Probiotic BC30 aids protein absorption from plants, study finds
The spore-forming probiotic was found to improve absorption following a double-blind randomised trial.
A total of 30 women aged 50 to 70 years old, who were all healthy, took part in the study, which was conducted by researchers at the Exercise and Performance Nutrition Laboratory at the School of Health Sciences at Lindenwood University in Missouri, United States.
Over a two-week period, each woman consumed a plant-based drink containing 20 grams of protein, sourced from both pea and rice proteins, every day. These were either with or without 1 billion colony-forming units of BC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086).
At the end of the two weeks, blood samples were examined to establish amino acid concentrations. Throughout the course of the study, women in the BC30 group were found to have significantly greater values of total amino acids and total essential amino acids. They also had substantially higher levels than average of specific individual amino acids.
In addition, the BC30 group were found to have higher maximum concentrations of total amino acids and essential amino acids, as well as many individual amino acids.
A patented probiotic
BC30, which is part of Kerry’s ProActive Health Portfolio, is a patented probiotic that can be used in a variety of food and drink products.
The ingredient is used in 1,000-plus food and drink products globally, and has been found to support digestive health, immune health, and protein absorption. A natural product, BC30 is available in vegan, organic-compliant, non-GMO Project-verified and allergen-free versions.
According to Kerry, the results of the study are important for food and beverage makers because they show potential to provide extra benefits in plant-based items that contain BC30. Seniors, vegans, vegetarians and athletes could also be targeted with products since they need more protein to maintain muscle mass.
John Quilter, Kerry VP of Global Portfolio – ProActive Health, says: “Previous research has indicated the potential of BC30 to support protein absorption from plant-based sources, but this is the first human clinical study to do so.
“We’re now able to say that BC30 supports protein absorption from both dairy and plant sources.”
The probiotic is supported by 25-plus published papers, including research carried out in 2020 which found that it aids protein absorption from milk protein concentrate.
Quilter adds: “One of the reasons this research is so exciting is that it’s in line with so many contemporary food and nutrition trends. With demand for high-protein products firmly in the mainstream, consumers in all groups are interested in foods and beverages that offer efficient protein digestion.
“At the same time, more and more people are following plant-based diets and looking for sustainable nutrition solutions. Many vegetarians and vegans – along with groups like seniors and athletes – could benefit from more efficient absorption of protein to support outcomes such as muscle-building.”
In June 2022, a research poster was presented at the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN)’s annual conference. The full study is expected to be published in a scientific journal later this year or in early 2023.
‘Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 improves amino acid absorption from plant protein concentrate in older women’
Authors: Walden K et al.