Lactobacillus Rhamnosus: Health Benefits and Possible Side Effects | 1MD Nutrition™

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Lactobacillus Rhamnosus: Health Benefits and Possible Side Effects

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is one of the most common bacteria found in the body. It helps to produce lactase, which breaks down lactose sugars into lactic acid. Read on to learn more about its benefits.

12 minute read

Last Updated June 1, 2022

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus: Health Benefits and Possible Side Effects

The body contains trillions of bacteria, most of which are beneficial to your health, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus, or L. rhamnosus. In fact, this is one of the most common bacteria found living in the human body.

As part of the lactobacillus genus, this bacterium produces the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose sugars into lactic acid. Lactic acid is beneficial for maintaining a healthy microbiome and supporting gut health and proper nutrient absorption. Lactic acid also promotes antioxidant capacity to support the health of all tissues in the body. 

L. rhamnosus has adapted in a way that allows it to resist stomach acid, to travel safely to the intestinal tract. Here, it is able to colonize your digestive tract to help protect against common environmental threats.

L. rhamnosus has a great affinity for intestinal mucosal cells, which allows it to colonize and thrive within the human gut. There are a variety of L. rhamnosus strains, each with its own strain-specific gene functions, allowing it to adapt to a wide range of environments.

Beneficial bacteria like this are called probiotics, and they support functions and systems within the body. L. rhamnosus, like other probiotics, produce lactic acid once they are settled in the gut, which protects against everyday toxins and promotes healthy microbiome balance.

The Health Benefits of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

Probiotics like L. rhamnosus are known for aiding healthy digestion, but there are additional areas within the body where these bacteria can provide support.

Immune System Support

70% of your immune system lives in your gut. This means the bacterial community in your gut does more than just digest food. These microbes are essential to overall health and immunity. Probiotics like L. rhamnosus maintain bacterial balance, thus protecting you from everyday environmental threats.  These bacteria may live in your gut, but they support immune system function in several ways. 

By promoting microbiome balance, this probiotic may help your body take on environmental threats by supporting healthy immune responses. Because of its ability to travel successfully through the digestive tract and acids, L. rhamnosus is one of the most advantageous probiotics to take. 

Probiotics such as L.rhamnosus also promote the production of antibodies and other immune cells, specifically T-lymphocytes, which help promote a strong immune response.

Digestive Health

By helping to fight off environmental threats and reducing occasional oxidative stress within the gut, L. rhamnosus supports gut lining health, allowing nutrients to be properly absorbed and bowel movements to become regular. By supporting gut wall integrity, this powerful probiotic also helps reduce common digestive problems such as bloating, swelling, and upset stomach.

L. rhamnosus also produces beneficial short-chain fatty acids, such as acetate and butyrate. These compounds are produced when L. rhamnosus ferments fiber consumed through your diet, and it then becomes the source of nourishment and maintenance for the cells lining your intestinal walls. 

Oral Health

A diet that is high in fats and sugar is commonly associated with poor dental health. The underlying reason is typically unbalanced mouth bacteria. When there is not enough probiotics to maintain healthy balance in the mouth, tooth enamel is broken down. Taking probiotics like L. rhamnosus can promote a healthy balance of bacteria in your body and in your mouth, to help fight everyday toxins in the mouth.

Heart Health

L. rhamnosus can help support healthy blood sugar levels. When blood glucose is not properly absorbed or utilized in the body, it can build up, which affects your metabolic and heart health. By helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels, L. rhamnosus helps support arterial health and circulation. Cholesterol also plays a role in heart health, and L. rhamnosus supports healthy cholesterol levels which promotes circulation, arterial health, and blood pressure.

Taking Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

Probiotics are measured by the number of living organisms within a capsule. A standard L. rhamnosus capsule will contain 10 billion live bacteria (10 billion CFU). 

Always take the recommended dose listed on the supplement label or the dose your doctor has advised for you. L. rhamnosus can be taken with or without food, but it should never be consumed in quantities larger than recommended. 

This probiotic is typically taken in capsule form, but you can open the capsule and sprinkle the powder into food if that is easier for you. You can even find L. rhamnosus in certain dairy foods, such as yogurt.

Side Effects and Warnings

L. rhamnosus is considered safe for adult consumption and should always be taken as recommended by a healthcare practitioner. Speak with your doctor before taking any new supplements, especially if you are currently taking any medications, have any serious health conditions, or are pregnant or nursing. 

Report any changes to your doctor in case you need to stop taking the probiotic, or switch to a lower CFU count.

The Bottom Line

L. rhamnosus is a beneficial bacterium that is found naturally in the human gut. It helps support a healthy bacterial balance in the gut to promote proper digestion and defend against everyday toxins. You can add these bacteria through food like yogurt or add it to your daily health routine as a part of a doctor-formulated probiotic supplement.