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Bacillus subtilis is a bacteria typically found in the soil as well as in our gut. Its name come from the Latin root subtilis for  subtle or fine. It can form a spore or thick wall and survive extreme environmental conditions. This gives it an advantage as a probiotic, since it can more easily survive stomach acid and digestive enzymes in the small intestine, as it makes its way to the lower gut. It comes from the genus of bacillus and the phylum of Firmicutes.

It was used in the late 1940’s and 1950’s to stimulate the immune system and to aid in the treatment of gastrointestinal and urinary tract disorders, but lost popularity after the introduction of antibiotics. It is used in the Japanese food natto and has industrial applications particularly in agriculture. It has also been extensively study by scientists as a model system for basic genetic and biological functions.



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