Saccharomyces boulardii

  • What is Saccharomyces boulardii?

A significant probiotic that can maintain flora in the small and large intestine and also re-colonize it is Saccharomyces boulardii or S. boulardii. This non-pathogenic and unique yeast is mostly important for the intestinal tract and it is usually taken as a probiotic supplement for maintaining the gastrointestinal health. The intestinal population of bifidobacteria is increased while the harmful bacteria that cause diseases are decreased. Usually, it is best to keep a supplement regimen for at least 3-4 weeks or 2 weeks after the diarrhea disappeared. It can also be combined with antibacterial pills and probiotic supplements.

S. boulardii is a type of yeast that doesn’t attach the cells that form the intestinal lumen yet it exerts its effects while it’s present in the gastrointestinal tract. It also is completely not related to Candida tropicals, C. albicans, C. kruise and so on, typically known as the species that lower the acidity of the gastrointestinal substances making the body more sensitive to yeast and disease-causing bacteria. Since it produces lactic acids and many more, S. boulardii actually has the opposite effects, inhibiting the disease caused by Candida.

Studies performed on animals had proven the beneficial effect of S. boulardii over the Candida yeast infection that multiplies in the intestine.

  • Health benefits

Probiotics are bacterial microorganisms; however, S. boulardii is classified as yeast, a form of fungus that is also used for baking. Medline Plus states that it can be taken orally by adults without medical problems, although it can rarely cause gas. In extreme cases it can induce fungemia, a fungal infection that might affect the bloodstream. Since this probiotic is used in various treatments, you should consult a doctor before taking it. Also, you should not use it if you have an immune disorder.

According to an article from 2009, acute and infectious diarrhea was proven to be treated by taking Saccharomyces boulardii, especially when caused by the use of antibiotics. It is not well-known why S. boulardii manages to treat it, however it is thought that it helps the lining of the gastrointestinal walls to reject damaging pathogens. This can also boost immunity.

This yeast has also shown beneficial effects in treating Crohn’s disease, an illness that produces inflammation in the digestive tract. If the walls of those organs swell, the patient can suffer from painful diarrhea.

  • Medical benefits

Helicobacter pylorus is a pathogen that can cause an infection leading to peptic ulcer. S. boulardii, used together with a treatment that is typically called “triple therapy” is thought to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment and also eradicate the Helicobacter pylori pathogen. This was stated by the “Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics” that also reported an alleviation of diarrhea that generally appeared in patients undergoing the triple therapy.

The “Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology” from December 2009 stated that S. boulardii proved to be efficient in the treatment of Clostridium difficile disease, which can cause nausea, fever, diarrhea in individuals with compromised immune system. However, further studies must be carried out in order to confirm it as an addition to traditional therapies.

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