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Abstract

Saccharomyces boulardii was shown to be capable of inhibiting multiplication of enteropathogenic bacteria in vitro and is currently used for its anti-diarrhoea properties. We studied the capacity of this yeast to antagonize Salmonella typhimurium and Shigella flexneri in the intestinal tract of conventional or gnotobiotic NMRI mice. Conventional animals were given daily 10 mg doses of S. boulardii, whereas germ-free animals were given a single 10 mg dose. Both groups were challenged orally 5 d later with the pathogenic bacteria (10(8) or 10(2) viable cells, respectively). Control groups were treated with saline instead of S. boulardii. Mortality and/or histopathological data showed a protective effect against the pathogenic bacteria in yeast-treated mice. Saccharomyces boulardii colonized the digestive tract of gnotobiotic mice and the number of viable cells ranged around 10(10) g-1 of faeces. In experimental and control gnotobiotic animals, Salm. typhimurium and Sh. flexneri became rapidly established at a level of about 10(10) viable cells g-1 of faeces and remained at high levels until the animals died or were sacrificed. The protection against Salm. typhimurium and Sh. flexneri obtained in conventional and/or gnotobiotic mice previously associated with S. boulardii is not due to the reduction of the bacterial populations in the intestines.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Saccharomyces boulardiiReduced Shigella flexneri Infection RiskBeneficial
Moderate
Saccharomyces boulardiiReduced S. Typhimurium InfectionBeneficial
Moderate

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