactobacillus sporogenes may help decrease serum cholesterol, constipation, infant diarrhea and vaginitis. A study published in January 2010 in "BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine" found that Bacillus coagulans was safe and effective as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, but concluded that more research is needed to confirm these effects.
Alternative Medicine Review recommends a daily dosage of 100 mg of Lactobacillus sporogenes, containing 1.5 billion colony-forming units. MedlinePlus states that a dosage of 100 million live Lactobacillus sporogenes bacteria, taken daily for the first year of life, has been used to prevent diarrhea in infants in developing countries, but also notes that not enough research has been conducted to determine appropriate dosages of this probiotic.
Probiotics are strain-specific, meaning that different types have different effects. You won't get the same health benefits from Lactobacillus sporogenes that you would from another probiotic organism, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. Consult a doctor before taking probiotics.
- "Journal of Chemotherapy"; Should Lactobacillus Sporogenes and Bacillus Coagulans Have a Future; L. Drago, et al.; August 2009
- Medline Plus; Bacillus Coagulans; Nov. 18, 2010
- Medline Plus; Lactobacillus; Nov. 19, 2010
- "Alternative Medicine Review"; Lactobacillus Sporogenes - Monograph; August 2002
- "BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine"; Bacillus Coagulans: A Viable Adjunct Therapy for Relieving Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis According to a Randomized, Controlled Trial; David R Mandel; Jan. 2010