LactoSpore shelf-stable probiotic alleviated depression symptoms in IBS patients according to new study


Supplementation with Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 by individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and co-existing depression may improve symptoms of both conditions, says new study.


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Supplementation with Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 (LactoSpore by Sabinsa Corp., based in East Windsor, NJ) by individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and co-existing depression may improve symptoms of both conditions, according to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center pilot study published in Food & Nutrition Research.1 Forty subjects were randomized to receive LactoSpore once per day at a dose of 2 billion CFU 30 minutes prior to a meal, or placebo, for three months.

Subjects were evaluated at baseline, day 30, day 60, day 90, and day 105. The primary outcomes assessed were a mean 90-day change in depression and IBS symptoms based on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), sleep quality and depressive symptom severity using 11-item Centre for Epidemiological Studies–Depression Scale (CES-D), and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Quality of Life (IBS-QOL) questionnaire. Results showed that there was a significant change in all primary outcomes at 60 days and maintained the same until day 90.

While this and previous studies provide promising evidence of the potential of probiotic supplementation for improving depression symptoms, the exact mechanism of action for probiotics relieving depression symptoms is not clear and requires further study. The researchers posit that because IBS is mediated by inflammation, and that low-grade, chronic inflammation has been known to increase the risk of mood disorders, inflammation may be a factor. They also state that the production of neurotransmitters, hormones, and short-chain fatty acids by probiotics may help with alleviating depression symptoms. Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 has been shown to produce short-chain fatty acids (acetic, propioni, and butyric acid), antimicrobial substances, and anti-inflammatory substances, and that may be why the strain was effective in this study, researchers write.

Sabinsa says it undertook this study after screening subjects for the first clinical trial (2) conducted on LactoSpore for the treatment of IBS predominant diarrhea. The company says that Shaheen Majeed, Sabinsa’s president worldwide, noticed that depression was commonly reported among these potential subjects, who were ultimately excluded from that original trial.


1. Majeed M et al. “Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 for the management of major depression with irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised, doubleblind, placebo controlled, multi-centre, pilot clinical study.” Food and Nutrition. Published online ahead of print July 4, 2018.

2. Majeed M et al. “Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 supplementation in the management of diarrhea predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome: a double blind randomized placebo controlled pilot clinical study.” Nutrition Journal, vol. 15, no. 21 (2018)

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