Probiotics Aid in Protein Absorption


At this point, most people know that getting more probiotics in one’s diet is a healthy practice to foster gut health. A gut balanced with good bacteria comes with a huge number of benefits, including boosted immune function, a healthier stress response and even fat loss. A lesser known, yet extremely useful benefit of probiotics is their ability to aid in the absorption of protein, and therefore promote and maintain muscle growth.

One particular probiotic strain, Bacillus coagulans BC30, has been shown to enhance the absorption of seven different amino-acids — the building blocks of protein. These amino acids are incredible little warriors, each with an important function that increases the body’s performance and overall wellbeing. The duties of each amino acid are outlined below, but the essence is this: Adding probiotics to one’s diet helps the body get the most out of the food it’s eating, and the workouts it’s indulging in.

Research shows that one serving of Probiotic BC30 taken with one serving of protein every day for two weeks leads to increased absorption of the following amino acids:

Probiotic BC30 increases Leucine absorption by 23 percent. Leucine is the amino acid that stimulates the synthesis of muscle protein. It has gained popularity for promoting rapid muscle growth, and for slowing the degradation of muscle tissue after it’s been developed.

Probiotic BC30 increases Isoleucine absorption by 20 percent. Isoleucine induces muscle protein synthesis as well. By significantly increasing the body’s glucose uptake and usage during exercise, it can also act as an effective performance enhancer.

Probiotic BC30 increases Valine absorption by 7 percent. Valine promotes muscle growth, repairs tissues, regulates blood sugar and provides the body with energy. It also helps stimulate the central nervous system and is thus needed for proper mental functioning.

Probiotic BC30 increases Glutamine absorption by 116 percent. Glutamine supports the body’s pH balance and the immune system, which is especially helpful during times of exercise-induced stress. Additionally, it has been shown to slow the degradation of muscle protein.

Probiotic BC30 increases Ornthinine absorption by 100 percent. Ornthinine is an amino acid that plays an important role in the body’s removal of waste. Additionally, kidneys convert Ornithine into Arginine, another amino acid that helps dilate blood vessels, bringing extra blood to the body’s tissues. Arginine also helps muscle cells produce the compound they need to contract. Thus, Ornithine can help promote physical strength and endurance, because of the more efficient energy usage by cells.

Probiotic BC30 increases Tryptophan absorption by 100 percent. Tryptophan balances the body’s levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, thereby helping to reduce irritability, mood disorders, anxiety and stress. Additionally, it has been found to stimulate the release of growth hormones, and to reduce food cravings for sugar and other carbohydrates.

Probiotic BC30 increases Citrulline absorption by 128 percent. Citrulline is an amino acid that helps improve blood flow, which helps to prevent coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease.

With increased absorption of these key amino acids comes many crucial benefits to the body, many of which increase muscle growth in the long run. Thus, getting enough protein — and from a wide variety of sources — is vital, but so is cultivating a healthy and balanced gut, equipped with all the tools it needs to absorb these essential amino acids. That said, how does one begin to build a healthy gut colony?

First things first, it’s important to foster an environment that allows one’s natural gut flora to flourish. This means having a diet that consists of whole, unprocessed foods. Sugar and refined carbs should be eliminated and replaced with high fiber vegetables, like kale, broccoli and sweet potatoes. Fat from fish, nuts and coconut oil (MCT oil) is encouraged, but omega-6 fat from vegetable oils should be reduced.

Once the gut environment is filled with the kind of nutrients healthy microorganisms love, it’s time to keep them well equipped with live foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and kombucha. Supplementing with a daily probiotic is also a great option, especially because stress, changes in the diet, chlorinated water and numerous other factors negatively affect the flora in the intestinal tract.

The general rule to take enough probiotics to provide nine to ten billion colony-forming units (CFU) daily for two weeks, and then follow with one to three billion CFU daily for maintenance (both with meals). Most probiotic supplements provide numerous different strains, allowing for a wide range of benefits. BC30 can be found in a variety of shelf-stable foods, making it an easy probiotic to add to an on-the-go lifestyle.

The cliché “you are what you eat” has never been truer. Immunity, cognitive function, energy levels, weight loss, hormone balance, and even muscle growth and preservation are affected by the living organisms inside everyone. Treat them well, and they will be sure to return the favor.


By Chris Feuille, the founder and COO of Ona, a grain-free paleo bar and treat company. For more information, call 970.800.3957 or email