HSO’s Part 7 – Why I Do Not Recommend MegaSporeBiotic or My Issues With Bacillus licheniformis

HSO's Part 7 - Why I Do Not Recommend MegaSporeBiotic or My Issues With Bacillus licheniformis

My Issues With Bacillus licheniformis

What about a new probiotic that produces antioxidants once it propagates in your intestinal tract. Sounds great right?

A probiotic supplement that, in addition, claims to: 1

  • Be designed by nature.
  • Survive the harsh stomach environment.
  • Requires no refrigeration.
  • Include a strain that is the most widely used in the world.
  • Helps regulate the immune system.

The probiotic supplement with all this and more is known as MegaSporeBiotic!

To be honest, if you give me any product – even those that I recommend – I can find something untrue or at least “bending” the truth when it comes to claims made about the product. The same is true for MegaSpore.

MegaSpore makes a claim that the Bacillus species used in their supplement are the most widely researched and used in the world. This statement is grossly incorrect. Bacillus is not a species of bacteria but a genus. 2 Bacteria from the Bacillus genus are not the most widely used and researched “probiotics” in the world, that award goes to the Lactobacillus genus (Bifidobacterium is a close second.) 3 Megaspore also specifically states that Bacillus clausii is the most widely used “probiotic” drug in the world. That award should instead go to Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is found in the prescribed probiotic VSL. 4 5

MegaSpore also makes a claim that Bacillus indicus HU36 would produce a wide variety of carotenoid antioxidants once it colonizes the large intestine. Production of poorly absorbed dietary carotenoid antioxidants in the large intestine would be a great thing if there were any science available outside of the MegaSpore website to back up this theory. It is possible for Bacillus indicus HU36 to produce these antioxidants, 6 but there is no proof whether or not this will occur in animal or human intestinal tracts. Bacillus indicus HU36; itself is a spore-forming marine based bacteria that is not known to be native gut flora to any human, and based on that alone should be supplemented under the supervision of a doctor. Bacillus indicus has also shown resistance to clindamycin in a study. 7

 Bacillus licheniformis

Bacillus licheniformis is one of the worst offending soil based “probiotics” and is known to cause food poisoning, 8 septicemia, 9 10 11 peritonitis, 12 and ophthalmitis. 13 Bacillus licheniformis is not native human flora but appears to be native flora in birds. 14 Bacillus licheniformis is a ubiquitous organism and likely enters the human digestive system many times a day. While data regarding its ability to survive in the human gastrointestinal tract is sparse, it is likely that the spores pass without activating. 15

Bacillus licheniformis is known to cause spontaneous abortions in cattle and sheep as well as contaminate dairy (a cause of food poisoning) with toxins produced from the animals from ingestion of spoilage. B. licheniformis is a spore former and likely to survive all industrial processing of milk, such as the manufacture of milk powder and whey concentrate. Toxins produced by B. licheniformis interfere with mitochondrial function and over-activate the TRPV1 receptors in the intestines causing diarrhea. 16

Not all strains of Bacillus licheniformis appear to contain toxin expressing genes, but with most probiotic supplements not labeling the strains of bacteria used, it is hard to know what you are taking in. Some “probiotic” supplements have removed it from their formulations in recent years; Garden of Life’s Primal Defense is a prime example of the change of heart. 17

People may criticize me for being overly cautious when it comes to other “HSO” probiotics and their chances of causing infections. There have been some cases involving Bacillus licheniformis causing infections in people who are hospitalized or after surgery and it has even been associated with food poisoning. Lactobacillus acidophilus might have a few cases of septicemia infections in recorded literature, but it is more widely used probiotic and the worse it would cause is easier to identify and treat infections compared to most “HSO’s.” 18 19

Endospores are dormant, tough encapsulations that protect the bacteria from your immune system, antibiotics, antibacterials, and even probiotics. Bacteria can also lie dormant in endospores until their environment becomes favorable for faster reproduction and survival. Bacterial endospores may also become opportunistic in a host, share in a commune with the gut flora for a time. Bacterial endospores can survive without nutrients for a long time and are resistant to UV radiation, desiccation, high temperatures, extreme freezing, and most chemical disinfectants. 20

Since bacteria in the Bacillus genus are spore forming, it becomes hard to eliminate them if they become opportunistic. Most proponents say that the endospore aspect of licheniformis is a good quality in a “probiotic.” Their reasoning behind this recommendation is that since Bacillus licheniformis is encapsulated in an endospore, the bacteria can survive stomach acid when ingested and propagate easily in the intestines.

Bacillus licheniformis has been shown to be immunostimulatory in some cases and produces bactericides to help eliminate other bacteria. 21 Some non-HSO bacteria also produce bactericides to help reduce total bacterial load in the intestines, but most of those bacteria are easy to eliminate if they cause an infection. 22 23 If Bacillus licheniformis becomes opportunistic, its bactericides may target normal probiotic flora and reduce their populations increasing its virulence.

I will not recommend any supplement that uses Bacillus licheniformis because of these possible issues.

Update 1: We recently spoke with Kiran Krishnan, the designer of MegaSpore. He has been working in the probiotic industry for over fifteen years and has some of the same concerns that we do about probiotic companies. He is going to be sharing some data with us in the coming weeks about his quality control methods, and how meticulous he is about keeping his product safe. According to Mr. Krishnan, MegaSpore is used by over a thousand doctors, and many people are seeing positive results with his product.

Update 2: The information Kiran provided us did not meet our expectations and at this time we still cannot recommend Megaspore. I cannot give too much detail because Kiran asked me not to, but most of the information provided were old studies that we were well aware of, promotional literature from Megaspore, and a COA for Bacillus subtilis. I can say that with some certainty that their Bacillus subtilis HU58 strain is labeled correctly and verified pure by the third party COA provided. That being said he provided us no in-house studies or COA’s on the other strains in the supplement including the one I had the most issues within the supplement, Bacillus licheniformis. We contacted Kiran again for more information and we have not heard from him since. If he provides us the requested information, at any time, I would update the blog with more information, but at this time we still do not recommend Megaspore.

We have differing opinions about the Bacillus genus and we invite you to look at the comment section at the bottom of the article for Mr. Krishnan’s rebuttal. We hope that this discussion proves to be valuable, and that the dialog helps you to find the best treatment option under the supervision of a qualified physician.

Update 3: More information on Megasporebiotic.

  1. http://www.gomegaspore.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Patient-Handout.pdf
  2. http://www.ic.ucsc.edu/~saltikov/bio119l/readings/prokaryotes/Bacillus.pdf
  3. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/1101/p1073.html
  4. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/1101/p1073.html
  5. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/6/1256.full
  6. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fprofile%2FCharlotte_Sy%2Fpublication%2F235629021_Inhibition_of_iron-induced_lipid_peroxidation_by_newly_identified_bacterial_carotenoids_in_model_gastric_conditions_comparison_with_common_carotenoids%2Flinks%2F53f1f7330cf2f2c3e7fca02d.pdf&ei=qLE9VbuXMoqrNsPpgfgH&usg=AFQjCNEM7mj3eEMV10Xwrld5IumPMBwm0g&sig2=xl4VpLoP0jhIXHC_W3r5CA&bvm=bv.91665533,d.eXY
  7. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2672.2008.03773.x/full
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC91618/
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3326966/
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22918867
  11. http://jcm.asm.org/content/33/11/3070.short
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16509927
  13. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/fra005.pdf
  14. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/fra005.pdf
  15. http://www.epa.gov/biotech_rule/pubs/fra/fra005.htm
  16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC91618/
  17. http://blog.listentoyourgut.com/bacterial-soil-organisms-hsos-sos-sbos-etc/
  18. http://www.epa.gov/biotech_rule/pubs/fra/fra005.htm
  19. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/6/1256.full
  20. https://micro.cornell.edu/research/epulopiscium/bacterial-endospores
  21. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1472-765X.2004.01478.x/pdf
  22. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12619886
  23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8854175
62 Comments
  1. Kiran: “…So in the spore form, it is IMPOSSIBLE for the bacteria to cause disease or even multiply. So there is a paradox to your logic. To say that its antibiotic resistance makes it hard to treat is wrong, because in its antibiotic resistant state, it cannot cause disease at all…”

    I see what you are saying, but doesn’t it give them the ability to “ride out” the antibiotic dosing period, then become vegetative?

  2. Excellent discussions here. I personally use MegaSpore and recommend it to my clients. (I am a functional nutritionist with a master’s degree.) I have seen positive results and will continue to recommend it. I think it is important to always consult with a professional when using any supplement. It is equally important to have applicable testing done to guide protocol development.

  3. Great comments. After being on constant advil and oral steroids plus two doses of antibiotics in past two years, my stomach system has been destroyed. Off meds and now trying to reverse damage with a higher fiber diet along with colostrum and also mega sporebiotic. I will let everyone knows how it turns out.

  4. I take a probiotic with Bacillus coagulan, and have found it very well tolerated. What do you think of that strain?

  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299538914_Identification_and_Pathogenic_Potential_of_Clinical_Bacillus_and_Paenibacillus_Isolates

    B. subtilis and B. lichenformis contain virulence related behaviors. Some strains of B. subtilis contain nheA virulence genes. Both B. licheniformis and B. subtilis can produce proteases. B. subtilis and B. lichenformis were found in non sterile body sites some in deep tissue.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299538914_Identification_and_Pathogenic_Potential_of_Clinical_Bacillus_and_Paenibacillus_Isolates

    “In conclusion, the isolation of bacteria belonging to the Bacillus or Paenibacillus genera should not be disregarded and their identification performed, particularly when samples derive from patients in any preexisting disease condition or immunocompromised. In fact, despite these bacteria are commonly considered soil-related organisms, they are increasingly isolated from hospitalized patients and appear sufficiently equipped of virulence properties that can
    allow them to behave as pathogens/opportunistic pathogens for humans.”

  6. I suffer with autoimmune conditions and lupus. The past year I have been sick with strep infections and frequent colds and virus’. It has been exhausting. I have tried every supplement and detox/cleanse you can imagine. I have tried other probiotic’s and felt not a bit better. I eat clean, mostly organic fruits, veggies and even do lots of juicing.

    When I first started this probiotic I was hoping it would just improve my immune function so I could stop getting every virus my kids bring home! What really happened has been a wonderful surprise. From the lupus, over the past year, I have developed so much inflammation in my ankles and feet, that it is painful and difficult to walk. I tried everything to ease it, even special orthotics (which did nothing!). Within a day of taking this, the pain is completely gone! I mean I have no pain or swelling in my ankles and feet. I also went from having to get up to pee 3-4 times per night to not having to get up at all!

    Yes, I had increased bowel movements/borderline diarrhea for the first few days, but knew I could back off and slow down by taking half capsule..but stuck with it and by day 3, things settled down a bit. I am very thankful that this was suggested to me by my nutritionist. It has been life-changing. I know I will continue to heal every day in more ways than what I am already feeling.

  7. My teen daughter started taking this probiotic. Before taking this she had normal bowl movements. Two weeks after starting this ahe started getting diarrhea. Now she goes from diarrhea to constipation, back and forth. This is horrible! She is in the bathroom after every time she eats.This has been going on since July and here it is September. Wish she had never started taking them.I read your article after the damage had already been done.
    Thank you John for your information on mega sporebiotic.

  8. Would this probiotic megaspore work for helping reduce sever treatment-restistant depression and anxiety? I ask because I was leaning towards one that Dr Perlmutter suggests from Garden Life called Mood +. Also, my GI effects test from Genova stated that I am very deficient in lactobacillus and bafido species. And since there are soooooooooo many probiotics on the market, I am still torn as to which one would be right for me. I also have celiac disease. Any feedback on this would be so greatly appreciated, including from Kiran and any doctors on this thread that feel like chiming in. Thanks so much in advance for any input.

    • I brought my Genova labs to my new naturopath, I had undetectable lactobacillus as well even after supplementing with VSL#3 for months. My new doctor told me that lactobacillus doesn’t grow very well on lab cultures and that the test is not very good at detecting lactobacillus – when she was using the test, all of her patients would come back with low levels.Therefore I would take that result with a grain of salt. Bifido grows just fine, however.

      That being said, I have tried all sorts of probiotics and haven’t cured my fatigue or IBS yet. I think I will try naturally fermented foods next.

  9. The conversation is helpful. I have been on Megasporebiotic for 9 months and it has done wonders for me……within a week I was feeling better……Since I end up taking antibiotics every 6 months for one thing or another, it has keep my intestinal tract afloat midst the onslaught. Miracle drug as far as I am concerned….but yes, more studies, more research needed…..

  10. First let me state that I am just a customer who started taking Megaspore about 5 months ago and I would like to share my experience. From the very first day I took it, I had trouble with my right ear clogging and I would lose 50 to 80% of my hearing for short or long periods, from 20 minutes to 3 or 4 days at a time. Very distressing. Since I suffer from oxalate and histamine sensitivities, I figured another food sensitivity had crept in, namely salicylates and it was quite devastating to my already limited diet. So, for 5 months I cut the salicylates out of my diet, with very little success in controlling the problem. I also experienced depression with the clogged ear and an not sure if this was a direct response to Megaspore or an indirect response to the fact that I was partially deaf (ENT ruled out any hearing issues).

    1 week ago I decided to stop Megaspore out of desperation. I no longer experience a clogged right ear and I have added salicylates back into my diet with no noticeable reaction. A week isn’t a very long time, but so far my conclusion is that Megaspore didn’t agree with my system. I surely don’t understand the science behind this, but I do now understand that probiotics are very powerful and should be used with the understanding that things can go right and things can go wrong. I’m just thankful that at this point it appears that whatever went on in my gut wasn’t permanent and I can put this chapter in my fight to regain my health behind me.

  11. I have used this product – 2 bottles worth. at first I didn’t really notice anything happening either way, good or bad. I started out slow as per my health care person’s advice. I took one a day and sometimes forgot to take it on other days and ended up taking 2 a day when I remembered to do so. Then I ran out. Now I really feel a difference since it has been about 2 weeks without it. I am again full of sour stomach, and completely constipated all the time. I didn’t research this when I first started taking it because I was too ill, and now I found this article after searching where to buy it (since I left my former dr office). I am going to still use this product. I had no bad reactions that I can remember and I feel like crap while off of it. Too bad it’s only available through a small number of ways. Nothing else has ever helped me the way this megasporebiotic has. I am 50 years old and have lived a life with constant constipation and other symptoms. I am so glad to have found relief.

  12. It could be a coincidence, but I’ve been experiencing ongoing, extreme abdominal distention and cramping since I started Megaspore Biotic. I never had digestive issues or bloating before, but now I look four months pregnant even though I’m pretty lean and fit. Now my husband has gotten the same stomach swelling even though he never took the probiotic. And although I stopped the probiotic weeks ago, neither of us is seeing any abdominal relief. Now I’m worried that I’ve populated my gut (and perhaps my husband’s) with a challenging bacteria. How do I clean it out and repopulate with flora that suit our biomes better?

    • I would consider getting a stool test like GI Effects to see if Bacillus did colonize your digestive tract and if so consider following the endospore eliminating protocol in my book if it appears it is causing you issues.

  13. Everyone, please do just a small amount of research/reading on the risk assessment of bacillus lichenformis from the EPA. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/fra005.pdf. You will see very quickly how much of the information in this particular article is just… wrong. Lichenformis is one of the better defined bacillus species, it is very easily distinguished when compared with other toxic, harmful bacillus species (and thus unlikely to be confused with those related species), it is not toxigenic, is not predisposed to cause infection, and is absolutely not related to food poisoning (in fact, B. cereus is the common cause of food poisoning). If you still feel uneasy, of course, you have every right to NOT use probiotics with this strand. Personally, I was researching MegasporeProbiotic to see if I should try it, and I am very glad I stumbled across this post. It is the only thing I found in my research that was slightly negative. I am not sure what the agenda of the blogger is, but for me, all of this information has given me more confidence in using the product. Again, read the risk assessment. It’s an easy read and quickly negates so many of this blogger’s points.

    • I linked many studies that show that Lichenformis causes infections and has been implicated in spoilage of food. You missed those however and instead linked a 1997 EPA report. Granted I linked this report as well but let us take time and examine what you have missed out of it:

      “Although it can grow over a wide range of temperatures including that of the human body (Claus and Berkeley, 1986), it is unlikely that this microorganism will colonize humans to any large degree. Contact with the microorganism, therefore, would generally be relegated to soil and other environmental sources.”

      “While there have been cases of acute, self-limited gastroenteritis associated with the isolation of large numbers of this species, a toxic or direct effect on intestinal epithelia has not been demonstrated.”

      “While not innocuous, B. licheniformis appears to have a very low degree of virulence.”

      “Due to its ubiquitous presence as spores in soil and dust, B. licheniformis is widely known as a contaminant of food (Norris et al., 1981). It is a common spoilage organism of milk (Mostert et al., 1979; Foschino et al., 1990), packaged meats (Bell and DeLacy, 1984), and some canned goods (Norris et al., 1981). However, it is typically not thought to be a causal agent of food poisoning. B. licheniformis. It has also been shown to be a contaminant of pharmaceutical tablets (Nandapurkar et al., 1985.)”

      “However, if challenged by large numbers of this microorganism, compromised individuals or those suffering from trauma may be infected.”

      So yes, the EPA report brings up some of the issues I had with the bacteria, and this was the information available to them in 1997.

    • Very nice to hear that since I have had amazing rests from it. Clear head, no bloating and gas pains from too much fiber went away like magic. Thanku

  14. Spore forming bacteria are essential to people who do not have the genes to maintain the gut flora. Spore forming bacteria will stay and work in a gut that is not properly “cared for” by genes. So I think is is very difficult to state a blanket fact of HSO’s work or do not work. They have helped me and have helped others. I can see where there may be no subjective proof for people with no trouble maintaining a healthy gut. That’s not me so I have to take probiotics twice a day and take different stains — mix them around — to get a variety. They then die in my gut, but the spores don’t and thus help control the bad bacteria.

  15. http://sciencelife.uchospitals.edu/2014/11/25/do-probiotics-work/

    QUOTE:
    We spoke to Stefano Guandalini, MD, Section Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and Medical Director of the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago ….

    Q. Is a food product the best way to treat symptoms of IBS or IBD, or do you need a special preparation in a pill?

    A. The best way is to use specific strains that have been validated through clinical trials and published in peer-reviewed journals to show efficacy, and if possible reproduced by different groups using the same preparations. So the list of probiotics that have gone through this process is actually very short:

    • There is a product called Align, based on a specific Bifidobacterium, which is mostly for adults with IBS.

    • For infants and colicky babies there is some proof of effectiveness for a product called Biogaia, which has the bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri in it.

    • Then we have Culturelle with Lactobacillus GG, another one with a long record of scientific, well conducted studies, which has been found effective in treating diarrheal diseases.

    • Florastor, which contains a yeast [Saccharomyces boulardii] instead of bacteria, is also effective in treating and preventing antibiotic associated diarrhea. Children who get antibiotics often develop diarrhea, and in many cases that can be prevented by the use of Florastor.

    • Finally there is a preparation called VSL #3, which is a highly concentrated preparation of 8 different strains of probiotics. This has received a great deal of attention by the scientific world to treat a number of conditions. It seems to be effective for ulcerative colitis, both in adults and children, and it has been found effective in irritable bowel syndrome as well.

    Outside of this incredibly short list, however, there is nothing else. There is no other probiotic that has been found to be effective in rigorous, controlled clinical trials. This is not to say they aren’t working, it’s just to say we don’t have any scientific proof yet.
    UNQUOTE

  16. A friend had a severe allergic reaction to the product and could not work for a week. The product may or may not benefit anyone. I see no peer-reviewed studies of the effectiveness of this product. I certainly would not use it as its dangers are un-researched, and its benefits largely touted by the vendor and its promoter / employee.

  17. Being board certified in clinical nutrition and functional medicine, I have worked with patients that have had gut issues for over 15 years. From my own clinical experience, Megaspore has had a profound positive effect on the majority of my patients. I’m not saying that I have not had positive outcomes with other probiotics, just not to this degree. Whether it’s IBS, Crohn’s or constipation, I have had excellent results using this product.

    • Googling, I see a chiropractor called William Scalise.
      Would be interested to know, doctor, where you practise.

      • Ram, if you turned up his name in a google search, certainly you should be able to see his address and contact info.

        As for your earlier comments, I found studies and research on the MegaSpore Biotic site. Also, there are studies for the individual strains found on Pubmed.

        I haven’t tried it yet myself but it looks like it makes sense. These are organisms that are in the soil, and thus on foods that man has eaten for thousands of years. They didn’t take them home and wash them in chlorinated water to kill the spores and germs, in fact probably used water from fresh streams, yet there were no ‘autoimmune’ diseases prior to 60-70 years ago.

        Just food for thought.

        • Incorrect, there were “autoimmune” diseases 60-70 years ago. Most “autoimmune” disorders are infections, people have had these different infections for centuries. Granted modern medicine is wrong in identifying these infections as autoimmune diseases, but it does not change the fact they existed.

          Water from streams would still remove soil bacteria and biofilms, it has nothing to do with chlorination.

          • Wrong. A simple washing in a stream would not come close to fully removing bacteria and definitely not biofilms without abrasive scrubbing. Even with toothbrushes and mouthwashes we can’t remove all dental bacteria and plaque (biofilms). Please do not make a silly assumption that stream washing would remove our exposure to soil organisms. They are ubiquitous…we have been exposed to them extensively and daily in our past as a whole.

    • I have been using Megaspore for about 7 months,
      In addition to Paleo diet and herbal protocol
      To rebalance gut bacteria. It wasn’t until I added in
      The Megaspore that my guts calmed down significantly- but not until after the initial war was over. The first two weeks was a battle of the bad guys vs megaspore. I am extremely sensitive to foods, herbs, probiotics and fermented foods. But I was able to tolerate Megaspore. I am now able to eata significantly more diverse diet which was difficult due to severe intolerance to many foods. I have added back avacado, onion, beets, asparagus, trout, eggs, green beans, butternut squash. I feel very blessed to have found this product and will continue to take it for at least another year just as insurance!

      • Lisa, Thanks for your reply. My practitioner just recommended Megaspore for me. I am very sensitive to things as well and have been battling gut issues off and on for some years now. I do my best to research things on my quest for good health so your input helped. Blessings to you!

        • Suzy, thank you for your positive words to Lisa. This product was just recommended to me by a professional, but a friend sent me to this site. Confusion can arise so quickly. I was so hoping to be optimistic about MegaSpore Biotics. My food sensitivity is insane and with three autoimmune conditions mounting over 24+ years, I was excited to think that starting with repairing my gut would be best. I can not let fear move in. Blessings and Good Health to You!

      • I started using this (Megasporebiotic) last summer and for me it has been no less than miraculous for me and my family. No other probiotic has worked as well. It is a keeper for me.

    • This is so encouraging! Thank you. Perhaps fermentation is an even better option in the form of live whole foods, but if dysbiosis is at the root of some cases of autoimmune thyroiditis and lichen sclerosis the product might be worth my while trying. Do you do skype consultations????
      Mary

  18. It seems to me, if it was a legitimate product, they would just sell the product outright instead of hiding behind naturopaths who then persuade their own clients to buy it. Sounds fishy to me when the naturopaths are the ones doing the promoting of the product for the company hailing the product as the find of the century. Mass marketing at its finest. What a shame.

  19. MegaSporeBiotic got rid of my lifelong constipation almost immediately, and at age 65 that is quit an accomplishment. I also snort about an eighth of a capsule and my chronic sinus infection clears up. Someday I’m going to remember to try and snort it every day for a week and see if it gets rid of the sinus infection permanently. I just do it once and for a week or so–no sinus infection!

    • So how did it go Mary? Did you continue using it for sinus infections? I have both terrible chronic sinus issues and also constipation, so I look forward to your reply.

    • wow!
      please tell us more… and do do that trial… you have a nag nearly your age to account to now!!

  20. LOL at this thread. Kiran, thank you for absolutely demolishing this post. Amazing how someone who so obviously has zero formal training/science background or knowledge of microbiology can be so arrogant and condescending!

    I really, REALLY would love to see your credentials to be offering medical advice, John. Good lord. Scary. I appreciate that you’re trying to help people, but it’s really wildly irresponsible to do so without proper knowledge. And if you’ve convinced yourself that you do know enough – you may be the one who needs some form of treatment. You are disseminating straight up incorrect and misleading information.

    • Thank you for the kind words. Your comment really contributed to the discussion.

      • John,

        Your passive aggressive reply is to be expected. You sir, are about as knowledgeable as your typical GNC staffer.

        A word of advice for anyone trying to debate Mr Brisson: Arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how good your argument is the pigeon is just going to knock over the pieces, crap on the board and strut around like it’s victorious.

        • Hey! I used to work for Vitamin Shoppe, we are a little more knowledgeable. Please, do not insult the hard working people at Vitamin Shoppe by comparing the two.

      • Hi John,

        There is a new spore-forming probotic on the market called “Just Thrive”. The company is based in Park Ridge, IL. Would you be able to give me any advice or advise whether or not you would recommend this product?

        Thank you kindly for your help.

    • I don’t see Kiran’s response?

      Please share it….

  21. interesting read in the comments section. thank you.

    yes monkeys wash their potatoes.
    they know as we know dirt is kind of crunchy.
    But washing a potato in a river does not get rid of all the bacteria. I live of my land and can say for sure I have ingested plenty of soil bacteria over the years. Highly recommended ;)

    great article…… great comments. I think these probiotics help a lot of people. and being skeptical and ask tough questions is great too.
    we are all here to learn.

    • We are talking not about ingesting trace amounts of bacteria. Little kids do that all the time, and it helps their immune systems. We are talking about purposefully bombarding the body with billions of bacteria every day, by swallowing capsules of the stuff.
      It may be that is the panacea for everything. But my money stays out of the MegaSpore co’s pockets.

  22. I have to agree with Kiran who is clearly taking an educated scientific approach to the discussion. As a physician and certified GAPS practitioner, I am currently taking Megaspore.

    • how are you getting on with it? do tell. i’m excited want to know more and might try it based on kind human ginuea pigs like you. gold star…. xx

  23. This is all very concerning to an average person who has been taking this very product, megasporebiotic for over a year! Very confusing

  24. Microorganisms have the potencial to be harmful or beneficial. It is all about balancing the microbiome. My life and happiness have been saved by Megaspore Biotics and I am waiting for more strains to come to the market. Please e-mail me when you have more probiotic strains.
    Adriana Ponzanelli

  25. As an Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, CHEK Practitioner, and someone who has been working with clients directly for over 7 years, the spores in question here, more specifically Megaspore Biotic has been absolutely, hands-down, without question the most effective (only effective) probiotic supplement I’ve ever used in my practice. This is a hack job at its finest, and my only hope is that it doesn’t discourage people from seeking out a product that I’ve personally seen help hundreds of people over the last 6 months, myself, my fiancee, many family members, and dozens of clients included. This is akin to political attack ads. My only guess is that the poster is being paid by some competitor who is losing market share – and has no real knowledge on the subject. I hope you’re paid well.

    • I suspect the reason these spores helped when other probiotics did not is the fact that they’re spores: they are far more likely to arrive to the large intestine alive and ready to multiply than non-spore-forming bacteria, which may not survive stomach acid or may not even be alive when purchased by the consumer.

      I’m glad it helped for you and others, but I don’t understand how your experience makes you so sure there are no risks. Your argument seems to be, “this product worked for me and others, therefore it must be good for everyone and have no downsides, and anyone pointing out downsides must be a hack and paid off by competitors.” That is ridiculous and does not follow logically.

    • I too have found MegaSpore to the the absolute hands down best Probiotic to deal with Leaky Gut Syndrome. My Functional Medicine Doctor gave me the first bottle over a year ago, after switching me from another he was using. I trust MegaSpore.

    • i hope he’s not paid well and that he gives in gracefully. be careful what you wish for!! xxx

  26. In keeping with fair and accurate information, I would like to refute several of your incorrect statements and assessments in the above blog. There is a lot, so this reply will be long. Your assessment of the safety of bacillus licheniformis is directly refuted by scientific publications including extensive work by the EPA. Your statements on the bacterial carotenoids are under researched as you have ignored a very substantial body of evidence. Lastly, your remarks on statements made in the Megaspore brochures are also incorrect and misleading. Details on each can be found below.

    First, its important to note that Megasporebiotic is not a HSO. Bacillus spores are now better characterized as transient, gut commensal organisms. Megaspore contains only bacillus spores. Hong et al 2009 correctly identified the gut as the true “home” for bacillus spores. They use the soil as a vector to transfer from host to host. They are not active species in the soil like true HSOs, they are not homeostatic. Megasporebiotic is not a HSO. This is the latest science.

    You say…”Bacillus species used in their supplement are the most widely researched and used in the world. This statement is grossly incorrect.” – In fact, this is not incorrect and certainly not “grossly incorrect”. There are currently more than a dozen prescription or OTC products marketed around the world through primary care that utilize strains found in MegaSpore. The strains found in the product are the most widely used and researched among bacillus.

    You say…”This statement is grossly incorrect. Bacillus is not a species of bacteria but a genus…” – We understand microbial taxonomy very well and in fact we have 6 microbiologists involved in MegaSpore. It is perfectly fine when grouping several species within a genus to refer to each of those species collectively under the genus name vs. naming each one. For example, Toyota is a make or car and corolla, camry, prius, etc. are models. If we are talking about several different models within Toyota, we can refer to them as “toyota models” vs. naming each one.

    You say ….”specifically states that Bacillus clausii is the most widely used “probiotic” drug in the world. That award should instead go to Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is found in the prescribed probiotic VSL.” – This statement is very inaccurate as the prescription drug Enterogermina marketed by Sanofi Aventis since 1958 is by far the most widely sold prescription probiotic in the world by any measure. This drug carries bacillus clausii. Enterogermina with Bacillus clausii is sold in over 33 different countries for over 60 years and is by far the most widely sold prescription probiotic ever. VSL does not even come close. Enterogermina is a drug sold by a multi-billion dollar, multinational drug company.

    All the work on bacillus Indicus HU36 and its ability to colonize and produce 7 of the most bio-available carotenoids was done by the large, European Colorspore Consortium project. This project included 8 different research institutes, 50 researchers and had over 5 million Euro of funding. The company that produces Megaspore did not do any of the work. It is all done by the most highly regarded research institutes in the world. I would encourage you to research this before you make statements like…”Production of poorly absorbed dietary carotenoid antioxidants in the large intestine would be a great thing if there were any science available outside of the MegaSpore website to back up this theory…” There is over 5 million Euro worth of research, dozens of publications and ALL of it is not from producers of MegaSpore. It is also not “theory” as it has been proven beyond any doubt. The studies also show that these are the most bio-available carotenoids and not “poorly absorbed” as you claim. I dont think you have the credentials to dispute the work of over 50 research scientists. I would encourage you to research the European Commission CORDIS site where you will find fascinating information on these novel strains: http://cordis.europa.eu/result/rcn/45515_en.html

    YOUR CLAIMS ON DANGERS OF LICHENIFORMIS

    Your assessment of the safety of bacillus licheniformis is unfounded and does not follow scientific principal. In fact the examples of adverse reactions you use as evidence have been directly contradicted by other scientific publications, including a very extensive study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If we followed your rationale for concluding that licheniformis is not safe, we would have to designate over 98% of all probiotic products (including VSL) and all fermented foods, as unsafe for consumption. Please see my explanation below.

    We have taken a significant amount of precaution when considering the safety of the strains/species used in MegaSpore. We are microbiologists, doctors and researchers that have worked together to assemble this formulation and have utilized the highest standards of scientific rationale to include or exclude species.

    When considering the safety of a particular species for use in a probiotic product, you cannot utilize a handful of reported case studies as the basis for the safety determination. A handful of non-controlled case studies does not constitute a scientific conclusion as there are far too many variables to consider in each case. Safety conclusion can only be made based on in vivo, controlled safety trials that have all variables accounted for. This is true both with safety and efficacy. Just as we cannot claim or say with any measure of certainty that a strain or product helps with a particular disorder based on a handful of non-controlled case studies, we cannot determine the safety of a strain by the same. Each reported case has to be carefully evaluated and examined to determine if the species of concern is the true causative agent and if so, what are the outlying factors. Fortunately, there are several researchers that have done just this in the case of licheniformis. Published studies that have reviewed the reported cases of adverse events with licheniformis have concluded that in NONE of the cases it was determined that licheniformis was the causative agent. In addition, ALL reported cases were in severely immunocompromised individuals or individuals with trauma. Lastly, licheniformis was only associated with infection and never determined to be the cause of the infection as this species is not naturally infective. The most comprehensive safety review on licheniformis was done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and they concluded, at the end of their detailed report, that “B. licheniformis is not a human pathogen nor is it toxigenic. It is unlikely to be confused with related species that are. However, if challenged by large numbers of this microorganism, compromised individuals or those suffering from trauma may be infected.”

    The EPA and other researchers have reviewed each case of reported illness and come to the conclusion that licheniformis could not be determined to be the causative agent in the case or simply present in the patient because the strain is widely found all over the environment. Nithya, et al infect performed a controlled, in vivo safety and toxicological study with licheniformis and found it to “safe for food industry applications.”

    Bacillus licheniformis is a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) organism in the U.S. by the FDA standard for safety and toxicity of bacterial strains and it has QPS (Qualified Presumption of Safety) designation in the E.U. There isn’t a single case report where licheniformis was determined to be the primary causative agent in an infection and all case reports of adverse events are in subjects that are severely immunocompromised and/or had significant trauma.

    There is no scientific validity to the conclusions on licheniformis based on the case studies referenced above. In fact, based on your rationale, NO PROBIOTIC ON THE MARKET WOULD BE SAFE TO CONSUME. Your rationale is that because there are case reports of adverse events, infections or disease associated with licheniformis, it is conclusively determined to be unsafe, well, following this rationale, then lactobacillus is also unsafe and should not be consumed. This then eliminates virtually 98% of probiotic products on the market including most yogurts and fermented foods as there are dozens of published cases where probiotic lactobacillus species have been identified as the primary causative agent in serious illness. Lactobacillus species have been implicated in several serious diseases such as bacterial sepsis, bacterial endocarditis, pleuropulmonary infections, gastrointestinal abscesses, urinary tract infection, conjunctivitis, dental caries, and endometritis. There are literally dozens of reported cases of common probiotic strain of lactobacillus acidophilus, reuteri, rhamnosus, GG, etc. causing disease in humans. Thus, following his rationale, NO PROBIOTIC ON THE MARKET IS SAFE FOR CONSUMPTION. Unless you are willing to conclude that nobody should be taking any probiotic formulation or fermented food, you should consider changing your position on the safety of MegaSpore – this is the correct, scientifically sound thing to do. The EPA with all its resources and knowledge disagree with you.

    For your review, I have listed some of these publications below. As you will see, the adverse events with lactobacillus probiotics are extensive.

    LACTOBACILLUS ADVERSE EVENTS ABSTRACTS/STUDIES:

    Ø K Suresh Babu Naidu, Jamila K Adam, et al. The use of probiotics and safety concerns: A review
    African Journal of Microbiology Research, 2012.

    “Several reports have directly linked cases of Lactobacillus and other bacterial sepsis to the ingestion of probiotic supplements.”

    Ø Michael H. Land, MD, Kelly Rouster-Stevens, MD, et al. Lactobacillus Sepsis Associated With Probiotic Therapy , 2006
    “We describe 2 patients who received probiotic lactobacilli and subsequently developed bacteremia and sepsis attributable to Lactobacillus species.Molecular DNA fingerprinting analysis showed that the Lactobacillus strain isolated from blood samples was indistinguishable from the probiotic strain ingested by the patients.”

    Ø Kunz, Anjali N.; Noel, James M, et al. Two Cases of Lactobacillus Bacteremia During Probiotic Treatment of Short Gut Syndrome.
    Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 2004.

    “Although Lactobacillus generally is not considered a pathogen, it can cause disease in compromised hosts, including bacterial endocarditis, pleuropulmonary infections, gastrointestinal abscesses, urinary tract infection, conjunctivitis, dental caries, and endometritis. Lactobacillus bacteremia, presumably secondary to bacterial translocation from the gastrointestinal tract, has been reported in a patient with severe intestinal inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis… We report two cases of Lactobacillus GG sepsis occurring during the therapeutic use of this organism.”

    Ø Robert J Boyle, Roy M Robins-Browne, et al. Probiotic use in clinical practice.
    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2006.

    “Several reports have directly linked cases of Lactobacillus and other bacterial sepsis to the ingestion of probiotic supplements.”

    Ø Thompson C, McCarter YS, et al. Lactobacillus acidophilus sepsis in a neonate.
    Journal of Perinatology , 2001.
    “Lactobacillus species are non-spore-forming, anaerobic, gram-positive rods that cause disease in immunocompromised adults. We present the case of a 2-month-old infant who apparently developed Lactobacillus acidophilus sepsis from an infected central venous catheter. “

    Ø Farina, Claudio M.D.; Arosio, Marco M.D, et al. Lactobacillus casei subsp. rhamnosus Sepsis in a Patient With Ulcerative Colitis.
    Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 2001.
    “Lactobacillus casei subsp. rhamnosus was repeatedly isolated in the blood cultures of a 43-year-old woman with ulcerative colitis. Lactobacillus spp. could be considered a potential opportunistic pathogen whenever there is disruption of the physiologic architecture of the intestinal mucosa, such as in abdominal surgery, endoscopic procedures, or enteric pathologies. Clinicians and clinical microbiologists need to be aware of this infective complication in patients with ulcerative colitis.”

    Ø Suresh J. Antony, Charles W. Stratton, et al. Lactobacillus Bacteremia: Description of the Clinical Course in Adult Patients Without Endocarditis,
    Clinical Infectious Diseases, 1996.
    “The clinical courses of lactobacillus bacteremia without endocarditis in 43 previously described patients and 12 new patients were reviewed.Bacteremia with Lactobacillus alone occurred in 34 (62%) of the patients, and 12 (22%) of the patients had bacteremia with other organisms, including Lactobacillus. Lactobacillus was isolated from another site in 18 (33%) of these patients.”

    Ø P. Kochan, A. Chmielarczyk, et al. Lactobacillus rhamnosus administration causes sepsis in a cardiosurgical patient—is the time right to revise probiotic safety guidelines?
    Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 2011.

    “A 24-year-old female patient developed sepsis resulting from preoperative administration of probiotics following an aortic valve replacement. Blood cultures revealed the causative agent to be the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which has recently been implicated as an emerging aetiology of infection in those taking probiotics. …This and other reports show the importance of establishing generally recognized safety guidelines.”

    Ø Sherman ME, et al. An unusual case of splenic abscess and sepsis in an immunocompromised host.
    Am J Clin Pathol. 1987.

    “Although these organisms are usually innocuous, increasing numbers of serious infections attributable to these bacilli have recently been reported. The authors report an unusual case of a patient presenting with a splenic abscess and sepsis resulting from lactobacilli and review the literature describing serious infections caused by these organisms.”

    • First in a true act of transparency, it would have been nice to admit that you work for MegaSpore (if you do) since you used a lot of the wording alluding to it in your comment. I honestly doubt that you do work for them because your comment is filled with syntax errors.

      I have no problem with a counterpoint; that was why I posted your comment even If I disagree with you, but let us begin shall we?

      “First, its important to note that Megasporebiotic is not a HSO. Bacillus spores are now better characterized as transient, gut commensal organisms. Megaspore contains only bacillus spores. Hong et al 2009 correctly identified the gut as the true “home” for bacillus spores. They use the soil as a vector to transfer from host to host. They are not active species in the soil like true HSOs, they are not homeostatic. Megasporebiotic is not a HSO. This is the latest science.”

      You are somewhat correct about this. I use HSO a trendy term that many people use when talking about spore probiotics. Semantics, which are most of what my concerns in the marketing of the product and your counterpoint. You are correct that the spore forming bacteria are transient organisms, but you failed to mention that most spore bacteria like the Bacillus genus pass through the intestinal tract without activation in a healthy system. Most but all are not probiotic flora in our gut.

      “You say…”Bacillus species used in their supplement are the most widely researched and used in the world. This statement is grossly incorrect.” – In fact, this is not incorrect and certainly not “grossly incorrect”. There are currently more than a dozen prescription or OTC products marketed around the world through primary care that utilize strains found in MegaSpore. The strains found in the product are the most widely used and researched among bacillus.”

      You did not fully quote me here. You are correct out of the Bacillus strains the ones used in the supplement are some of the most widely researched strains. The brochure does not make that statement, however:

      “To date, the most researched and widely used probiotic strains are from the Bacillus species.”

      Incorrect, the most widely researched and used probiotic strains are from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genus.

      Semantics.

      “You say…”This statement is grossly incorrect. Bacillus is not a species of bacteria but a genus…” – We understand microbial taxonomy very well and in fact we have 6 microbiologists involved in MegaSpore. It is perfectly fine when grouping several species within a genus to refer to each of those species collectively under the genus name vs. naming each one. For example, Toyota is a make or car and corolla, camry, prius, etc. are models. If we are talking about several different models within Toyota, we can refer to them as “toyota models” vs. naming each one.”

      Semantics again. Bacillus is not a species of bacteria it is technically a genus. I am correct about it. Even if you group a bunch of Bacillus species together, it will still make it a genus because that is the definition of proper taxonomy classification.

      “You say ….”specifically states that Bacillus clausii is the most widely used “probiotic” drug in the world. That award should instead go to Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is found in the prescribed probiotic VSL.” – This statement is very inaccurate as the prescription drug Enterogermina marketed by Sanofi Aventis since 1958 is by far the most widely sold prescription probiotic in the world by any measure. This drug carries bacillus clausii. Enterogermina with Bacillus clausii is sold in over 33 different countries for over 60 years and is by far the most widely sold prescription probiotic ever. VSL does not even come close. Enterogermina is a drug sold by a multi-billion dollar, multinational drug company.”

      VSL is not the most widely prescribed probiotic drug in the world, BUT Lactobacillus acidophilus is prescribed by doctors the most for digestive issues at least in the United States / Canada. It is also prescribed in great numbers in Europe for digestive issues. Most people are also told by their doctors to ingest yogurt, which has Lactobacillus acidophilus. Enterogermina is not widely known in the United States or Canada. It is mainly an Italian and Indian prescribed “probiotic.” The probiotic is so widely used, in fact, the website used to it by Sanofi is only in Italian http://www.enterogermina.it/. Just because a multibillion-dollar drug company produces a product, does not mean it is widely prescribed everywhere.

      In that, regard E. coli nissle was one of the first discovered probiotics in the early 1900’s by the Germans. It has been used medicinally by German doctors since then. Therefore, if we are going by discovery, It has been studied since 1917 and used medically shortly after that.

      “All the work on bacillus Indicus HU36 and its ability to colonize and produce 7 of the most bio-available carotenoids was done by the large, European Colorspore Consortium project. This project included 8 different research institutes, 50 researchers and had over 5 million Euro of funding. The company that produces Megaspore did not do any of the work. It is all done by the most highly regarded research institutes in the world. I would encourage you to research this before you make statements like…”Production of poorly absorbed dietary carotenoid antioxidants in the large intestine would be a great thing if there were any science available outside of the MegaSpore website to back up this theory…” There is over 5 million Euro worth of research, dozens of publications and ALL of it is not from producers of MegaSpore. It is also not “theory” as it has been proven beyond any doubt. The studies also show that these are the most bio-available carotenoids and not “poorly absorbed” as you claim. I dont think you have the credentials to dispute the work of over 50 research scientists. I would encourage you to research the European Commission CORDIS site where you will find fascinating information on these novel strains: http://cordis.europa.eu/result/rcn/45515_en.html”

      There are no in vivo human studies that Bacillus indicus HU36 produces carotenoids in the gut or that the gut can absorb those that they produce. There is no doubt that the bacteria produce these carotenoids in vitro, but in vitro is not in vivo.

      The EPA risk assessment states:

      “While not innocuous, B. licheniformis appears to have a very low degree of virulence. It does not produce significant quantities of extracellular enzymes and other factors likely to predispose it to cause infection. The species has been isolated a number of times from human infections. The literature (cited below) suggests that there must be immunosuppression or trauma in order for infection with this species to occur. Farrar (1963) divided human infections by species of Bacillus into the following groups: (1) local infections of a closed space, such as the eye, in which the organism is inoculated in high numbers secondary to trauma, (2) mixed infections in which the species of Bacillus is found in the company of other organisms with higher virulence properties, and (3) disseminated infections, usually in profoundly immunosuppressed individuals, in which the species is recovered from multiple sites, usually including the blood stream.
      Reviews of Bacillus infections from several major hospitals have indicated the relative lack of virulence of B. licheniformis. For example, Ihde and Armstrong (1973) reviewed cases at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital over a 6-1/2 year period. Unidentified species of Bacillus were isolated in twelve cases of infection, two of which were felt to be serious. Banerjee et al. (1988), reviewing all Bacillus bacteremia cases during a sixyear period from 1978 to 1986, found 18 febrile patients experiencing 24 episodes of bacteremia. B. licheniformis was isolated from one case. Of these 18 patients, 15 had lymphoma or leukemia and three had breast cancer. Nine of the patients had neutrophil counts of less than 1000. Seven of these patients had an indwelling Hickman catheter in place. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy from one of the Hickman catheters showed Bacillus organisms growing in a biofilm inside the Hickman catheter. By comparison, during the same period, there were 1,038 cases of bacteremia.
      In a review article, Logan (1988) reported several infections produced by B. licheniformis. One case was an ophthalmitis, a corneal ulcer, following trauma (Tabbara and Tarabay, 1979). Other cases included septicemia and bacteremia, and peritonitis with bacteremia in a patient with an upper small bowel perforation (Sugar and McCloskey, 1977). In the literature, there is also circumstantial evidence implicating B. licheniformis as a cause of food poisoning (Gilbert et al., 1981; Kramer et al., 1982). Fuchs et al. (1984) and Pessa et al. (1985) described Bacillus infections associated with intravenous catheters.
      In a 10 year review of records at the YaleNew Haven Hospital, B. licheniformis was isolated four times as a cause of infection (Edberg, 1992). In two patients the species was associated with eye trauma; in one patient it was associated with a silicone-based implant; and in the fourth patient it was associated with metastatic lung cancer.”

      Therefore, it does cause infections. You are correct that Lactobacillus causes infections any bacteria even those we consider to be “probiotic” can become opportunistic. It is a lot easier, however, to eliminate Lactobacillus compared to most endospore bacteria. That is the difference.

      I do not recommend probiotics even Lactobacillus without the acknowledgement that they can cause infection. People like you say B. licheniformis
      is perfectly safe but always bring up the infections associated with Lactobacillus, making it appear to be more dangerous.

      • John, plese post your credentials as you are positioning yourself as an expert in the field and are making treatment recommendations to people. To be fair to anyone who reads your blog, you should disclose what your field of education and expertise is so people have some background on you. The statements you are making are incorrect, argumentative and not substantive, thus my guess is that you are just a blogger and NOT schooled in science or research. But please clarify.

        I am happy to disclose that I work with Megaspore (I thought it was clear from the content of my comments), I am a microbiologist and a researcher in this field. I am currently involved in 4 different human clinical trial with spores and MegaSpore at Universities and medical practices. I lecture on the topic of the human microbiome at medical conferences over 20 times each year and I have worked in industry as a microbiologist for over 15 years. At Megaspore, we are making investments to advance the science of probiotics as we are seeing significant clinical benefits from the thousands of patients that use the product.

        We can argue semantics all day long, which seems to be your focus, but I will point out simple scientific fact here that are black and white with no gray area. These are facts that anyone well schooled in the science will be familiar with.

        1) The bacillus spores used in MegaSpore are human, gut commensal organisms that DO colonize and have a biphasic life-cycle. They are still transient because they spend about 21-27 days in the gut, but they do desporulate, they attach and they multiply in the gut. Again, they are transient, human, commensal organisms that use an environmental vector to gain exposure to the host. They belong in the gut and they perform very important functions to support digestive and immune health.

        2) All strains use in Megaspore are absolutely safe for human use and each strain is and has been used in human probiotics (both as prescriptions and OTC) for decades.

        3) The world is much bigger than the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. and Canada make up less than 5% of the the global population. Your statements about Enterogermina not being a widely sold product because it is not sold in the U.S. or Canada are completely juvenile. It is the longest running prescription probiotic sold in the world and the most widely distributed. This is a simple fact that you can research. There is no opinion here, it is simply a fact.

        4) Non-controlled, case studies do not prove or serve as proof for either safety or efficacy. I only brought up the numerous cases of illness due to lactobacillus, to make you aware of them and to point out that by your erroneous rationale, no probiotic on the market (supplement or food) is safe. I do not take the published case studies of lactobacillus infections as proof that they are unsafe, I have never said that in any lecture I have given or write up that I have done. Non-controlled case reports prove nothing. The fact that you used those as the basis for your “recommendation” has lead me to believe that you have no science or research background, thus I am curious to see what you post as you credentials. Anyone who has any science understanding at all would quickly and clearly see that those case reports you used as your unequivocal proof that the product is unsafe, are not at all supportive of your conclusions. It is very amateur to make a scientific conclusion based on isolated case reports with extenuating circumstances, especially when there are published reviews that contradict them (which of course you did you mention in your original, slanted post).

        5) There are in vivo studies on bacillus indicus that show that they do produce the carotenoids in the gut and that they are highly bioavailable and bioaccessible when compared to supplemental carotenoids. Please do your research before making such statements. In addition, if you had research experience, you would know that in certain cases in vitro is accepted as in vivo depending on the model system and the end-point being studied. A general, uninformed statement like “in vitro is not in vivo” would only come from someone with no research background or understanding. So you are wrong in this matter. Certain outcomes and end-points can ONLY be studied in vitro and depending on the model used, it is absolutely accepted as in vivo function.

        6) Megaspore is and has been used by thousands of health practitioners and doctors over the past 3 years with great success and with efficacy against a broad range of issues. It has changed people’s lives and we get those reports everyday from doctors and patients alike. We are making a difference out there and we have clinicals and unsolicited testimonials to support the importance of the product. The biggest shame about your erroneous write up is that there may be one person that reads it and decides not to try the product, where the product would likely have made the needed difference in their path to health and wellness. You are simply causing people to miss out on getting better in an attempt to sell an ebook or a coaching service. You know that nobody knows who you are and so you are trying to link your page to a popular search term to gain traffic.

        I presume that you have no education or experience in the field based on your write up and your conclusions as they are not reflective of someone who has knowledge and a background in science. I also presume that you have no experience with the product at all. I am sure you are not a practitioner or doctor who has had several patients try it and had adverse reactions. So with your lack of credentials and with no clinical experience with the product, I am VERY shocked that you would choose to specifically slander the product. That is very unprofessional, baseless and certainly defamatory. You are drawing conclusions on a product based on inconclusive, non-controlled case reports that are possibly associated with one of the strains in the product? How do you even know that the licheniformis strain we have in the product has direct correlation to the ones discussed in case reports? You have no basis for your conclusions on the product which leads me to question the validity of your recommendations in you ebook or you coaching business. With that in mind, I believe a scientific review of your ebook is in order, I would be happy to get that done if you sent me a copy.

        We have microbiologists and M.Ds on our scientific committee and advisory board. We also work with and have derived our strains from London University, where we work with a renowned team of microbiologists and biochemistry researchers who have dozens of scientific publications, text book authorships and scientific committee appointments on their CV. We are conducting human clinical trials in collaboration with Universities and doctors in the U.S. We have thousands of people from doctors, medical practices, health practitioners, etc. that routinely use the product with great success with no reported adverse events. The product has far more validation than you can ever imagine to have with the service you provide.

        I wish you luck in building this business of yours, but I would recommend that you do not try to gain exposure in the market by posting defamatory statements about a product you do not have any experience with or any credentials to support.

        • Kiran, I’m glad you’re engaging in this discussion, but it seems like you might be missing the larger argument against HSOs / spore-forming bacteria. It’s more based in logic than in statistically significant research results, so I don’t think credentials factor into this. It goes like this:

          First, as John showed, there are isolated incidents of serious infection from spore-forming bacteria. As you showed, there are also isolated incidents of serious infection from non-spore-forming bacteria such as Lactobacillus.

          Second, as John wrote and as is also claimed in your marketing material (and that of Enterogermina) Bacillus species are resistant to antibiotics in ways that non-spore-formers are not, by virtue of the fact that they form protective spores.

          Therefore, it’s safe to say that:

          A) Under the right, rare conditions, such as compromised immune system or puncture wound to the gut, any bacteria in the gut could become opportunistic or pathogenic. Including the bacteria already living in an individual who has never taken probiotics.

          B) Spore forming bacteria is more difficult to remove from our bodies in the event of an infection than non-spore-forming bacteria because spores are resistant to antibiotics.

          THE ARGUMENT: if (A) and (B) are both true, then we must logically conclude that the use of spore forming bacteria has more risk associated with it than the use of non-spore-forming bacteria.

          Now, it’s totally fair, and I think a very worthwhile discussion to try to figure out how much benefit patients might see from spore formers, vs just how low the risk is. After all, we’re talking something like untreated HIV/AIDs, or a car crash with a massive puncture wound to the gut. Most people don’t need to worry about these things in their lifetime, so most patients would probably view these risks as negligible and worth the benefit.

          But in the event of sepsis from a Bacillus genus bacteria, antibiotics are far less likely to work reliably than non-spore-forming bacteria. So I don’t think it’s fair to claim ANY bacteria is “totally safe,” and I do think it’s fair to say spore formers are “less safe in the event of a health crisis.”

          In fact, I would be in favor of a small disclaimer on all probiotics and fermented foods: “This product contains live cultures that can reproduce in the gut. In very rare cases of immune compromise or serious trauma, ANY bacteria in the gut can become pathogenic, even the bacteria you already host.” With an addendum for antibiotic resistant strains.

          As you can see, this argument doesn’t really have a lot to do with research. Since the odds of immune compromise or serious trauma are so low, you could have a study with 10,000 or 100,000 participants and not see a statistically significant risk associated with use of Bacillus genus bacteria, the same is true for years of real-world sales. But just because the odds are low does not mean that there is no chance for complication. Just as large studies cannot prove 100% safety, individual case studies do prove the possibility of slight risk. Scientists love to remove outliers from their data sets – it’s standard practice in statistical analyses – but I believe in health-related studies, edge-cases can be especially instructive.

          I’m glad these products are on the market because they may help many people. But I wish that consumers and doctors better understood that any “probiotic” can cause an infection in the right (wrong) circumstances, and some classes are harder to kill than others in that event. I think companies selling probiotics would do well to make that information more available, rather than claiming 100% safety for all consumers.

          In my case, I have reasonably good digestion, so I don’t take any probiotics. If that ever changes, I will exhaust the options for easy-to-kill Lactobacillus and other non-spore-formers before considering what I view as higher risk Bacillus species. It’s just good sense to try treatments that are easily reversible before switching to treatments that are harder to reverse.

          By the way, while I’ve read a lot of John’s work and interacted with him here and on online forums, I’ve never met him nor do I have a vested interest in his success. No credentials here, just a guy who’s interested in nutrition and health. While the semantics of calling Bacillus a species vs. a genus is a little silly, I do think it’s worth taking the time to be very specific with the Bacillus genus, since it includes nasty species anthracis (anthrax) and thuringiensis (BT toxin) unlike Lactobacillus and others, most of which are benign. I’d advocate the same specificity with Streptococcus, for example, one species of which ferments dairy, and another of which is a cause of pneumonia.

          • ACH – I do appreciate your moderation stance on this as I think your approach will help balance the discussion. But there is a significant flaw in both what you and John are saying about the increased risk and the logic used to arrive at that conclusion. I totally get what you are saying that since there is antibiotic resistance characteristics of bacillus spores, that should an infection occur, it would be harder to treat, thus it holds more risk than opportunistic lactobacillus. I can see how you would make that conclusion and how John arrived at that as well. However, there is a flaw in that conclusion that is evident if you study bacterial physiology and pathogenesis in detail, as I have. This is where logic is trumped by science.

            #1 – For antibiotic resistant pathogens, the drug resistance comes from harboring genes that afford the bacteria a work around, metabolically, in the presence of the antibiotic. For example, if an antibiotic is designed to disrupt a proton pump of staph to render it metabolically inactive and thus “killing it”, the staph bacteria can develop a mutated version of the proton pump that isn’t susceptible to that antibiotic inhibition. This way the bacteria can continue its metabolic life-cycle in the presence of that antibiotic, thus having resistance. Probiotic bacillus spores are not resistant to the presence of antibiotics in the same way. Their resistance comes from remaining in the spore form in the presence of the antibiotic. They have this unique ability to remain dormant for millions of years in the spore form. If they sense an antibiotic in the environment, they may choose to remain in the spore form and thus be protected from the antibiotic. The spore form however is a metabolically inactive form of the bacteria. It is not active, not multiplying, not producing energy, it is similar to a grain of sand. So in the spore form, it is IMPOSSIBLE for the bacteria to cause disease or even multiply. So there is a paradox to your logic. To say that its antibiotic resistance makes it hard to treat is wrong, because in its antibiotic resistant state, it cannot cause disease at all. A bacteria (any bacteria) has to be in active, vegetative form to cause disease as bacteria cause disease in 1 way and that is by producing toxins. The spore is a deliberate life-cycle form of bacillus that it goes into when the growth environment is not favorable. In the spore state, it is completely inert and doesn’t do anything, let alone cause disease.

            #2 – When bacillus is in vegetative form (the form required for it to even potentially cause disease) it is very sensitive to antibiotics. In fact, there are numerous publications on MIC data for bacillus probiotics and they are very sensitive to vancomycin, cipro, clindamycin, penicillin, clarithromycin, etc. There are literally dozens of antibiotics that can be used to kill, live active bacillus cells. So they are not any harder to kill than lactobacillus.

            #3 – true bacillus probiotics do not carry toxin genes, they are not toxigenic at all. They are also gram positive so they don’t contain LPS, which is required for septicemia via disseminated intravascular coagulopathy. The risk of them becoming opportunistic is lower than most species used as probiotics because they do not harbor toxin genes.

            #4 – There has never been a single publication on a case of untreatable, bacillus septicemia due to antibiotic resistance. Despite the huge prevalence of bacillus bacteriotherapy use in the world, there hasn’t been any reported cases of what you guys are saying is an increased risk of this genus.

            So, there is no more risk of bacillus probiotics causing opportunistic infection than any other probiotic used in the market today. The data is clear on that and I think you will agree with me on that.

            The issue of bacillus being harder to treat is also clear as live bacillus cells are very sensitive to a number of commonly used antibiotics. If the bacillus is going to be resistant, it is in its spore form and in spore form it isnt doing much of anything, let alone causing an opportunistic infection.

            I hope this is clear. In fact, when you consider all factors, bacillus probiotic species are safer than most other species used today.

  27. EXCELLENT RESEARCH – thank you for putting in the time to reveal this very important other side of the story. As above comment, after months of clinical use I saw no measurable clinical effect from any HSO and can not recommend them.

  28. I’m glad I read your articles on HSOs.
    I’ve been using prescript assist with no success. In fact its made my condition worse.

Leave a Reply