How Probiotics support your immune system?

During the unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen a renewed focus on ways to “support your immune system.” The obvious question is: can probiotics, by helping your gut be as healthy as possible, also support your immune system? Although probiotics are proven to help digestion and optimal gut health, recent studies indicate probiotics also protect and enhance your immune system.

The primary reason probiotics, by strengthening your gut health, help your immune system function better is simple. Your gut and immune system have a symbiotic relationship. For example, 70-80% of your immune cells are located in your gut.The health of your gut directly impacts the overall health of your entire immune system.

Healthy guts make healthy immune systems. Conversely, compromised, unhealthy guts erode the effectiveness of immune system function. That leads to potentially more illnesses like common colds, flu, and many other infections – potentially even COVID-19.

Scientists have known for years that our microbiome helps keep overactive immune responses (leading to conditions like IBS(Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and other autoimmune diseases in check. However, they were still unsure of the exact mechanisms that drive this interaction.

Preventive Strategies against Viral Infections

Recently, the risk of viral infection has dramatically increased owing to changes in human ecology such as global warming and an increased geographical movement of people and goods. However, the efficacy of vaccines and remedies for infectious diseases is limited by the high mutation rates of viruses, especially, RNA viruses. Various strategies, such as those using vaccines and antibiotics, have been exploited for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, but infection control has not yet been achieved at a sufficient level.

It is generally acknowledged that the main prophylactic measures against these infectious diseases are vaccinations and everyday hygienic behaviors such as gargling and hand-washing. Nagatake et al. outlined that gargling with a povidone-iodine solution was effective to reduce the incidence of episodes of acute respiratory infections, since colonized bacteria were destroyed by gargling. Heijne et al. reported that enhanced hygienic measures including proper hand cleaning using soap and disposable paper towels effectively limited the transmission. Although vaccines are promising prophylactics against influenza infection, their efficacy is limited by the frequent and fast mutation of RNA viruses. In the present situation, without an effective vaccine or medicine, the prevention of viral transmission must rely mainly on basic measures including quarantine and thorough hand washing after physical contact.

With the progress of research on the relationship between the microbiota and diseases in recent years, commensal intestinal bacteria have been investigated for their ability to modulate the host immune system, not only in healthy individuals but also in those who are suffering from a wide range of diseases. It has been revealed that commensal bacteria also regulate regulatory T cells, type 3 innate lymphoid cells, and T helper 17 cells through the recognition of the bacteria themselves or their metabolites/products by the immune cells and greatly affect mucosal immunity.

Probiotics act on both the innate and acquired immune systems and have the potency to decrease the severity of infections in the gastrointestinal and upper respiratory tracts. Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that have health benefits for the host, and they are generally consumed as a component of fermented foods such as yoghurt, cheese, and pickles or as supplements.

For example, oral administration of Saccharomyces boulardii and rehydration significantly shortened duration of diarrhea in acute rotavirus gastroenteritis children in Bolivia, compared with control rehydration alone. Detailed mechanism was not available.

Enhancing host intestinal immune responses may be an important mechanism for Saccharomyces boulardii -mediated protection against diarrheal illnesses.

Also, most pathogens enter the body through mucosal surfaces. Mucosal immunization, a non-invasive needle-free route, often stimulates a mucosal immune response that is both effective against mucosal and systemic pathogens. The development of mucosally administered heat-stable vaccines with long shelf life would therefore significantly enhance immunization programs in developing countries by avoiding the need for a cold chain or systemic injections. Currently, recombinant vaccine carriers are being used for antigen delivery. Engineering Bacillus subtilis for use as a non-invasive and heat stable antigen delivery system has proven successful. Bacterial spores protected by multiple layers of protein are known to be robust and resistant to desiccation. The use of Bacillus subtilis to express antigens that can be administered either intranasally or sublingually is providing new insights in the area of mucosal vaccines
(Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2012 Jul 1; 8(7): 979–986.)

In February, 2020, China’s National Health Commission and National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine suggested the use of probiotics in patients with severe COVID-19.
(Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol.2020 Published Online April 24, 2020)

Probiotic treatment is a promising research arena in the medical sciences, since probiotics alone, or together with prebiotics, have potential in the modulation of gut microbiota and immune responses in the host. However, a number of scientific reports are identical in terms of the role of probiotics in preventing obesity, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. Probiotics have a positive influence on the innate immunity, exerting several antiviral properties. Although there are insufficient research publications regarding how probiotics induce immunomodulatory effects. Preliminary data obtained by various research laboratories have been encouraging, but numerous randomized clinical studies will be required to clearly establish the potential of probiotics in preventing and treating various diseases. Such studies will allow identification of the probiotics that are best suited to various diseases.

Bacillus Coagulans usage in Food

The interest in probiotic foods is increasing due to the growing consumer demand for safe and functional foods with health-promoting properties and high nutritional value. Probiotics are live organisms that when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on host.

Although generally used in dairy products, they are also widely used in various commercial food products such as gummies, muesli, cereal bars, chocolates, candies, compressed, tablets, health beverages, tea bags, coffee mixes and protein supplements etc. Probiotics experts attribute the wide prevalence of probiotics application in dairy products as a marriage of convenience due to cold chain and less harsh thermal processing. The conventional vegetative probiotic strain requiring refrigeration is often clubbed with dairy cultures supply chain. With innovation in encapsulation technology and availability of spore forming probiotic organisms the cold chain and thermal processing are no longer a constraint. The goodness of probiotic can well go beyond dairy products.

Demand is growing for functional ingredients, particularly those that can support digestive health, which is a concern for 71% of global consumers. This awareness is likely to increase as customers will seek health benefits from their food during and after the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Research has found immune health may be rooted in maintaining a healthy balance in the gut microbiome, supporting digestive health has the potential to confer immunity benefits.


Here are some interesting facts about probiotics and consumer trends:

  • Digestion and immunity are leading health benefits in terms of prevalence in probiotic products1.
  • Over 1000 immunity probiotics saw a spectacular 786% growth in online customer reviews in two years2.
  • China’s National Health Commission and National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine have used probiotics along with conventional treatment in patients with Covid-19 infection for improving the balance of the intestinal flora and preventing secondary bacterial infections3.
  • A third of consumers are trying to manage digestive problems. In 2017, 83% experienced some type of digestive issue; 65% suffered indigestion, gas, bloating, or flatulence; 56%, heartburn/reflux; 54%, diarrhea; and 48%, constipation4.
  • Four in ten consumers (38%) look for probiotics in foods5.


Probiotic microorganisms are generally considered to beneficially affect host health when used in adequate amounts. In order to obtain benefits, probiotic products should contain at least 107–109 CFU/g probiotic microorganisms and should survive until the end of shelf life. Probiotic microorganisms, which are naturally found in intestinal microbiota, could protect humans from diseases, modulate and strengthen the immune system, prevent tooth decay, have anticarcinogenic properties, and be effective against coronary heart disease. Probiotic microorganisms can produce organic acids (such as lactic and acetic acid), hydrogen peroxide, and bacteriocin. Probiotics have several mechanisms that inhibit pathogen microorganisms.

Food production involves various processes such as heating, fermentation, freezing, thawing, drying etc that can affect the survival of probiotic microorganisms during probiotic food production. Food additives, oxygen content, redox potential, moisture content/water activity, storage temperature, pH and titration acidity, and packaging conditions are also other factors that affect survival of probiotic microorganisms during storage. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB; for example, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and some are the microorganisms most commonly used in probiotic food production. However, these microorganisms cannot survive heat treatment, for which the cold spot temperature is approximately 75 °C. Heat treatment is not applicable for most probiotic foods that contain commercial probiotic microorganisms due to their sensitivity to heat. As a result, spore-forming probiotic microorganisms can provide a timely solution to this issue, allowing manufacturers to enhance their products with added health benefits6.

B. coagulans SNZ 1969 is a gram-positive, facultative anaerobic, nonpathogenic, spore-forming, lactic acid-producing bacteria. Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969 is shielded by natural encapsulation called spore. It can sustain hostile gastric and bile acids in human gut and remains stable in highly acidic (pH 2) environment. It is also resistant to high temperature i.e. up to 85°C for 30 min.

Our Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969 has been reported as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) GRAS status granted specifically on this strain and the European Union Food Safety Authority (EFSA) via inclusion in its Qualified Presumption of Safety (QPS) list.

Heat-treated food products are generally not used for probiotic purposes because of the factors affecting their viability and stability. In order to obviate this difficulty, Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969 could be used as probiotics due to its heat-resistant spore form. B. coagulans SNZ 1969 is able to survive in high-temperature heat treatments and stomach conditions compared with other commercial probiotic microorganisms. It is an ideal choice for the development of cereal-based functional products because these spores can maintain their viability in heat-treated processes such as baking and boiling. In addition, the spores are shelf stable during the storage, without the need for cold chain temperature controls.

Consumer interest in healthier and more functional food is increasing due to changing consumption habits and increasing interest in food and health. In addition to supporting the clinically beneficial effects of probiotic microorganisms on health, the formulation of probiotic food products has great importance for consumers, industry, and research centers which are interested in the subject. Heat-resistance of probiotic BACILLUS spp. spore forms can provide an advantage for heat-treated probiotic foods. Bacillus coagulans is attracting interest due to its resistance to strong gastric acid and high temperatures, and it is Saccharomyces species) more resistant to antibiotics than other LAB. Moreover, the products, which are used in food industry and could be produced by Probiotic Bacillus coagulans, are gaining attention due to their low cost and as an alternative to other chemical sources.

SANZYME BIOLOGICS: in addition to producing its own proprietary strains is also a trusted CMO for companies wishing to develop and commercially produce their own Probiotic strains. Services provided include – Toll Manufacturing, Sample Generation (for trials), and CRO services. SANZYME BIOLOGICS facilities are NSF certified, FAMI QS certified, ISO – 220000-2005, and ISO-9001-2015 certified.

1&2. Lumina Intelligence report on probiotics 2020
3. J Dig Dis. 2020; 21:125–126.
4. Mintel 2017
5. Hartman 2017
6. Foods. 2018 Jun; 7(6): 92.

Applications of Bacillus strains in shrimp aquaculture

World aquaculture production has increased significantly in the last decade. Among them, shrimp farming is one of the fastest growing aquaculture sectors in many tropical countries; however, this development has been accompanied by adverse impacts due to intensification – Problems related to diseases and deterioration of environmental conditions. The occurrence of infectious diseases in shrimp aquaculture is a serious problem due to the overuse or misuse of antibiotics and antibiotic resistant genes among opportunistic pathogens such as Vibrio species. In addition, the invertebrate immune system is highly dependent on the innate mechanisms and in theory, is incapable of responding to specific vaccines. Therefore, other alternatives such as probiotic bacteria have been examined in order to control the infectious diseases not only in shrimp aquaculture but also in other farmed aquatic species. Bacillus spp are used in Vannamei Shrimp farming, which has an advantage over other probiotic bacterial species. In addition it is well documented that Bacillus species are able to produce a wide range of extra-cellular substances and antimicrobial peptides against variety of microorganisms. Bacillus subtilis is one amongst them. Application of Bacillus subtilis as a probiotic has brought very promising results for shrimp aquaculture. This bacterium is Non-Pathogenic Gram positive Spore-forming which has been used to improve the growth, performance and also shrimp health and disease management.

Probiotic Bacillus subtilis when administered in to the pond environment challenges the growth and proliferation of pathogenic Vibrio spp. like Vibrio harveyi and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Bacillus subtilis breaks down the compounded minerals available in the pond environment to simpler forms which are readily consumed by the shrimps (minerals are required for shrimp growth since the exoskeleton of shrimps are made of minerals). Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus licheniformis are also useful Probiotic Bacillus spp which are involved in pond water bioremediation and disease producing micro organisms control ( Vibrio spp.) Bacillus licheniforms are capable of producting enzymes like keratinases which help in digestion & recycle of shrimps molted shells, they are capable of producing anti bacterial subtances Bacitracin which helps in the reduction of Vibrio sp in the pond enviroment. Bacillus megaterium are well known phosphate solubilisers which majorily play in the regulation of Phytoplanktons in the pond water. Kenko is the Aqua Division of SANZYME BIOLOGICS – providing Probiotic solutions for problems related to Aquaculture. SANZYME BIOLOGICS Aqua products are result of intense Research and Development which includes Strain Development, Efficacy Testing and Performance for various parameters like withstanding to extreme enviromental conditions. Bacillus strains can be used in pond water management and can be utilized in feed also which enhances the digestion – in turn improving the pond water paramters and contributing to disease management.

Antibiotic Ban in Poultry

The consumption of meat, meat products and farmed seafood is projected to rise by 312 per cent by 2030. Intensive poultry farming practices contribute to disease transmission among animals. To control these infections, antibiotics (AGPs) are widely used to prevent diseases in these farmed animals and to increase productivity. China, USA, Brazil & India are not only the world’s largest meat producing countries, but also the largest consumer of antimicrobials for animal production. This issue has been getting increased consumer attention worldwide and industry is beginning to adjust to supply the antibiotic free poultry that the market is seeking.

The International Food Safety and Quality Network standards have laid down strict regulations for the use of antimicrobials in food animals.

US-FDA – Center for Veterinary Medicine & American Veterinary Medical Association have already formulated & put into place the ANTIMICROBIAL STEWARDSHIP & VETERINARY FEED DIRECTIVE (VFD) REGULATION. As per VFD – GFI # 213 (Guidance for Industry) – out of the total 292 animal drug applications:

  • 84 are completely withdrawn
  • 93 water application drugs & 115 feed application drugs are converted from over-the-counter (OTC) to prescription status.
  • Production (e.g., growth promotion) indications are withdrawn from all 31 AGP’s.

EFSA-EMA & Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) have already put into practice the Restricted & Responsible Use of Antibiotics for Food Producing Animals

Majority of the South East Asian countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia amongst others have started implementing the restricted use of antibiotics and the results are showing in their growing exports to Europe & US.

PROBIOTICS are the crucial link in this scenario, which have the potential of securing these farmed food producing animals. Probiotics act by:

  1. Competing for the nutrient availability
  2. Competitively excluding pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal mucosa
  3. Inhibition of pathogenic growth by production of organic acids and antibiotic-like compounds
  4. Boosting the 1st Line of Defense and Immunity

SANZYME BIOLOGICS is a 50-year-old biotechnology company based in Hyderabad, India. SANZYME specializes in the production of PROBIOTIC bacteria and supplies customers in more than 30 markets globally, for applications in Human Health, Human Food, Aquaculture, Poultry, Livestock and Bioremediation.

SANCO – the Animal Health Division of SANZYME BIOLOGICS is a pioneer in the development, application & use of PROBIOTICS Strains for Poultry / Animal farming. With its intense R&D, Application Technologies, Delivery Systems, Innovative Methodologies and Global Reach, SANCO has been serving the global Poultry / Animal farming community – in reducing & tackling Antibiotic use in food producing animals. The Probiotic Strains used for farmed animals is different from that of the Probiotic Strains used for Human Health. Probiotic Strain development suiting the Poultry and other farmed animals is an ever & ongoing process at SANZYME BIOLOGICS. SANCO Probiotic Strains for Poultry / other farmed animals are deposited with Microbial Type Culture Collection & Gene Bank (MTCC) Chandigarh, India. The Probiotic Strains developed are also screened & tested for Anti-Microbial Resistant Genes (AMR)

SANZYME BIOLOGICS currently In addition to producing our own strains is also a trusted CMO for companies wishing to develop and commercially produce their own Probiotic strains. Services provided include – Toll Manufacturing, Sample Generation (for trials), and CRO services. SANZYME BIOLOGICS facilities are NSF certified, FAMI QS certified, ISO – 220000-2005, and ISO-9001-2015 certified.

Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969™ obtains FDA GRAS approval in Infant Formula

Sanzyme Biologics has obtained Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) approval relating to use of Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969 in infant formula.

The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued the company with a GRAS Notice known as a ‘no objection letter’. It states that it has no questions regarding the safety of Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969spore preparation marketed by Sanzyme Biologics when used in infant formula

The FDA’s decision means Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969spore preparation is permitted for use as an ingredient in a non-exempt infant formula for term infants, at levels up to 2x 108 colony forming units (CFU) per 100 ml infant formula, as consumed.

Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969is a Gram-positive, spore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium, which was isolated from green malt in 1949. The SNZ 1969 strain is deposited in the Microbial Type Culture Collection as MTCC 5724 and in the Belgian Coordinated Collections of Microorganism as LMG S – 27484.

Numerous clinical studies where Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969™ was consumed by both children (including infants) and adults reported no relevant adverse reactions.

Dr. Raunak Soman, Executive Director, Sanzyme Biologics said: “This approval is a significant regulatory milestone and speaks volumes about the quality and safety of our strain.  Probiotics usage has seen a sharp increase over the past few years in infants products, as the babies natural gut flora can be affected by variable factors that can lead to serious life threatening complicationsWe hope to benefit millions of babies with our Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969™usage in infant formula. This strain has been used by children in India for decades, with no safety issues or concerns. This history of use and the inherent stability of the strain in food applications make SNZ 1969 the ideal strain for infant applications”

Sanzyme Biologics is a 50 year old biotechnology company based in Hyderabad, India. Sanzyme specialises in the production of probiotic bacteria. Sanzyme’s best studied probiotic product is Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969™. SNZ 1969 is a well-studied and documented strain with 20+ Clinical Trials and multiple regulatory approvals (FDA GRAS, Infant GRAS, EFSA QPS, Health Canada, FSSAI and others). It is currently sold in and used in 30+ countries including USA, Italy, Canada, Australia and Japan.