Nutraceuticals are well-known for their key role in promoting general well-being and health, modulating immunity and thereby imparting positive physiological effects on the human body. Owing to their better safety and potential nutritional profile, and pharmaceutical value, in recent times, nutraceuticals have gained significant importance.
Consequently, probiotics have also been known for their wide range of benefits as nutraceuticals. These benefits include improved bowel movement, effective against colon cancer, decreased level of cholesterol, blood pressure lowering effects, enhanced immune function, improved mineral absorption, preventing growth of harmful bacteria and many more.
The following section discusses about the favourable effects of probiotics as nutraceuticals:
- Reports of clinical trials on groups of patients suffering from a variety of intestinal disorders, such as acute and chronic intestinal catarrh, diarrhoea, constipation, abnormal intestinal fermentation, dyspepsia infantum suggested that administration of Bacillus coagulans resulted in remarkable improvement in the general clinical condition and provided relief (effective rate: 70–100%) from intestinal disorders (Clinical studies data compiled by the Sankyo Co. Ltd., Japan)
- Administration of Bacillus coagulans spores to neonates suffering from diarrhoea at specified dose showed a decreased dehydration to a great extent with average recovery time of 1.8 days (Dhongade and Anjaneyulu, 1977)
- Helicobacter pylori is a Gram negative bacterium and is regarded as the etiologic factor for the development of peptic ulcer disease, gastric adenocarcinoma, and the lymphoma of mucosal lymphoid tissue. Several studies have reported that certain probiotic strains can exhibit inhibitory activity against H. pylori infections with concomitant decrease antibiotic associated adverse effects (Homan and Orel, 2015). LactoSpore® was found to be effective in inhibiting the H. pylori growth in vitro. In combination with β-glucogallin and mucic acid gallates, the effectiveness was significantly better than individual, indicating the synergistic effect of the composition (Majeed et al., 2017).
Effects on Hyperlipidemia
Patients diagnosed with type II hyperlipidemia when given Bacillus coagulans therapy for 3 months showed short-term hypolipidemic effects with significant reduction in total serum cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol ratios (p<0.001) as well as marginal improvement in the level of HDL-cholesterol (p<0.05) (Mohan et al., 1990).
Several pathogens like Staphylococci, Streptococci, Pneumococci and E. coli as well as certain chemicals, drugs, surgical procedures, trauma and foreign bodies are responsible for causing non-specific vaginitis. Therapy with Bacillus coagulans was thought to be a better alternative in the treatment of non-specific vaginitis, as it provided complete relief to 91% of the patients and partial relief to the remaining 9% in a clinical trial (Sankholkar and Sali, A clinical study report from B. J. Medical College, Pune, India Unpublished)
Aphthous stomatitis and Glossitis
Bacillus coagulans therapy for two to three days resulted in complete cure of recurrent oral ulcerations (Mathur et al., 1970).