The benefits of Probiotic Saccharomyces
23 Nov

The benefits of Probiotico Saccharomyces

Natural support for intestinal health of a probiotic yeast

Probiotics are "living microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer benefits on the health of the host". [1] You may be familiar with probiotic supplements that contain lactobacilli and / or bifidobacteria, which are families of beneficial bacteria. [2] However, there is also a species of yeast that qualifies as a probiotic: Saccharomyces boulardii, pronounced "SAK-a roe-MYE-see boo-LAR-dee-eye." [3], [4] S. boulardii is related to common baker's and beer yeast (S. cerevisiae), but there are important differences that allow the former to benefit intestinal health. [5], [6], [7]

S. boulardii has an interesting history that dates back to the last century. Yeast was discovered and named in honor of scientist Henri Boulard, who was doing research in Indochina in the 1920s. During a cholera outbreak, Boulard realized that some people who chewed on the skin of lychee and mangosteen or prepared teas from these tropical fruits did not developed symptoms of cholera. [3] He isolated a yeast strain, later called S. boulardii, which was responsible for the effects. The strains of S. boulardii used to supplement probiotics today are closely related to the Boulard strain. [8]

The properties and benefits of S. boulardii have been reported in more than 600 peer-reviewed articles and in more than 90 clinical trials.

S. boulardii reaches the peak of concentration in the intestine in 3 to 4 days and maintains a high stable level, as long as the yeast is ingested daily in adequate amounts. [5], [9] The properties and benefits of S. boulardii have been reported in more than 600 peer-reviewed articles and more than 90 clinical trials, which are highlighted here:

Supports a healthy microbiome: S. boulardii creates a favorable growth environment for the beneficial intestinal microbiota. [10], [11] It accelerates the recovery of the microbiota after antibiotics, [12], [13], [14] and increases the number of bacteria that produce butyrate, [15], [16] a short-chain fatty acid that reduces inflammation. [17]

Protects intestinal cells from damage: S. boulardii interacts with the intestinal mucosa to preserve the integrity of the epithelial cell layer, improve wound repair and reduce the loose intestine. [18], [19], [20], [21], [22]

Improves digestion: S. boulardii increases the intestinal activity of digestive enzymes, including sucrase, maltase and lactase, which can benefit people with digestive problems. [23], [24] This increase in enzyme activity may improve the absorption of carbohydrates that have been linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diarrhea. [25]

Releases nutrients: S. boulardii releases 1,500 different substances, including amino acids, nucleic acids, polyamines, antioxidants, flavonoids, B vitamins, minerals and prebiotics, such as beta-glucan, which improve the nutrition of the host and the microbiota. [3], [22], [24], [26]

Inhibits pathogens: supplementation with S. boulardii helps to protect against intestinal pathogens, including Clostridum difficile (C. difficile), and reduces the risk of diarrhea from many causes, as discussed below.

Antimicrobial effects of S. boulardii

International guidelines recommend the use of S. boulardii for children with gastroenteritis caused by rotavirus infection. [27], [28], [29] Supplementation with S. boulardii helps restore normal microbiota, an effect that is correlated with reduced diarrhea. . [30]

Supplementation of S. boulardii also reduces the risk of diarrhea from gastrointestinal infections, use of antibiotics and IBS. [31], [32], [33] In a study of individuals with IBS and diarrhea, supplementation with S. boulardii (200 mg three times daily) significantly improved IBS symptoms after one month. [34]

The probiotic activity of S. boulardii is especially relevant for antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) and C. difficile infections. [35] Diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotic administration, [36] and the use of S. boulardii can significantly reduce the incidence, duration and / or severity of AAD. [14], [37], [38], [39] S. boulardii reduces this risk in part by protecting and restoring the levels of healthy intestinal microbes. [10], [37] Since S. boulardii is affected only by antifungal drugs and not by antibiotics, it has a great advantage over bacterial probiotics for this indication. . [40]

As S. boulardii is affected only by antifungal drugs and not by antibiotics, it has a great advantage over bacterial probiotics for this indication.

C. difficile, a pathogenic bacterium that causes colitis, is actually responsible for up to 25% of AAD cases. [41], [42] Studies show that C. difficile normally and it exists at very low levels in the healthy colon, but it can flourish when antibiotics destroy a large number of protective intestinal microbes. [43] The destruction of indigenous bacteria that metabolize bile acids causes an accumulation of cholic acid, a primary bile acid, which triggers the growth of C. difficile in the intestine. [44], [45] So once C. difficile takes over, it performs a form of lime war chemotherapy, inducing other intestinal microbes to produce indole, a substance that limits the growth of beneficial bacteria and hinders the recovery of microbiota. [46]

S. boulardii has its own equally intelligent means of combating C. difficile.

Fortunately, S. boulardii has its own equally clever ways of fighting C. difficile. It prevents the accumulation of cholic acid, which slows the growth of C. difficile. [44] In this respect, the action of S. boulardii is similar to that of fecal microbiota transplantation (a more extreme approach that replaces the entire microbiota with that of a healthy individual), which can also exert its effects by modulating the bile acid composition of the colon. [47]

By these and other mechanisms, S. boulardii can also help prevent the recurrence of C. difficile infection. In one study, when S. boulardii was taken daily for one month (1 gram per day) together with high-dose vancomycin, a significant decrease in recurrences was observed in patients, with only 16.7% having a recurrence versus 50% in those just taking vancomycin. [14]

S. boulardii can also be useful for individuals with Helicobacter pylori infection, which is usually treated with two different antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor. [48], [49], [50] This combination of drugs is a double hit, because both antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors increase the risk of diarrhea and C. difficile. [51] Fortunately, the administration of probiotics can reduce the side effects of treatment with H. pylori and may even increase the overall effectiveness. [2] A recent clinical trial showed that S. boulardii, administered in conjunction with the pharmaceutical treatments indicated for H. pylori, reduced the incidence of diarrhea from 46% in the control group to just 2% in the S. boulardii group. [50]

In laboratory studies, S. boulardii has been shown to antagonize Salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Listeria and Staphylococcus aureus, suggesting a wide range of activity against these additional gastrointestinal pathogens. [52], [53], [54], [55] S. boulardii has also been shown to inhibit the growth of Candida spp., The most common cause of fungal infections in humans. [56], [57], [58] The researchers found that S. boulardii secretes capric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that strongly inhibits C. albicans. [59]

Finally, animal and human studies suggest that supplemental S. boulardii may be useful in the treatment of Giardia lamblia, a parasite that lives in contaminated water and causes the diarrheal disease known as giardiasis. [60], [61] In the United States, G lamblia is the most common intestinal parasitic disease that affects humans. [62]


If Henri Boulard were alive today, he would be surprised to discover that his discovery in 1920 of a variety of lychee yeast led to one of the most successful probiotic species of all time. The multiple mechanisms of action of S. boulardii can explain its beneficial effects in a variety of gastrointestinal conditions. Collectively, research shows that S. boulardii may be a good choice to protect and restore a healthy gut microbiota, as it protects the intestine from the harmful effects of antibiotics and also reduces the pathogen's virulence.