Spore-Based Probiotics (SBO) vs Normal Probiotics: What’s the Difference?

SBO Probiotics (Spore-Based Probiotics)

In the vast world that is gut health, you come across a ton of different information thrown at you on how to keep your gut in check. 

We, at Atrantil, promote prebiotics.

Most of the time you hear about probiotics and the millions of yogurt companies that want to be your dealer. 

With all the sugary goodness, loud color choices, and cute mascots it’s hard to know what to choose. 

You want healthy, you want tasty, and quite frankly the cuter the packaging the better it looks in your and your kids’ lunchboxes.

But what if we told you that the probiotics you’re trying to supplement into your diet aren’t really getting into your system?

What if we told you that not all probiotics are created equally?

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what we are telling you. 

Problems with Normal Probiotics

normal probiotics

The most common forms of probiotics that you’ll come across are of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families. 

These probiotics are fantastic at their jobs and they really do promote good gut health, but the likelihood of you getting the best quality and right amount of them is very unlikely. 

Research shows the numerous benefits these bacteria can provide your body with.

However, they aren’t likely to make it to where they need to go because your gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is an inhospitable environment for them

The acids in your stomach will typically kill them before they ever reach their preferred destination.

While certain species can still have a benefit to your body while they are dead, it may not happen for all bacteria and may not reap quite as strong benefits. 

Spore-based organism (SBO) probiotics or soil-based organism probiotics are now being studied as an alternative and potentially better option to our normal probiotic choices. 

The Basics of SBO Probiotics

SBO probiotics are a special breed of bacteria that have evolved to survive the entire ride through your digestive tract. 

Stomach acids and bile are what typically kill probiotics before they can be useful to your body.

SBO probiotics are different because they contain an endospore. 

Endospores are extremely helpful in allowing your body to get the most out of your probiotics. 

Endospores are a protective case that allows the bacteria to travel safely to your large intestines.

The spore allows the bacteria to remain dormant until it is needed. 

When the bacteria arrives in an environment that seems hospitable, the spore will then release the bacteria. 

A problem that can potentially be seen with these probiotics is that spores can proliferate.

While most of the bacteria types used as probiotics don’t normally proliferate in the human GIT, the potential is there.

SBO probiotic results can differ from person to person because of their ability to lie dormant.

Some studies have found that in some people the bacteria may not be released at all while in others they can proliferate at a high rate. 

Typically people with compromised immune systems, children and the elderly, should avoid this type of probiotic to avoid the potential of overproliferation. 

Spore-Based Bacteria Species

Spore-Based Bacteria Species

When it comes to probiotics, we typically hear the names of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. These aren’t the same bacteria that you get with the SBO type. 

What’s especially interesting about the SBO types of bacteria is that some within the same family can be good while others can be very bad. 

Below we have listed some of the more common SBO probiotics you may come across.

We will also mention particular bacteria of those families that you may have heard of as being pathogenic instead of helpful. 


Although Lactobacillus does have Bacillus in its name, these two species are not even close to the same. 

Bacillus bacteria are spore-formers which means that they are hardier.

Where Lactobacillus is heat-sensitive, Bacillus is capable of withstanding the heat and getting where they need to go to get the job done. 

The more commonly studied Bacillus groups as probiotics include:

One study on a combination of Bacillus strains were able to improve leaky gut syndrome by reducing endotoxins and triglycerides. 

For patients with IBS and SIBO, it was found that a Bacillus probiotic mixture was just as effective for patients as using rifaximin and the low-FODMAP diet. 

The commonly known pathogenic forms of this family include:

  • Bacillus cereus
  • Bacillus anthracis

Clostridium butyricum

This species has been found to help with many different health problems with little to no side effects. Some of the main ways this probiotic can be beneficial include:

Potential Dangers Associated with SBO Probiotics

As with normal probiotics, there are potential dangers associated with this particular form of probiotics. 

Some strains are being found to increase or cause antibiotic resistance. The antibiotic resistance potential comes from the evolution of the bacteria to be impenetrable. 

Since the spore isn’t affected by heat, acid, or other things that would normally fight them off, they’ve also become immune to antibiotics

While antibiotics can disrupt your microbiome they are also necessary for some situations.

You don’t want to need antibiotics and not have them be effective for you.

As with anything, we suggest that you proceed with caution.

Always consult your doctor before adding any supplements or probiotics to your daily routine to make sure it is the best course of action for you and your body. 

Do you have experience with spore-based probiotics?

If so, let us know your experiences in the comments below! 


Spore-Based Probiotics vs Normal Probiotics: What\'s the Difference?