Dr. Rose, M.D. (researcher)
Evan Jerkunica (writer)
Lactobacillus fermentum is a probiotic bacteria. Supplementation helps improve immunity, fight digestive diseases and even reduce LDL cholesterol.
But even more important, L fermentum helps make my favorite bread, sourdough ;)
Fermentum lives in our mouths, guts and vaginas. Infants typically acquire L fermentum during vaginal birth. This probiotic can survive stomach acid and get to our intestines without issue.
L fermentum has been studied deeply by scientists. I just give a quick list here, but lower in the article I go over the research studies that lead to each of those health benefits:
Recently, scientists discovered that L fermentum produces antimicrobial and antioxidant chemicals in our intestines.K These antimicrobial reduce the growth of some pathogenic bacteria, including gram-negative pathogens and gram-positive organisms such as Enterococci and Staphylococcus aureusA.
Through fermentation, L fermentum also produces the mega-antioxidant, glutathione.B
As a result of its metabolism, certain chemical byproducts are produced that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, including acetic, lactic and succinic acids. Lactobacillus fermentum stimulates the intestinal immune system to produce cells rich in antibodies and cytokines that together signal processes that block systemic inflammation.
L fermentum may help lower LDL cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol in general contributes only a small amount to a person’s serum cholesterol level and overall lipid profile. Our bodies mostly make their own cholesterol from dietary fat. But, some cholesterol is absorbed from the diet. L fermentum seems to bind with dietary cholesterol and help break it down.
A recent double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial of 46 healthy adults showed modest decreases in LDL cholesterol with Lf supplementationD. A series of experiments at McGill university showed that the bacteria actually consumed large amounts of dietary cholesterol, and some forms of Lactobacilli may serve as effective cholesterol-lowering agents.E
Another effect of Lf is that it binds and breaks down lipid-rich bile salts, creating a similar effect to some of the original cholesterol-lowering pharmaceutical drugs such as cholestyramineF.
Lf have been used to improve the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine. LF seemed to increase the person’s T-cell function compared to the control.C. In the 5 months after the flu vaccine, people caught flu-like illnesses less often.
Lf, like other probiotics, has been studied in the treatment of several gastrointestinal disorders.
L Fermentum is a typical resident of the vagina. So scientists wanted to check if supplementing L fermentum could help fix asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis. After supplementation L fermentum + “>L rhamnosus for 60 days, vaginal yeast levels were reduced compared to the placebo group. Vaginal lactobacillus levels also returned to normal.
L fermentum given to infants as a formula after breast feeding helped to reduce the incidence of gastrointestinal and respiratory infectionsI
L ferementum is considered extremely safe….even infants have this probiotic strain in their colon. The side effects for this probiotic are extremely mild.
Here is a list of possible side effects for L fermentum supplementation:
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