The aim of this study was to assess the potential of the probiotic Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 [GanedenBC(30)] (BC30) to aid in protein digestion of alimentary plant proteins. To test this, three plant proteins, from pea, soy and rice, were digested in a validated in vitro model of the stomach and small intestine (TIM-1) in the absence and in the presence of BC30. Samples were taken from the TIM-1 fractions that mimic uptake of amino acids by the host and analysed for α-amino nitrogen (AAN) and total nitrogen (TN). Both were increased by BC30 for all three plant proteins sources. The ratio of TN/AAN indicated that for pea protein digestion was increased by BC30, but the degree of polymerisation of the liberated small peptides and free amino acids was not changed. For soy and rice, however, BC30 showed a 2-fold reduction in the TN/AAN ratio, indicating that the liberated digestion products formed during digestion in the presence of BC30 were shorter peptides and more free amino acids, than those liberated in the absence of BC30. As BC30 increased protein digestion and uptake in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, it consequently also reduced the amount of protein that would be delivered to the colon, which could there be fermented into toxic metabolites by the gut microbiota. Thus, the enhanced protein digestion by BC30 showed a dual benefit: enhanced amino acid bioavailability from plant proteins in the upper GI tract, and a healthier environment in the colon.
- Journal Article
- protein digestion
- Bacillus coagulans
- in vitro gastrointestinal model
- ORIGINAL RESEARCH