Health Benefits of Lactobacillus
Lactobacillus is a VIP member of the gut microbiome. You might also know them by the name Lactic Acid Bacteria or LAB. These rod-shaped gram-positive, bacteria produce lactic acid as a by-product of glucose metabolism. Various species of Lactobacillus are commercially used on functional foods such as yogurt, sour milk, cheese, fermented vegetables, and beverages. It’s even used in the production of high-quality probiotic supplements along with other probiotics. Below are the health benefits of Lactobacillus probiotics:
- Treatment of diarrhea
Taking probiotic supplements with Lactobacillus helps prevent:
- Diarrhea associated with antibiotics
- Infectious diarrhea. The most well-studied strain of
Lactobacillus appears to reduce the chance of diarrhea by 60% to 70% within two days of antibiotic treatment. L. acidophilus may help prevent and reduce diarrhea associated with various infections such as C. difficile. L. rhamnosus and L. GG can reduce the risk of diarrhea from all causes in undernourished children.
- Prevention of pylori infection
- pylori infection occurs when H. pylori bacteria infect your stomach. Even though this strain typically doesn't lead to symptoms, it can lead to some kinds of diseases, like peptic ulcers and gastritis.
Studies suggest that taking Lactobacillus along with other medications can help treat peptic ulcers. However, it can’t help treat peptic ulcers when taken alone.
- Preventing the development of allergic reactions
Certain strains of Lactobacillus can prevent the development of allergic reactions such as:
- Hay fever
- Runny nose
People with grass pollen allergy who don't respond to the anti-allergy drug loratadine can improve their quality of life by 18% after taking 2 billion colony-forming units of lactobacillus daily for 5 weeks. In children with seasonal allergies, taking 10 billion CFU for 12 weeks can help improve the symptoms.
- Reducing the symptoms of eczema
Eczema is a skin condition where the skin becomes inflamed, resulting in pain and itchiness. Evidence suggests that taking Lactobacillus probiotic can reduce the symptoms of eczema in both adults and children. It can also prevent eczema from developing.
- Lowering the cholesterol level
Taking probiotic supplements with L. acidophilus or in combination with prebiotics can help reduce cholesterol levels by about 10 mg per dL and low-density lipoprotein by about 9 mg per dL.
- Treating vaginal infection
Lactobacillus helps prevent bacterial vaginosis and other bacteria from growing out of control inside the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and trichomoniasis result from vaginal imbalances. Vaginal imbalances may also cause urinary tract infections.
The research found that women who ate yogurts containing the species L. acidophilus had a larger amount of lactobacillus in their vaginas. They are also less likely to experience bacterial vaginosis.
- Treating ulcerative colitis
A type of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis causes ulcers and inflammation in the digestive tract. It particularly affects the mucus lining of the big intestine and rectum. Taking lactobacillus probiotics along with Bifidobacterium and streptococcus seems to maintain remission in 85% of people with this condition..