Antibiotic Resistance: How Spore Probiotics Support the Fight Against Deadly Superbugs

Can Bacillus Subtilis slay resistant bacteria when antibiotics can’t? Read on to find out more...

“The most urgent threat to public health” - Center for Disease Control (CDC)
“Global health emergency” - The United Nations (UN)
“One of the biggest health challenges of our times” - CDC
“10 million death per year by 2050” - The British (UK) Government


Those messages are pretty scary – and they should be. 

Why? Because antibiotics are losing ground. Every day, more pathogenic bacteria become resistant to the antibiotic drugs that used to be able to kill them… and turning into "superbugs".

Already, more than 2 million Americans get infected with resistant bacteria every year… and at least 23,000 die. (check out the research here)

This threat could have an even bigger impact on our lives going forward.

Imagine a world without effective antibiotics: Doctors would stop performing surgeries...people could die from minor wounds that got infected…diseases that used to be treatable could turn fatal.

But even when antibiotic drugs let us down, nature provides an answer – a strain of probiotic bacteria that naturally kills antibiotic-resistant bugs. Like a probiotic superhero.

So how did this happen? How did superbugs come to be? And what can we do to prevent further issues? Read on to find out...


Bacteria Basics

Bacteria are microscopic organisms that live everywhere – inside your body, outside in dirt, deep in the ocean, throughout nature...literally everywhere.

Many bacteria are helpful, which includes some of the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut (a.ka. your gut microbiome). But others are harmful pathogens that cause disease. No matter what kind they are, bacteria may change over time to survive in our ever-changing environment and world. 


Antibiotic Basics

Antibiotics, also known as antimicrobial drugs, are drugs that fight infections caused by bacteria in both humans and animals. Antibiotics fight these infections either by killing the bacteria, or making it difficult for the bacteria to grow and multiply. Antibiotics only treat certain bacterial infections, meaning they do not have any effect on viruses. Any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance. (learn more here)

Almost 100 years ago, the first antibiotic drug (penicillin) was created to fight pathogenic bacteria (many more antibiotics followed after that). Antibiotics work in two key ways: 

  1. They kill bacteria
  2. They make it harder for bacteria to multiply

Each antibiotic combats specific types of bacteria. Broad-spectrum antibiotics can fight more types of bacteria, but not as powerfully as targeted drugs (also called first-line treatments).

Bacteria are surprisingly smart – or at least very determined to survive. So they figure out all kinds of ways to dodge antibiotic drugs, including:

  • Producing compounds that counteract the drug
  • Flush out the drug before it gets to work
  • Change their structure – like putting on a disguise – to trick the drug
  • Get lucky and just survive 

The bacteria that thwart drugs become antibiotic-resistant. That means the drugs won't work against those pathogens anymore, so those bacteria will just keep growing and multiplying. 

And every time any antibiotic drug is used, it can increase antibiotic resistance.


How we created superbugs (even though we didn’t mean to)

Bacteria have been around for billions of years. They didn’t survive for that long without learning how to adjust and adapt. So it’s not really surprising that some bacteria have figured out how to survive the drugs.

That happened for a few very important reasons:

  • Over-prescribing: Doctors prescribe antibiotics more often than they should, and sometimes even for viral infections that antibiotics can’t possibly cure. In fact, the CDC reported that more than 30% of antibiotic prescriptions are totally unnecessary.
  • Mis-prescribing: An eye-opening study found that doctors prescribed the wrong antibiotic 48% of the time.
  • Broad-spectrum antibiotics: These drugs are designed to kill lots of different bacteria, unlike old school antibiotics that targeted particular bugs. These one-size-kills-all drugs are easier for bacteria to escape – so they increase the development of resistant bacteria.
  • Farm antibiotics: Widespread use of our antibiotics in food animals speeds up the creation of superbugs. The food industry uses the same drugs we use to fight infections in animals (including cows, chickens, pigs) to boost their growth. Those animals develop drug-resistant bacteria that can infect us.

All of these common practices give both the target bacteria and stray bacteria the chance to learn how to resist the drugs. Then those bacteria pass on their resistance every time they multiply, creating a huge army of resistant bacteria – superbugs.


Meet the Superbugs

When bacteria develop resistance to one or more antibiotics, they become superbugs – sort of like the supervillains of germs. They ward off the drugs we throw at them. And then they multiply, creating billions of new resistant bacteria. 

To try and stay ahead of this growing threat, the CDC categorized the top 18 antibiotic-resistant bacteria. That list includes a lot of bacteria you’ve never heard of… but also some you may know too well:

  • MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
  • Salmonella
  • Streptococcus
  • Tuberculosis
  • C diff (Clostridium difficile)

The world medical community is scrambling to find new ways to fight these resistant infections. But we already have one… superhero spore probiotic Bacillus subtilis.


Bacillus Subtilis To the Rescue

Spore probiotic B. subtilis naturally produces more than two dozen different antibiotic compounds. It uses them to kill off pathogenic bacteria and allow hundreds of strains of beneficial bacteria to survive and thrive.

And where B. subtilis really shines is taking down superbugs like MRSA (S. aureus).

In the first study of its kind, researchers found that when B. subtilis is present, S. aureus can’t survive. A team of scientists looked at hundreds of stool samples from people living in rural Thailand. And when they analyzed the poop, they found something amazing: In the 101 samples that contained B. subtilis, they found no S. aureus at all. Zero. And the opposite was true as well. In the samples that did contain S. aureus, there was no trace of B. subtilis.

The scientists forged ahead and took their research one step further. They gave mice S. aureus bacteria, and let it colonize in their guts. Next, they gave the mice B. subtilis every other day. And the same thing happened: B. subtilis wiped out the S. aureus completely.


Get your daily dose of Bacillus Subtilis with Just Thrive

Get your gut microbiome in good balance with Just Thrive spore probiotic. This clinically studied formula contains Bacillus subtilis HU58, a proven strain of the superhero probiotic.

In addition to it’s pathogen-fighting powers, Bacillus subtilis has been shown in studies to also:

  • Produces protective short chain fatty acids – such as butyrate – necessary for optimal health
  • Produces an enzyme called nattokinase that promotes healthy blood clotting and improves blood pressure
  • Produces “feel-good” brain chemicals, like serotonin, which help regulate mood and sleep

And Bacillus subtilis HU58 is joined by three additional healthy spore probiotics in the Just Thrive formula:

Bacillus indicus HU36 produces powerful antioxidants (including beta-carotene and lycopene) plus essential vitamin K and a variety of B vitamins to nourish and support your immune system.

Bacillus clausii can survive many antibiotics, and it helps other types of probiotics flourish even during a course of antibiotics, making it much harder for pathogens to gain control.

Bacillus coagulans produces unique compounds – including a special form of lactic acid – that stimulate health immune function and defend your gut microbiome from pathogens.

Take charge of your microbiome today with Just Thrive spore probiotic featuring Bacillus subtilis HU58.