Tag Archives: C. diff

More Butyrate Series, Part 8: Clostridium butyricum to Prevent Pathogenic Infections (C. diff, E. coli, H. pylori, and Candida), Leaky Gut, and Tube Feeding Diarrhea

When would a person consider adding Clostridium butyricum to their health plan? That’s what I’m exploring as I continue to write up what I discovered from scientific studies about Clostridium butyricum. Today will finish up exploring the gastrointestinal studies. You may read more that I have written about Clostridium butyricum here and here. I try to write in simple terms while still maintaining medical accuracy. If you see a typo or mis-information, please point it out! I really appreciate the opportunity to fix it. If you just don’t understand something and really want to, I enjoy questions and do my best to answer them as thoroughly as I can.

Please remember this is not medical advice. Probiotics are still supplements, and supplements can have deleterious effects on health, either directly, by interactions, or even because of their fillers (and commercial forms of Clostridium butyricum seem to have lactose and/or potato starch). As you search for health, don’t forget certain human health necessities: sleep; movement; sunshine; nature; strong, nurturing relationships; freedom from an unforgiving and hateful heart; and self-acceptance. I feel there are more, but I’ll stop there for now. I’m always floored at how we will search for health in a pill or diet while neglecting these basic requirements.


Clostridium butyricum to prevent pathogenic infections from other organisms: Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Helicobacter pylori, and Candida

When given prophylactically, Clostridium butyricum prevented death from enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli 0157:H7 in 100% of mice. [I’m always fascinated by studies with “100% results.”]

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli 0157:H7 is a dangerous human pathogen which can lead to significant bloody diarrhea, kidney failure, and death. Germ-free mice were inoculated with the virulent bacterial strain Escherichia coli 0157:H7. Mice who received no Clostridium butyricum probiotic ALL died from entrohemorrhagic E. coli complications. When given the probiotic prophylactically before receiving the virulent E. coli strain, 100% of the mice survived. If the Clostridium butyricum was given two days into the infection rather than prophylactically, then 50% died.The probiotic used was Clostridium butyricum MIYAIRI 588 strain.

Source: Takahashi, M., Taguchi, H., Yamaguchi, H., Osaki, T., Komatsu, A. and Kamiya, S. (2004), The effect of probiotic treatment with Clostridium butyricum on enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection in mice. FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology, 41: 219–226.

In vitro co-culture and cell-to-cell contact of Clostridium butyricum  MIYAIRI 588 and Clostridium difficile greatly decreased and even negated the cellular toxicity of Clostridium difficile toxin.

Both Clostridium difficile andClostridium butyricum are Gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria, but Clostridium butyricum grows faster and uses a wider range of substrates, while also producing butyric acid (butyrate) and a bacteriocin (a microbial “antibiotic”). Researchers found that Clostridium butyricum diminished the cytotoxicity of Clostridium difficile and explored why:

  • Clostridium butyricum cells themselves needed to be present to prevent the cytotoxicity from Clostridium difficile. Using supernatant (fluid with no actual bacterial cells but still with the substances excreted/secreted from the bacteria) from Clostridium butyricum culture did not reduce cytotoxicity or reduce the growth of Clostridium difficile, neither did simply separating the two bacterial cultures by a permeable membrane (but impermeable by the bacteria themselves–so basically having the cells together in proximity with the same environment, but without the cells themselves being able to touch each other).
  • Clostridium butyricum blocked Clostridium difficile‘s germination, perhaps by increasing the amount of organic acids present, such as butyric acid. Clostridium butyricum cultures produce a pH of about 4.8, while Clostridium difficile cultures exhibit a pH of about 6.2, which is similar to the gut’s pH. Co-cultures of the two bacteria together produced a lower pH, which may affect the growth of C. diff and deteriorate the function of one of its toxins, toxin B.

Source: Woo TD, Oka K, Takahashi M, Hojo F, Osaki T, Hanawa T, Kurata S, Yonezawa H, Kamiya S. Inhibition of the cytotoxic effect of Clostridium difficile in vitro by Clostridium butyricum MIYAIRI 588 strain. J Med Microbiol. 2011;60:1617–1625.

A very small human study reported that patients given antibiotic therapy to eradicate Helicobacter pylori had detectable fecal Clostridium difficile toxin A, BUT double doses of Clostridium butyricum Miyairi 588 strain prevented detection of any fecal Clostridium difficile toxin A, indicating that a higher dose of Clostridium butyricum may help prevent antibiotic associated C. diff colitis.

When antibiotics are given, it disrupts the normal suppression of Clostridium difficile (which can live in a healthy person’s gut) in the GI tract, allowing diarrhea or even C. difficile pseudomembranous colitis to occur. Researchers looked for toxin A from C. difficile bacteria when patients were treated with antibiotics alone to eradicate H. pylori or treated with antibiotics and Clostridium butyricum probiotic. A “regular” dose of Clostridium butyricum probiotic did not prevent Clostridium difficile toxin A detection, although it seemed to decrease when compared to the control using no probiotic.  However, doubling the dose of probiotic prevented C. difficile toxin A detection. Specifically MIYA-BM was used and it has 10^7 colony forming units (CFU) per tablet. A “regular” dose was six tablets and a double dose was 12 tablets.

Source: Microbiology and Immunology. Efficacy of Clostridium butyricum preparation concomitantly with Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy in relation to changes in the intestinal microbiota. Kyoto Imase, Motomichi Takahashi, Akifumi Tanaka, Kengo Tokunaga, Hajime Sugano, Mamoru Tanaka, Hitoshi Ishida, Shigeru Kamiya and Shin’ichi Takahashi. Volume 52, Issue 3, Version of Record online: 8 APR 2008

In vivo and in vitro testing indicated that Clostridium butyricum Miyairi 588 strain could inhibit, and often eradicate, Helicobacter pylori growth and presence in germ free mice.

This study suggests an antagonistic relationship between Clostridium butyricum and Helicobacter pylori.

  • In  vitro, the butyric acid produced by C. butyricum inhibited H. pylori growth in a direct manner, no matter what the pH, indicating that butyric acid itself was antibacterial. (In contrast, lactic acid also inhibited H. pylori, but not when the pH was adjusted, indicating the effect was pH induced rather than directly from the lactic acid itself.)
  • Pre-incubation of cells with the probiotic inhibited the binding ability of H. pylori to a gastric-mucosal type line of cells.
  • In mice with persistent H. pylori infection, Clostridium butyricum resulted in a rapid reduction of H. pylori and then eventually after three weeks, elimination.

Source: J Med Microbiol. 2000 Jul;49(7):635-42. Studies of the effect of Clostridium butyricum on Helicobacter pylori in several test models including gnotobiotic mice. Takahashi M, Taguchi H, Yamaguchi H, Osaki T, Kamiya S.

Clostridium butyricum Miyairi 588, when given prophylactically to mice, decreased mortality from systemic Candida albicans

The mice were pre-treated for three days intraperitoneally with heat-killed C. butyricum and then inoculated intravenously with a virulent strain of Candida albicans. There was significant increase in survival at all doses of the administered C. butyricum, indicating anti-candidal activity.

Source: Hour-Young, Chen & Kaneda, Satoru & Mikami, Yuzuru & Arai, Tadashi & Igarashi, Kazuei & Saito, Masayoshi & Miyoshi, Takeyoshi & Fuse, Akira. (1987). Protection activity induced by the bacterial vaccine, heat-killed Clostridium butyricum against Candida albicans infections in mice.. Japanese Journal of Medical Mycology. 28. 262-269. 10.3314/jjmm1960.28.262.

Might help to reverse leaky gut (increased gastrointestinal permeability)

Clostridium butyricum use in a mouse model of obesity and insulin resistance showed parameters that might be relevant to improving leaky gut (increased gastrointestinal permeability).

Researchers in China wanted to explore the effect of Clostridium butyricum (strain: CBO313.1) on high fat diet obesity and insulin resistance in mice, speculating that short chain fatty acid production and colon barrier functions contribute to these inflammatory-type conditions. They found that the use of Clostridium butyricum:

  • Reduced colon permeability by upregulating the tight junction (TJ) proteins (claudin-1 and occludin)
  • Contributed to a decreased circulating endotoxin level (LPS)
  • Suppressed adipose inflammation
  • Suppressed high fat diet induced low grade colitis
  • Increased short chain fatty acid production in the colon
  • Restored impaired colon permeability

Source: Shang H, Sun J, Chen YQ (2016) Clostridium Butyricum CGMCC0313.1 Modulates Lipid Profile, Insulin Resistance and Colon Homeostasis in Obese Mice. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0154373. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154373

To prevent tube feeding diarrhea

In elderly patients who developed diarrhea in response to required long-term tube feedings, giving Clostridium butyricum to the patients normalized their stool.

The study is written in Japanese, so I have no further details.

Source: Ito, Hayashi, Iguchi, Endo, Nakao, Nabeshima, Ogura. Effects of administration of Clostridium butyricum to patients receiving long-term tube feeding. Jpn. J. Geriat. 34. 298-304. 1997.


That’s all for today. Do take care. Do look for things you can change in your life without a pill. Move more. Get outside more. Without squashing your own self, get along better with others. Your thoughts are your “inner stew.” They’re what you eat every single moment. Explore them. They make a HUGE difference to health.

Terri F.