September 19, 2016
387 Boulardii – the Probiotic Yeast [19 Sept 2016]
There is one probiotic that is not a beneficial bacteria – it’s a beneficial yeast. Saccharomyces boulardii is not related to the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. Because it is a yeast and not a bacteria, boulardii has many special benefits.
First, it is not affected by antibiotics so can be used to maintain beneficial bowel flora while taking antibiotics (which affect only bacteria). It is however affected by antifungal drugs so should be taken a few hours away from such medications.
Boulardii has proven effective in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea. It also helps control more serious acute or persistent diarrhea and diarrhea in children.
Boulardii has been shown helpful in the treatment, and especially prevention, of Traveler’s Diarrhea, which is caused by unfamiliar “bugs” in the water. Boulardii keeps fairly well at room temperature so makes the ideal travel probiotic. Start a week before you leave on a holiday and then take the bottle with you.
Boulardii is proving to be an important adjunct in treating Clostridium difficile (commonly known as C-diff), a common, highly contagious, and difficult to treat bacterial infection. Taking boulardii along with the antibiotic treatment significantly reduces the rate of recurrence of C. difficile infection. Boulardii produces an enzyme which breaks down C. difficile toxin A, stimulates antibody production against toxin A, and inhibits adhesion of C. diff to the intestinal walls.
Another difficult to treat infection that boulardii is proving helpful with is Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria recently found to cause peptic ulcers. Taken with the antibiotic treatment, boulardii increases the rate of recovery and also helps prevent diarrhea, a common side effect of the antibiotic treatment.
Caution – severe diarrhea is potentially serious and requires medical aid. Boulardii and other probiotics seem to work best in conjunction with the appropriate antibiotic treatment, but in mild cases may be effective on their own.
In summary, supplementing with Saccharomyces boulardii could help prevent and treat diarrhea caused by antibiotic treatment, and prove helpful along with antibiotics for serious infections like C. diff and H. pylori. Boulardii has also been used for a variety of bowel conditions involving dysbiosis like IBS, IBD, Crohn’s disease, and colitis.
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.