Saccharomyces boulardii: new research confirms effectiveness

Saccharomyces boulardii is a very well-researched probiotic, with several hundred peer-reviewed studies to its credit, many from the past two decades. It’s now the first choice for antibiotic-associated diarrhea, C. difficile colitis, and “traveler’s diarrhea.” It can also help in addressing irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Here are some recent research highlights:

–Harvard Medical School researchers located specific pathways by which Saccharomyces boulardii decreases intestinal inflammatory responses; their 2006 report helps explain the broad range of protective effects that the probiotic exerts in a variety of gastrointestinal disorders.

–A 2006 meta-analysis (combined study of multiple individual studies) found that Saccharomyces boulardii was the only probiotic effective against Clostridium difficile disease, a common form of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

–A 2008 study, meanwhile, found that Crohn’s patients receiving Saccharomyces boulardii treatment showed significant improvements in intestinal function compared with those given a placebo (dummy pill).

–Most recently, an investigation published in 2009 found that, of a variety of probiotics, Saccharomyces boulardii was uniquely able to stimulate production of secretory IgA, the main immunoglobin found in mucus, saliva, and secretions from the intestine and lining of the lungs, and a main component of the body’s protective mechanism against pathogens. (Thus Saccharomyces boulardii may now be credited with a general immune-modulating/strengthening ability.)

References:

Sougioultzis S, Simeonidis S, Bhaskar KR, Chen X, Anton PM, Keates S, Pothoulakis C, Kelly CP. Saccharomyces boulardii produces a soluble anti-inflammatory factor that inhibits NF-kappaB-mediated IL-8 gene expression. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Apr 28;343(1):69-76.

McFarland LV. Meta-analysis of probiotics for the prevention of antibiotic associated diarrhea and the treatment of Clostridium difficile disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Apr;101(4):812-22.

Garcia Vilela E, De Lourdes De Abreu Ferrari M, Oswaldo Da Gama Torres H, Guerra Pinto A, Carolina Carneiro Aguirre A, Paiva Martins F, Marcos Andrade Goulart E, Sales Da Cunha A. Influence of Saccharomyces boulardii on the intestinal permeability of patients with Crohn’s disease in remission. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2008;43(7):842-8.

Flaviano S. Martins, Aparecida A. Silva, Angélica T. Vieira, Flávio H. F. Barbosa, Rosa M. E. Arantes, Mauro M. Teixeira and Jacques Robert Nicoli. Comparative study of Bifidobacterium animalis, Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus casei and Saccharomyces boulardii probiotic properties.
Archives of Microbiology, Volume 191, Number 8 / August, 2009.

Saccharomyces boulardii is available from NYBC as Florastor, recognized as the most reliable commercially available form of the probiotic.

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