Bacillus subtilis

About B. subtilis

Bacillus subtilis, also known as hay bacillus or grass bacillus, is a bacterium commonly found in soil. It is not a pathogen and a specific strain, Bacillus natto, is used in the production of the Japanese food natto and the Korean food cheonggukjang.

Possible Benefits

One paper investigated the addition of Bacillus subtilis fermented soybean meal and its effects on enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract and intestinal morphology of piglets. The piglets were randomly given either soybean meal or fermented soybean meal. After the experiment was completed, the six piglets from each of the two treatment groups were sacrificed. The contents of the small intestine were collected, and the tissue was sampled at varying locations. The researchers found, using light microscopy, that the piglets in the treatment group that were fed fermented soybean meal had significantly taller villi at the varying locations, and had a significantly lower duodenal crypt depth in comparison to the piglets in the treatment group that were fed soybean meal. They also showed a significant increase in duodenal and jejunal protease and trypsin activities and a decrease in pancreatic trypsin activity. The findings obtained from this research demonstrate that fermented soybean meal improves the morphology of the intestine as well as the activities of digestive enzymes (Feng 2007).


Feng, J., et al. “Effect of Fermented Soybean Meal on Intestinal Morphology and Digestive Enzyme Activities in Weaned Piglets”. Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 2007 April.

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