Saccharomyces boulardii is active yeast-like microorganism believed to be a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (commonly known as brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeast), that is extracted from the skins of tropical fruits such as lychee and mangosteen.
Boulardii has been found to be an effective probiotic (a friendly organism that helps to fight off “bad” organisms that may cause diseases) in double-blind clinical studies, and it helps treat specific types of diarrhea. S. Boulardii produces polyamines such as spermine and spermidine, two mucosal molecules that help restore damaged mucous membranes and protect them from further damage.
Therefore, boulardii is sometimes used as a probiotic with the intention to introduce beneficial microbes into the large and small intestines and improve protection against pathogens.
Saccharomyces boulardii is named after Henri Boulard, a French scientist who discovered in 1923 that the people of Southeast Asia used the skins of the two tropical fruits mentioned above for a number of useful properties, such as attempts to control the symptoms of cholera.
Here in this article, we will list the health benefits and medicinal uses of S. Boulardii. Some of these health benefits are backed by stronger scientific evidence, while support for the others is less conclusive.
What is Biofilm and Its Function?
The normal intestinal microflora has a characteristic anatomical structure in the form of a biofilm. Biofilm contains a community of beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms. It covers the intestinal mucosa from the inside, and protects it against dehydration, chemical and physical attack, parasites, as well as against pathogenic microorganisms that are all harmful to your body.
Therefore, biofilm prevents the penetration of toxins and allergens secreted by them into the intestinal mucosa. It is the first line of defense against infections. That’s why people with impaired microflora are more susceptible to infectious diseases.
Why is a Healthy Mucosa Important?
Damage to the mucous membranes makes it possible for food macromolecules and metabolites to enter the bloodstream, which can disrupt the immune system and lead to autoimmune diseases.
Virtually all people with acquired immunodeficiency have shifted the ratio of beneficial to harmful bacteria in favor of harmful ones, and the intestinal mucosa has become contaminated or destroyed. However, healthy mucosa prevents or slows down the entry of pathogens into the bloodstream.
Saccharomyces Boulardii Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses
Today, Saccharomyces Boulardii is used in the treatment for various conditions and diseases such as:
- Preventive treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) in children and adults.
- Diarrhea from Clostridium difficile infection and recurrent Clostridium difficile infection.
- HIV/AIDS-associated diarrhea.
- Diarrhea in children caused by rotavirus.
- Elimination of Helicobacter pylori infection (a digestive tract infection that can lead to ulcers) and decreasing common side effects of H. pylori standard treatment including diarrhea and nausea.
- Acute gastroenteritis.
- S. boulardii has also been shown to decrease body weight in an animal model of type 2 diabetes.
- To prevent a serious intestinal disease in premature infants (necrotizing enterocolitis or NEC).
- To prevent traveler’s diarrhea.
- Some people use Saccharomyces boulardii also for a number of other conditions and purposes, though more high quality scientific evidence is needed to rate S. boulardii for these uses:
- Amoeba infections (amebiasis).
- Crohn’s disease.
- Lyme disease.
- Fever blisters.
- Canker sores.
- Lactose intolerance.
- Inflammation of the mouth, thrush, angina, ear, esophagus and bronchial mucosa.
- Stomach ulcers, gastritis and heartburn.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Ulcerative colitis (UC).
- Cystic fibrosis.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Yeast infections.
- High cholesterol.
- Diarrhea caused by salmonella.
- In tick-borne disease.
- Vaccination and radiation treatment problems.
- Gas pain in babies.
- In addition, acute stress-related gut dysmotility (1, 2, 3, 4).
NB! The information provided here is for informational purposes only, so do not consider it as health care or medical diagnosis and treatment. Do not consider this information as a guarantee of the results you want to achieve. In addition, do not take this information as a replacement for the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional.
Even more, you should not use it to diagnose or treat a health problem. Before changing or discontinuing your existing medication, treatment, or care, or taking any dietary supplements, be sure to consult with your healthcare professional or doctor before starting any diet or program, or if you suspect you may have a medical condition.
Written by Maria-Helena Loik
Pictures: Pexels.com, Pixabay.com, Shutterstock.com
- Saccharomyces boulardii – Wikipedia
- Effects of Saccharomyces cerevisiae or boulardii yeasts on acute stress induced intestinal dysmotility (nih.gov)
- SACCHAROMYCES BOULARDII: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews (webmd.com)
- Saccharomyces Boulardii: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dose & Precautions (rxlist.com)
- Review article: yeast as probiotics — Saccharomyces boulardii – PubMed (nih.gov)