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Although Saccharomyces Boulardii is generally referred to as being as “probiotic” it is actually a non-pathogenic yeast microbe. Essentially, it is a type of Fungus.
It has many uses but in particular can be used to help fight and prevent diarrhoea (including antibiotic associated diarrhea, and travellers’ diarrhea), and is also commonly used by people fighting clostridium difficile infections.
It contains certain properties that allow it to reach your gut intact and alive, thereby providing your gut with important compounds that help it to work better.
Many people have never heard of it but is has safely been used for over 50 years now, during which time a number of studies have been carried out, many clearly showing how beneficial this yeast can be to our health and wellbeing.
Saccharomyces Boulardii is a non-sporing yeast meaning the chances of it relocating to other areas of your body, from the gut, where it could cause problems, is reduced.
It is also transient meaning it won't lead to colonisation of your digestive tract, but it does remain in the body for longer due to certain clustering effects it uses. It can live in your body for up to 3 days, providing numerous benefits (described below).
It was by chance that Saccharomyces Boulardii was discovered. A French scientist, Henry Boulard, was visiting IndoChina in 1920. During his time there he noticed some locals weren’t actually succumbing to Cholera, and these people were drinking a tea made from the skins of mangosteen and lychees. He decided to investigate further and doing so he was able to isolate the yeast in the fruits’ skins, and identify its protective properties. As a result of his discovery it was decided that this beneficial yeast would be named after him.
Below we have listed some potential benefits of Saccharomyces Boulardii. This is a strain for which there are no specific confirmed health claims but the list below is rather what certain studies have indicated MAY be the benefit. But suffice to say, always check with your doctor before using, and don't consider it to be something to treat or cure a condition.
There are certain compounds within Saccharomyces Boulardii that may reduce how long a person suffers diarrhea for, while also potentially helping to prevent its occurrence in the future.
It has also been shown that it may shorten the time a child suffers diarrhea for, as well as helping them to regain lost weight quicker.
Studies carried out also show that taking saccharomyces boulardii when taking a course of antibiotics may be beneficial, as it may help to reduce the risk of developing antibiotic associated diarrhea.
It's also linked with proving useful in the treatment of diarrhea when travelling.
There is some evidence to suggest that saccharomyces boulardii can be useful in the treatment of patients with diarrhea predominant (or mixed type) Irritable Bowel Syndrome, improving the quality of life for these sufferers (though appears to have limited effects on individual symptoms). More work needs to be done in this area, but the significant improvement in quality of life is an encouraging sign.
A study on rats treated with Ibuprofen showed that saccharomyces boulardii helped to reduce the number of gastric ulcers in their stomachs.
Saccharomyces Boulardii may prove an effective addition for treating people with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis...
In a study on mice with IBD, saccharomyces boulardii helped to limit the infiltration of TH1 cells into a colon that was inflamed. It also helped to inhibit production of proinflammatory cytokines in the mice (the same was also shown in rats).
A further study on mice with IBD found additional benefits...
Not only did saccharomyces boulardii reduce inflammation in the colon, but it also helped to prevent colonisation of the intestines by C. Albicans in mice with colitis.
Studies have also shown that it may help to reduce the number of bowel movements experienced by people with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis.
This study showed that when added to baseline therapy for this disease it helped to reduce the permeability of the intestine (a critical step).
Studies have shown that Saccharomyces Boulardii can be effective at helping to fight Clostridum Difficule infections, and taking it alongside antibiotics in some cases may to help prevent first episodes of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea.
Saccharomyces Boulardii has been shown to have a positive effect on patients suffering with H-Pylori infection, and can play a part in its eradication (though is not the only method of treatment needed in these cases).
Saccharomyces Boulardii may have beneficial effects for people suffering with certain infections. For example, studies have shown that it may reduce the number of E.Coli found in children, can help to treat Blastocystis Hominis infections as well as Metronidazole, and positively affects C. albicans adhesion and reduces cytokine-mediated inflammatory host response.
In one study, on mice, Saccharomyces Boulardii was shown to help modify metabolism and was associated with changes in gut microbes, and reduced fat mass, hepatic steatosis, and inflammatory tone, thereby suggesting that it may have benefit for people living with obesity and/or type 2 diabetes.
In a study on rats, s boulardii was shown to slow the progress of liver fibrosis, and help support liver function.
A study showed that a daily dose of Saccharomcyes Boulardii may help to treat or prevent coronary artery disease. It helps to lower the levels of remnant lipoprotein in someone - a predictive biomarker and potential therapeutic target in the treatment and prevention of CAD.
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