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Probiotic Strains and What They Are Good For

Allergy, Digestion | August 14, 2018 | Author: Naturopath

allergy, IBS, bowel, Digestion

Probiotic Strains and What They Are Good For

There’s a lot of hype behind probiotics and it seems microbiome is the new buzz word. All this attention is for good reason as we’re beginning to understand more about the complexities in which beneficial bacteria interact with our body and what their purpose is. With so many products available on the market this can make the selection process very daunting. We will help to break it down for you by focusing on individual probiotic strains and what the research shows they are good for.

The human microbiota

Did you know that you have ten times more bacterial cells in your body than you have human cells?

The human microbiotaWe often think that bacteria only reside in our gut, but the truth is bacteria is everywhere in our body. The human microbiota refers to a combination of microorganisms that reside on or within human tissues such as the skin, uterus, in our mouth but mostly in our digestive system. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa (parasites) and archaea (a relatively little-known group of microbes) are microorganisms that form together to produce a microbiome.

Research is beginning to undercover just how important a healthy microbiome is to our health and how probiotics can help to support this process.

The importance of strain

Within each species of bacteria there are many different strains. Some are strong and resilient, but others can barely survive their destination to the intestines. This is an extremely important concept to know and proves that closely related strains don’t necessarily have the same action in the body. As an example, Lactobacillus plantarum strain 299v has been shown to reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), whereas the administration of Lactobacillus plantarum strain MF1298 was found to worsen IBS.

This is why it’s important when treating specific disease conditions, you should only use strains with demonstrated efficacy for that condition.

The benefits of a probiotics

The benefits of a probioticsAlthough this does depend on the quality and strain of probiotic, probiotics have the following benefits:

  • Inhibit pathogens which can make us sick
  • Help give our immune system a boost
  • Modify our immune system to aid in allergies and autoimmune diseases
  • Promote healthy digestion
  • Replenish beneficial bacterial levels after antibiotics and avoids any unwanted side-effects

The benefits of specific probiotic strains

Here are some examples of well researched strains of probiotics and what their specific benefits are.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG

One of the most studied and supplemented strains of probiotics, L. rhamnosus has some amazing health benefits!  This is because of its ability to modulate the immune system and support healthy intestinal barrier function to protect against leaky gut syndrome and autoimmunity.

The clinical benefits are well researched and include:

  • Prevention of eczema (can be taken during pregnancy)
  • Reduction in the severity of atopy
  • Acute gastroenteritis
  • Antibiotic-associated diarrhoea
  • Healthy intestinal microbiota

Saccharomyces boulardii (cerevisiae)

The name is a bit of a mouthful, so this healthy yeast is usually abbreviated to SB. While not technically a bacterium, SB acts like a probiotic in the body to protect against infection from a variety of harmful microbes such as fungi, bacteria and parasites.

Saccharomyces boulardii (cerevisiae)More specifically it can assist in clostridium difficile infection, acute and persistent diarrhoea, giardiasis, helicobacter pylori and Blastocystis hominis infection.

SB can help to replenish levels of healthy bacteria in the gut and even protects against side-effects associated with antibiotic use.
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Lactobacillus plantarum 299v

Abdominal pain, stool pattern alteration, distention, bloating, straining, abdominal discomfort, and urgency are major symptoms observed in IBS. Thankfully L. plantarum 299v is a strain specific probiotic which helps to alleviate the symptoms of IBS to improve a person’s quality of life.

Other lesser known benefits of L. plantarum 299v include:

  • enhances the absorption of iron when administered together with a meal with a high iron bioavailability
  • reduces cortisol levels during periods of stress

Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM

This organism is able to survive in the gastrointestinal tract, adhere to human epithelial cells in vitro, utilise prebiotics such as fructo-oligosaccharides, modulate the host immune response, and prevent microbial gastroenteritis. It has also been shown to aid the digestive process, specifically in those who have lactose intolerance. When combined with Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07, L. acidophilus NCFM was found to alleviate bloating in individuals with functional bowel disorders such as IBS.

Overall, L. acidophilus NCFM is a good allrounder to support heathy digestion, prevent pathogens in the gut and replenish levels of good bacteria for general wellbeing.

Fast facts

Not finding what probiotic best suits you? Here’s a quick summary of other well researched strains.

The benefits of specific probiotic strainsBifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010—effective against constipation in adults

Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus Lcr35—useful for constipation in children
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Lactobacillus fermentum RC-14—prevention or treatment of bacterial vaginosis
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Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 & dsm 17938—management of infant colic
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B. animalis subsp. lactis BI-04—reduction of risk of upper respiratory illness

Lactobacillus paracasei LP-33—reduces symptoms of allergic rhinitis and improves quality of life
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There’s a plethora of probiotics out there and you could be wasting your money if it’s not a researched strain. Make sure you buy probiotics from a reputable company and select a product that has proven efficacy in the condition you need help with.  Australia’s best online discount chemist


Segers MELebeer S. Towards a better understanding of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG--host interactions. Microb Cell Fact. 2014 Aug 29;13 Suppl 1:S7

Kelesidis T. Efficacy and safety of the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii for the prevention and therapy of gastrointestinal disorders. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2012 Mar; 5(2): 111–125

Didari T, et al. Effectiveness of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: Updated systematic review with meta-analysis. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Mar 14; 21(10): 3072–3084

Hoppe M, et al. Freeze-dried Lactobacillus plantarum 299v increases iron absorption in young females—Double isotope sequential single-blind studies in menstruating women. PLoS One. 2017; 12(12): e0189141

Andersson H, et al. Oral Administration of Lactobacillus plantarum 299v Reduces Cortisol Levels in Human Saliva during Examination Induced Stress: A Randomized, Double-Blind Controlled Trial. Int J Microbiol. 2016; 2016: 8469018

Fijan S. Microorganisms with Claimed Probiotic Properties: An Overview of Recent Literature. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 May; 11(5): 4745–4767

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