Combined effect of Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 and HMB supplementation on muscle integrity and cytokine response during intense military training

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017 Jul 1;123(1):11-18. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01116.2016. Epub 2017 Apr 13.


The purpose of this study was to compare the coadministration of the probiotic Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 (BC30) with β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) calcium (CaHMB) to CaHMB alone on inflammatory response and muscle integrity during 40 days of intense military training. Soldiers were randomly assigned to one of two groups: CaHMB with BC30 (CaHMBBC30; n = 9) or CaHMB with placebo (CaHMBPL, n = 9). A third group of participants served as a control (CTL; n = 8). During the first 28 days soldiers were garrisoned on base and participated in the same training tasks. During the final 2 wk soldiers navigated 25-30 km per night in difficult terrain carrying ~35 kg of equipment. All assessments (blood draws and diffusion tensor imaging to assess muscle integrity) were conducted before and ~12 h after final supplement consumption. Analysis of covariance was used to analyze all blood and muscle measures. Significant attenuations were noted in IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, CX3CL1, and TNF-α for both CaHMBBC30 and CaHMBPL compared with CTL. Plasma IL-10 concentrations were significantly attenuated for CaHMBBC30 compared with CTL only. A significant decrease in apparent diffusion coefficients was also observed for CaHMBBC30 compared with CaHMBPL. Results provide further evidence that HMB supplementation may attenuate the inflammatory response to intense training and that the combination of the probiotic BC30 with CaHMB may be more beneficial than CaHMB alone in maintaining muscle integrity during intense military training.NEW & NOTEWORTHY β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) in its free acid form was reported to attenuate inflammation and maintain muscle integrity during military training. However, this formulation was difficult to maintain in the field. In this investigation, soldiers ingested HMB calcium (CaHMB) with Bacillus coagulans (BC30) or CaHMB alone during 40 days of training. Results indicated that CaHMB attenuated the inflammatory response and that BC30 combined with CaHMB may be more beneficial than CaHMB alone in maintaining muscle integrity during intense military training.

Keywords: MRI; diffusion tensor imaging; inflammation; muscle damage; nutrition.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus coagulans*
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging / methods
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / diagnostic imaging
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • Valerates / administration & dosage*
  • Young Adult


  • Cytokines
  • Valerates
  • beta-hydroxyisovaleric acid