Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii) is a yeast that occurs naturally in the human digestive system. Some studies suggest that taking S. boulardii as a probiotic may help with certain conditions, such as traveler’s diarrhea.
This article provides an overview of the uses and benefits of S. boulardii probiotics.
Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast that scientists discovered in the peels of
S. boulardii CNCM I-745 has some properties that make it potentially useful as a probiotic. It can survive the harsh conditions of the stomach. Acidic environments, high temperatures, bile, and digestive enzymes do not deactivate it, which means it can reach the intestines alive.
There is some evidence that S. boulardii may have benefits for several digestive conditions. S. boulardii may help with:
A 2019 review found that, in comparison with two other probiotics, S. boulardii is significantly more effective for preventing traveler’s diarrhea.
Traveler’s diarrhea occurs when a person ingests viruses, bacteria, or protozoa in food or drink while traveling.
Antibiotics can disrupt gut flora, which may lead to diarrhea during treatment. In some cases, antibiotics can also lead to dysbiosis, which is when a person’s gut flora becomes imbalanced.
According to a
H. pylori is a bacterium that many people have in their digestive tract. In some cases, it can cause indigestion and stomach ulcers.
People taking S. boulardii also have lower rates of side effects from treatment, particularly diarrhea and constipation. Fewer people also stopped their treatment in comparison to people who only took antibiotics.
Many of the potential uses of S. boulardii need more research. This includes:
C. difficile is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and can be potentially life threatening. It often occurs in people who have received antibiotics in hospital settings.
Inflammatory bowel disease
The probiotic had an anti-inflammatory effect in the mice, which may mean it has potential as a complementary therapy in humans with IBD. Human clinical trials are necessary to test this.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) refers to a group of digestive symptoms including diarrhea, constipation, and cramping. There may be several underlying causes for IBS, but scientists are still learning about this.
Other studies, including some animal studies, have shown better results regarding symptom reduction, but overall, the results have been mixed.
Similarly to S. boulardii, Candida albicans is a type of yeast that occurs in the human digestive tract. However, it is opportunistic, meaning that if it gets an opportunity to grow and spread, it will. This can happen if a person takes antibiotics, or if they have a weakened immune system.
Dyslipidemia is when a person has imbalanced lipids in their blood, including cholesterol and triglycerides.
There is not much research on S. boulardii probiotics and their side effects. Some studies have found it caused constipation in those undergoing treatment for C. difficile, but otherwise, there is little information.
Other probiotics can cause side effects such as bloating and gas.
S. boulardii probiotics are
People with critical illnesses or weakened immune systems may be vulnerable to fungal infections if they take S. boulardii probiotics.
If a person has severe disease in the intestines, or a catheter inside the body, it is also possible for yeast to get into the bloodstream. This condition is known as Saccharomyces fungemia, and it is a medical emergency.
Rarely, a person may experience an allergic reaction to S. boulardii probiotics.
Under the right circumstances, any live microbe can carry risks. Because of this, anyone thinking about trying S. boulardii should consult a doctor first to ensure it is safe.
S. boulardii is not a proven treatment for any medical condition. Even in cases where research suggests it helps, it is often a supportive or complementary therapy, as it is in
People should speak with a doctor if they want to add S. boulardii to their treatment plan. They should also consult a doctor if they have digestive symptoms and do not yet have a diagnosis.
S. boulardii is a type of yeast that
However, many of the studies on S. boulardii have limitations, and none so far have proven it works as a standalone treatment for any medical condition. Additionally, it is not a safe supplement for everyone. Check with a doctor before trying S. boulardii probiotics.