Spore-forming probiotic BC30 improves protein absorption from plant sources

BC30 supports protein absorption from plant sources, a new clinical study has shown.

The findings are significant for food and beverage manufacturers because they demonstrate potential to offer an additional benefit in plant-based products containing BC30. There may be opportunities for products targeting seniors – who typically require higher protein intake to maintain muscle mass – as well as vegetarians, vegans, and athletes.

The double-blind randomised study was carried out over a two-week period, with 30 healthy women between the ages of 50 and 70 taking part. Each consumed a daily plant-based beverage containing 20g of protein, sourced from a combination of pea and rice proteins, either with or without 1 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) of BC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086).

After the final dose, blood samples were analysed for amino acid concentrations. Over the whole course of the measurement period, subjects in the BC30 group showed significantly higher values for total amino acids and total essential amino acids, as well as significantly higher than average levels of certain individual amino acids. The BC30 group also showed also showed higher maximum concentrations of total amino acids, essential amino acids, and several individual amino acids. ​

Part of Kerry’s ProActive Health Portfolio, BC30 is a patented spore-forming probiotic which can be used in a range of food and beverage products. It is backed by over 25 published papers, including a 2020 study demonstrating that it supports protein absorption from milk protein concentrate.

John Quilter, Kerry VP of Global Portfolio – ProActive Health, said: “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.”

He added: “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.”

The study was carried out by researchers at the Exercise and Performance Nutrition Laboratory at the School of Health Sciences at Lindenwood University, Missouri, led by Dr Chad Kerksick, Associate Professor of Exercise Science.

A research poster was presented on June 17th, 2022, at the annual conference of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). The full study is expected to be published in a scientific journal in late 2022 or early 2023.

For more information: Walden K et al. ‘Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 improves amino acid absorption from plant protein concentrate in older women’ (Manuscript in preparation.)

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