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Which Probiotic is Better? Yeast Saccharomyces boulardii or Lactobacillus acidophilus

Which Probiotic is Better? Yeast Saccharomyces boulardii or Lactobacillus acidophilus

With the gut microbiome lives a pool of gut bacteria known as probiotics. Among these probiotics are a variety of different strains of yeast and bacteria. Two of the most common probiotics are Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus acidophilus. Both offer a variety of studied benefits, some of which overlap. While taking both is beneficial, it’s important to understand where the two stands in their distinct benefits. Read on to learn more about how these two probiotics compare to each other.

Saccharomyces Boulardii Uses

Saccharomyces boulardii is a type of yeast that is usually derived from the skins of mangosteens, lychees, and other similar fruits.1 This yeast probiotic is especially beneficial for gastrointestinal issues, particularly diarrhea.

saccharomyces boulardii

S. boulardii for Acute Diarrhea

Acute diarrhea is characterized by loose stools with higher water content, volume, and frequency that lasts less than 14 days. The most common cause of acute diarrhea is viral gastroenteritis, which often comes from spoiled food and water.2 Studies have found that S. boulardii may be beneficial in reducing symptoms of acute diarrhea, particularly in infants and children. A meta-study of 22 different trials found that S. boulardii was capable of significantly reducing the duration of diarrhea and stool frequency within two to three days. Intervention on day three or four also reduced the risk of diarrhea.3

S. boulardii Reduces Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea

Antibiotics are known to sometimes cause diarrhea because it not only kills off bad bacteria but also beneficial gut bacteria, throwing off the balance of the gut microbiome . In a prospective double-blind controlled study, researchers gave 180 patients either S. boulardii capsules or placebo capsules. In both cases, patients were concurrently administered antibiotics. Of those who received S. boulardii, only 9.5 percent experienced diarrhea, while 22 percent in the placebo group had diarrhea. The study also showed no known adverse effects of using S. boulardii, suggesting that the yeast may be a viable option in reducing antibiotic-associated diarrhea.4

S. boulardii Lowers Chances of C. Diff Reoccurrence

Clostridium difficile infections occur as a result of disruptions in your normal healthy gut bacteria, often from antibiotic use. This can lead to diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever.5 In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group intervention study, 124 eligible patients with active C. diff-associated disease (CDD) received either a placebo and standard antibiotics or S. boulardii and standard antibiotics for a four-week period followed by four weeks of follow-up after therapy. Researchers then measured effectiveness based on the recurrence of active CDD.

Results at the end of the study showed that the group that had taken S. boulardii and standard antibiotics had a statistically significant lower relative risk of CDD recurrence at a rate of 34.6 percent, while the placebo group had a recurrence rate of 64.7 percent. The study also showed no discernible adverse reactions from using S. boulardii.6

S. boulardii May Help Prevent Traveler’s Diarrhea

Traveler’s diarrhea comes from ingesting contaminated food or water when visiting a place with a different climate or sanitary practices than what you’re used to at home.7 Studies suggest that S. boulardii may help to reduce the chances of contracting traveler’s diarrhea.

On one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers administered placebos or S. boulardii in 250 mg or 1,000 mg doses to 3,000 Austrians traveling to various distance regions. The results of the study found a significant reduction in the incidence of diarrhea among the travelers based directly on regular use of S. boulardii and the dosage. Interestingly, the study found varying effects based on region with the most pointed results in Turkey and areas in North Africa.8


Lactobacillus Acidophilus Uses

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a strain of bacteria that is naturally present in your gut and remains one of the most well-studied probiotics today.

lactobacillus acidophilus

L. acidophilus May Reduce Acute Diarrhea in Children

A clinical evaluation aimed to determine if L. acidophilus could effectively reduce symptoms of acute diarrhea in children. Subjects comprised of 73 infants aged 3 to 24 months who had been diagnosed with acute diarrhea and had mild to moderate dehydration. For the first four hours, the infants received oral rehydration therapy, followed by breast milk or undiluted milk formula with oral rehydration solution. They were then fed rice gruel and received either a placebo or a sachet containing 10 billion CFUs of lyophilized, heat-killed L. acidophilus at 12-hour intervals for five total doses.

Results showed that the L. acidophilus group had a significantly lower number of children with rotavirus after 24 hours of treatment. The L. acidophilus group also had a lower mean duration of acute diarrhea.9

L. acidophilus May Reduce Diarrhea Duration in Children with Rotavirus Infections

In a double-blind clinical trial, 29 pediatric patients presented with symptoms of viral gastroenteritis as a result of rotavirus infection were given either a placebo or six probiotic strains, including B. longum, B. lactis, L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum, P. pentosaceus, and L. acidophilus at a dose of 10 billion CFUs per gram. These were administered twice a day for one week. Of these probiotic strains, B. longum showed the highest inhibitory effect, while L. acidophilus showed the second highest inhibitory effect. Both strains significantly shortened the duration of diarrhea without presenting any adverse effects.10

L. acidophilus May Reduce Inflammation, Asthma, Allergies, and Other Atopic Diseases

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 17 different studies reported data from 4,755 children suffering from atopic diseases. This meta-analysis found that infants given probiotics, including L. acidophilus, had a significantly lower risk ratio for eczema and other atopic diseases compared to their placebo-based control groups. This suggests that L. acidophilus and other probiotic strains may be effective in reducing or preventing infantile eczema.11

L. acidophilus May Support Vaginal and Urinary Tract Health in Women

Probiotics most prominently live in the gut and intestines, but the vagina is also home to a significant probiotic population. In a crossover trial, researchers examined patients for candida yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis while these patients also received either a pasteurized yogurt (meaning any live bacteria have been killed) or yogurt containing live L. acidophilus cultures. The patients comprised two groups of 23 women randomly assigned to each of the study groups. Each patient ingested 150 mL of yogurt daily.

By the end of the study, results found that the yogurt enriched with live L. acidophilus was linked to increased colonization of the beneficial bacteria in the vagina and rectum, which resulted in fewer episodes of bacterial vaginosis.12

L. acidophilus May Reduce Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a chronic disorder affecting the colon caused by infection, inflammation, or changes to gut bacteria. This most often leads to diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, gas, and bloating. More severe signs can include iron deficiency anemia and unexplained vomiting.13

Research suggests that Lactobacilli strains like L. acidophilus may offer significant help in reducing symptoms of IBS. In one study, 77 subjects diagnosed with IBS were given either Bifidobacterium infantis or Lactobacillus salivarius, each in doses of 10 billion CFUs, in a malted milk drink or the malted milk drink alone without any active bacteria. This was given every day over a course of eight weeks, and the symptoms of IBS were recorded every day and assessed every week. Researchers recorded stool microbiologic studies, quality of life assessments, and blood samples at the beginning and end of the study. Results of the study found that L. salivarius resulted in a greater reduction in bowel movement frequency and consistency, while B. infantis offered a greater reduction in other symptom scores.14

In another study, 40 subjects with IBS were randomized into a placebo and probiotics group, the latter of which was given a dose of L. acidophilus. After four weeks of treatment, researchers found that the L. acidophilus group experienced a significantly reduced score for abdominal pain and discomfort compared to the baseline and exceeded the placebo scores by more than 20 percent. Overall, the study suggests that L. acidophilus may have a beneficial effect on patients with IBS and presents no adverse effects.

Ideally, you want a diverse range of probiotic strains to cover all your bases and maximize the potential health benefits. DrFormulas® Nexabiotic contains both L. acidophilus and S. boulardii, along with a variety of other probiotic strains for additional benefits that can replenish your gut flora and promote your overall health.