Usually, we think “yeast” and either imagine baking bread or some sort of infection, but we usually don’t think “probiotics.” Of course, it should come as no surprise that probiotics are an important part of your health. All you have to do is walk past the yogurt section and the word is on every label.
Probiotics are the good bacteria, just as the ones living in your gut, and they help to defend against the bad microorganisms. There also happens to be a type of yeast that is particularly beneficial in much the same way, and one you should get to know.
S. boulardii (Saccharomyces boulardii) is categorized as a probiotic but is actually a form of yeast. Unlike most of the yeasts we come across, this one is beneficial to your health.
When it comes to yeast, humans are most familiar with Candida, which lives in our bodies. While harmless for the most part, this yeast can grow when health is poor and take over, causing illness.
S. boulardii is the opposite and works in conjunction with probiotics to boost your health.
This yeast is not a bacterium (yeasts are a type of fungus) but still functions like a probiotic. It has been a highly recommended supplement with regards to the treatment of digestive issues like diarrhea for years.
By helping to regulate the digestive system and promoting intestinal health, S. boulardii is a key player in overall health. The maintenance of a healthy gut lining is essential to immune system function, and this yeast definitely has a starring role.
There are several ways in which this yeast (or probiotic) works to help your health.
♦ Luminal action: This yeast has the ability to disrupt the actions of disease-causing pathogens, specifically their attachment to healthy cells. They are also able to interact with your microbiota and immune cells to regulate immune activity and optimize short-chain fatty acid levels.
♦ Trophic action: This yeast boosts the metabolic activity of your mucosa which in turn increases production and release of polyamines. These are known to stimulate the enzymes in your colon, which enhances digestion, absorption, and improves intestinal wall health. S. boulardii also promotes the release of IgA which boosts your gut’s immunity.
♦ Anti-inflammatory signaling action: S. boulardii works directly on cellular signals and is able to reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines. By reducing the presence of inflammatory markers, gut health improves, as many digestive issues are associated with inflammation.
♦ S. boulardii is now easily found in supplements to boost digestive health. Classified as a probiotic, this yeast is mainly known for promoting better gut health and successfully treating a number of gastrointestinal issues.
♦ S. boulardii can also help in the treatment of urinary tract infections, acne, and yeast infections. While studies are limited as to how the yeast helps these conditions, research has shown positive improvements when the supplement is taken as part of a prescribed treatment program.
♦ Studies have found that this helpful yeast can prevent diarrhea associated with the overuse of antibiotics as well as diarrhea associated with travel. This means that, should you be traveling or if you need to follow a course of antibiotics for another condition, you should have a supplement on-hand containing S. boulardii to help prevent diarrhea, upset stomach, and other digestive issues.
♦ S. boulardii can also help with ulcerative colitis. When combined with prescribed ulcerative colitis medications, this yeast has been shown to reduce the number of flare-ups reported. It is thought that the anti-inflammatory effects of the yeast help to prevent intestinal agitation and therefore, prevent flare-ups and the associated pain and discomfort.
♦ S. boulardii has been found to prevent the growth of certain pathogens such as the Candida yeast. This pathogenic yeast lives in every human and needs to be kept under control. By having the beneficial yeast S. boulardii on hand, you can keep Candida under control as it helps to neutralize the bacterial toxins.
♦ As part of a regular supplement program, S. boulardii can help to improve the health of your natural gut microbiome. By optimizing the use of short-chain fatty acids, it can promote the growth of healthy and helpful gut bacteria. The stronger your gut flora community is, the better able you can defend against inflammation and digestive disorders.
♦ Research has found that S. boulardii supplements can help reduce symptoms of Crohn’s disease. By promoting gut health and lessening overall bowel movement frequency, the discomfort associated with Crohn’s disease can be reduced. While it is not a cure for Crohn’s disease, it can certainly reduce symptoms and promote overall gut health and integrity.
More and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of probiotics and high-quality supplements containing S. boulardii are sure to be the next best thing in gut health.
While Saccharomyces boulardii is a clinically-proven probiotic that will be useful in promoting gut health as well as overall well-being, it is important to remember that it is not a cure. Combining the supplement with a balanced diet is the best way to achieve optimal gut health.