Exploring the Fascinating Health Benefits of Bacillus Subtilis

The use of soil-based organisms (SBOs) as probiotics has become an increasingly popular area of research. Microbial research has reported multiple potential benefits of using soil-based probiotics, including balancing gut bacteria, reducing inflammation, maintaining the integrity of the gut lining, and modulating immune responses. One unique characteristic that makes SBOs favorable as probiotics is their ability to survive the harsh environment of the digestive tract. This allows them to make it to the intestines where they can provide the most benefit.

Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) is a gram-positive, spore forming soil-based organism that is frequently used by industrial biotechnology companies for its ability to produce various enzymes, pharmaceutical compounds, and amino acids. Before antibiotics were introduced to the medical world, B. subtilis was also used to treat gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections in both humans and animals. Once antibiotics became more popular, the use of B. subtilis in humans declined significantly. However, it is still used today as an antibiotic alternative in the livestock and poultry industry.

Discovering the Power of Bacillus Subtilis

In recent years, Bacillus subtilis has gained a lot of positive attention in probiotic research. In fact, it is now one of the most popular soil-based probiotics used by humans due to the variety of potential benefits that it may provide the body according to the latest research. This is why we have included B. subtilis in our comprehensive proprietary blend of soil-based probiotics found in TERRA BYOME.

Here are 5 ways that using B. subtilis as a daily probiotic may benefit your health:

#1 B. subtilis may protect the body against “staph” infections

Recent research reports that B. subtilis may produce molecules that inhibit Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) colonization. This is a breakthrough discovery as S. aureus is an antibiotic resistant strain of bacteria which makes it very difficult to treat. Using B. subtilis to decolonize S. aureus not only provides a potential antibiotic alternative for treating “staph” infection, it also provides a treatment option that preserves the composition and diversity of the rest of the microbiome.6

#2 B. subtilis provides antioxidant activity

For years B. subtilis has been used industrially for its ability to produce enzymes like amylases and proteases, but it also produces antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase and catalase enzymes that neutralize free radicals. B.subtilis also produces antioxidant metabolites such as carotenoids and riboflavin. These antioxidant properties help reduce the amount of free radicals in the body and protect cells from DNA damage caused by oxidative stress.1,8

#3 B. subtilis may help promote a healthy microbiome

Research regarding how B. subtilis modulates the gut microbiome has shown that it promotes the growth of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotic strains. One study in particular showed that supplementing B. subtilis promoted the growth of Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus acidophilus significantly.2,3

#4 B. subtilis may help protect the digestive system from bacterial infections 

While B. subtilis promotes the growth of some other beneficial probiotics, it has been shown to simultaneously reduce the growth of potentially pathogenic bacteria. Multiple studies have reported that B. subtilis may improve gastrointestinal infections by producing antimicrobial compounds that inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), Escherichia-shigella and some species of Clostridium.2,5,7

#5 B. subtilis may help alleviate some symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions

Research shows that supplementing B. subtilis may help reduce constipation, diarrhea, intestinal inflammation, and abdominal pain, which are all associated with gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. It is suggested that B. subtilis may help with these symptoms by balancing gut microbiota, modulating inflammatory responses, producing metabolites that protect the integrity of the gut lining, and regulating water absorption in the colon.4,7


  1. Arias PadrĂ³ MD, Caboni E, Salazar Morin KA, Meraz Mercado MA, Olalde-Portugal V. Effect of Bacillus subtilis on antioxidant enzyme activities in tomato grafting. PeerJ. 2021;9:e10984. Published 2021 Mar 12. doi:10.7717/peerj.10984
  2. Hatanaka M, Nakamura Y, Maathuis AJ, Venema K, Murota I, Yamamoto N. Influence of Bacillus subtilis C-3102 on microbiota in a dynamic in vitro model of the gastrointestinal tract simulating human conditions. Benef Microbes. 2012;3(3):229-236. doi:10.3920/BM2012.0016
  3. Hosoi T, Ametani A, Kiuchi K, Kaminogawa S. Improved growth and viability of lactobacilli in the presence of Bacillus subtilis (natto), catalase, or subtilisin. Can J Microbiol. 2000;46(10):892-897. doi:10.1139/w00-070
  4. Liu Y, Yin F, Huang L, Teng H, Shen T, Qin H. Long-term and continuous administration of Bacillus subtilis during remission effectively maintains the remission of inflammatory bowel disease by protecting intestinal integrity, regulating epithelial proliferation, and reshaping microbial structure and function. Food Funct. 2021;12(5):2201-2210. doi:10.1039/d0fo02786c
  5. Pi X, Teng W, Fei D, Zhao G, Liu W. Effects of Live Combined Bacillus subtilis and Enterococcus faecium on Gut Microbiota Composition in C57BL/6 Mice and in Humans. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2022;12:821662. Published 2022 Feb 10. doi:10.3389/fcimb.2022.821662
  6. Piewngam P, Khongthong S, Roekngam N, et al. Probiotic for pathogen-specific Staphylococcus aureus decolonisation in Thailand: a phase 2, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet Microbe. 2023;4(2):e75-e83. doi:10.1016/S2666-5247(22)00322-6
  7. Pinchuk IV, Bressollier P, Verneuil B, et al. In vitro anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of the probiotic strain Bacillus subtilis 3 is due to secretion of antibiotics. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2001;45(11):3156-3161. doi:10.1128/AAC.45.11.3156-3161.2001
  8. Prazdnova EV, Chistyakov VA, Churilov MN, et al. DNA-protection and antioxidant properties of fermentates from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens B-1895 and Bacillus subtilis KATMIRA1933. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2015;61(6):549-554. doi:10.1111/lam.12491