Gut Health

The Story of Saccharomyces Boulardii

You’ve likely heard the word ‘probiotic’ many times, and somewhat understand that it is something good for you, but what exactly is probiotic and how does it benefit us?

Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) “live microorganisms that, when consumed in adequate amounts, provide health benefits to the host.” The word “live” here is important, as for the probiotics to confer the health benefits, they need to be alive and active.

And just like us, there are actually many different types of probiotics, with different optimal living conditions and functions. Do you know that aside from good bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, there are also probiotic yeasts?

Saccharomyces boulardii or S. boulardii is a type of probiotic yeast that can offer multiple health benefits. While other yeasts such as Candida can cause harmful infections, S. boulardii is non-pathogenic and has numerous clinical studies due to its therapeutic potential.

S. boulardii is a tropical strain of yeast that was originally isolated from lychee fruit. In 1923 during a trip to Southeast Asia, a French microbiologist named Henri Boulard discovered the local population consumed lychee peels to alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms during cholera outbreaks. It sparked his curiosity to investigate further and thus, the strain was named in honor of the contributing scientist.

As mentioned before, keeping the probiotics alive is an important key factor the ensure the effectiveness. Think of the probiotics as little workers doing their best to keep your guts healthy. They also need nourishments and a suitable environment to do their work. Some probiotics are unable to survive in the harsh, acidic environments of the gastrointestinal system.

However, S. boulardii has the ability to survive the harsh conditions of the digestive tracts, including the stomach acid and bile salts. In addition, because S. boulardii is a probiotic yeast, it is also resistant to antibiotics. Unlike bacteria-based probiotics that can be killed antibiotics, S. boulardii can continue to exert its benefits even if the consumer is on antibiotics. This makes it a viable option for those who are suffering from antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD), a condition caused by the side-effects of said medication.

The potential benefits of S. boulardii extend beyond the management of AAD. This probiotic yeast has also been found to reduce the frequency and severity of infectious diarrhea (diarrhea caused by pathogen infection) and traveler’s diarrhea, a condition commonly caused by consumption of contaminated food or water during travel. In addition, S. boulardii has been studied for its potential benefits to alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as abdominal pain, bloating, and altered bowel habits.

In conclusion, S. boulardii is an extremely outstanding probiotic yeast with an extensive range of health benefits. Aside from gut health, it has also been studied as part of the management for urinary tract infections, among many other things. Another unique feature of this probiotic yeast is that it also works symbiotically with probiotic bacteria, such as L. rhamnosus GG.

If you’re curious about where to find S. boulardii, check out our Aspen Pylogard, a symbiotic formula with the combination of probiotic yeast and bacteria.
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