Dr. Rose, M.D. (researcher)

Evan Jerkunica (writer)

What Is Saccharomyces Boulardii?

Saccharomyces boulardii, also known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is useful for relieving diarrhea related illnesses, and also fighting some infections like H pylori.

S. boulardii was first discovered on lychee and mangosteen fruit in 1923. The French researcher named Boulard saw that natives in Southeast Asia chewed on lychee and mangosteen fruits when infected with cholera. S boulardii helped control diarrhea and nausea associated with cholerastudy.

S. boulardii, like other probiotic organisms, produces proteins and chemicals that inhibit the growth of pathogens. This allows healthy bacteria and yeast to flourish in the gut. These proteins inhibit pathogenic bacterial adhesion to the intestinal wall.

Well-researched benefits

  • Prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, in adults and children (This is a recommended use of S boulardii in a Cochrane Review, which is a very high scientific bar!)
  • Treatment of Clostridium difficile infection
  • Treatment of HIV/AIDS-related diarrhea
  • Treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Treatment of acute viral gastroenteritis

S Boulardii Fights C. Difficile

S. boulardii is helpful in the prevention of antibiotic-associated colitisstudy [Warila]. This is a condition where antibiotics disrupt the healthy bacteria in the gut and allow the overgrowth of a pathogenic gut bacteria, C. difficile. S bourlardii supplementation appears to be effective in adults and children. Because of its safety and efficacy, the use of S. boulardii as prevention was recommended in a Cochrane Reviewstudy. Another study evaluating the available literature agreed.study

If a person does contract C. difficile infection, S. boulardii also helps reduce the symptoms and reduce relapses.

Helps HIV/AIDS Patients Gain Weight & Reduce Diarrhea

S. boulardii is also helpful in the treatment of HIV/AIDS related diarrhea. People with this disability complication of HIV not only improved but gained weight. Even though HIV/AIDS patients are immunocompromised by definition, there were no complications seen after giving S. boulardiistudy.[Villar-Garcia]

Helps Treat Stomach Ulcer Causing Bacteria

Helicobacter pylori is known to be the cause of stomach ulcers. Adding S. boulardii to the usual triple therapy for H. pylori significantly improved treatment outcomes, with better eradication ratesstudy.[Namkin] In addition, treatment of H. pylori often results in diarrhea, and giving S. boulardii helped reduce that diarrhea.

The evidence of efficacy of S. boulardii in viral gastroenteritis is not as strong, more research studies are needed.

How I Supplement S Boulardi

Personally, I always take S boulardi with antibiotics to help prevent antibiotic associated diarrhea.study

I also carry a bottle of S boulardi when traveling in case I contract food poisoning. Since it is a yeast it survives heat better than other probiotics.

Side effects

There have been reports of systemic infection with S. boulardii seen in severely immunocompromised patientsstudy.[Lherm] While this is rare, it is potentially lethal. On the other hand, immunocompromised HIV/AIDS patients tolerate it safely. Overall, it is considered safe in healthy individuals. If you are immunocompromised, please work closely with a doctor before taking the probiotic S boulardii.

Full Reference List

  1. Buts JP. Twenty-five years of research on Saccharomyces boulardii trophic effects: updates and perspectives. Digestive diseases and sciences. 2009 Jan 1;54(1):15-8.
  2. Warila R, Hoover R. The role of Saccharomyces boulardii in the treatment of refractory recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. International Journal of Food and Allied Sciences. 2017 Sep 30;3(1):20-6.
  3. Goldenberg JZ, Yap C, Lytvyn L, Lo CK, Beardsley J, Mertz D, Johnston BC. Probiotics for the prevention of Clostridium difficile‐associated diarrhea in adults and children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017(12).
  4. Villar-García J, Hernández JJ, Güerri-Fernández R, González A, Lerma E, Guelar A, Saenz D, Sorlí L, Montero M, Horcajada JP, Freud HK. Effect of probiotics (Saccharomyces boulardii) on microbial translocation and inflammation in HIV-treated patients: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2015 Mar 1;68(3):256-63.
  5. Namkin K, Zardast M, Basirinejad F. Saccharomyces Boulardii in Helicobacter pylori Eradication in children: A randomized trial from Iran. Iranian journal of pediatrics. 2016 Feb;26(1).
  6. Lherm T, Monet C, Nougière B, Soulier M, Larbi D, Le Gall C, Caen D, Malbrunot C. Seven cases of fungemia with Saccharomyces boulardii in critically ill patients. Intensive care medicine. 2002 Jun 1;28(6):797-801.
  7. Cindoruk M, Erkan G, Karakan T, Dursun A, Unal S. Efficacy and safety of Saccharomyces boulardii in the 14‐day triple anti‐Helicobacter pylori therapy: a prospective randomized placebo‐controlled double‐blind study. Helicobacter. 2007 Aug;12(4):309-16.
  8. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1523-5378.2007.00516.x
  9. Szajewska H, Kołodziej M. Systematic review with meta‐analysis: Saccharomyces boulardii in the prevention of antibiotic‐associated diarrhoea. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics. 2015 Oct;42(7):793-801.
  10. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/apt.13344

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