Saccharomyces boulardii: When a Yeast is Good

Here’s a testimonial about the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii that we recently came across on the website http://www.florastories.com/. No doubt there’s a connection between the site and the product tradenamed Florastor, but nonetheless this is an important clarification for those wondering about the relationship between other yeasts and the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii.

Note that the NYBC purchasing co-op has stocked Florastor for several years, and its predecessor DAAIR imported a similar product from Europe for a decade longer. So we have accumulated a store of knowledge about its usefulness and do have confidence in the reliability of its formulation. (By the way, a Consumer Labs review last year gave Florastor good marks, confirming our view.)

Here’s the clarification about “yeast” and Saccharomyces boulardii:

Yeast. It’s a word that makes many women cringe.

And it comes as no surprise, according to Patricia Raymond, MD, board-certified gastroenterologist, author and assistant professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School. For many women, the thought of yeast conjures up bad thoughts of yeast infections.

“Before I was a gastroenterologist, I was a physician,” says Dr. Raymond. “Before I was a physician, I was a medical student. Before I was a medical student, I was a regular woman and frankly, yeast was not my friend. Anything that causes you to lose your self-confidence, lowers your self-image and destroys your sex life is not a friend.”

What many people don’t know is that there are different varieties of yeast. Candida albicans is the yeast infection-causing yeast that many women have learned to hate, while Saccharomyces is a beneficial yeast that can be broken down into different types.

For example, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a brewer’s yeast that’s used in making wine, bread and beer, while Saccharomyces boulardii is a powerful probiotic that’s been clinically shown to maintain and restore the natural flora in our small and large intestines.

“For those women who have never had a positive relationship with yeast, fear not – pharmaceutical yeast doesn’t equal yeast infection,” Dr. Raymond reports. “In the last several years, there have been more and more studies – clinical trials on humans – using yeast, using specifically Saccharomyces boulardii, and, as a practicing gastroenterologist, I have come to the conclusion that yeast is, in fact, good.”

This website entry then goes on to detail some of the main applications of Saccharomyces boulardii: preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea; managing traveler’s diarrhea; treating recurrence of C. diff (Clostridium difficile).

For more information, see the NYBC entry:

Florastor,

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