5 Lactobacillus Gasseri Health Benefits: Digestive and Nasal
Lactobacillus Gasseri is a gram-positive probiotic strain that was first discovered by scientist François Gasseri in 1980. It is rod-shaped and considered a friendly bacteria. This strain has gained attention for its potential health benefits, particularly for women's vaginal health.
Research has shown that Lactobacillus Gasseri may have a variety of health benefits beyond vaginal health, including weight loss, improved digestion, lower cholesterol levels, and enhanced immune function. These benefits are backed by scientific studies conducted up to 2023.
While Lactobacillus Gasseri can be found in some fermented vegetable foods and probiotic supplements, its effectiveness can vary. It's important to choose high-quality supplements and fermented foods that contain the specific strain, and to speak with a healthcare professional before beginning any new supplement regimen.
1. Alleviates IBS
The symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can include abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. Compared to a placebo group, researchers found that the Lactobacillus gasseri strain had a positive effect on IBS severity scores, demonstrating its potential to alleviate symptoms of IBS.
In 2017, a clinical trial conducted by the Department of Gastroenterology at Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan examined the effects of the Lactobacillus gasseri strain CP2305 probiotic on individuals diagnosed with IBS. The results of this study were published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Applied Microbiology.
The trial included 34 male and female participants who were given 100 billion CFU of the Lactobacillus gasseri strain every day for a month in the form of a fermented skimmed milk drink. To assess the efficacy of the bacteria, quality of life scores, IBS severity index scores, and blood/stool samples were taken at baseline and again at the end of the four weeks.
Furthermore, 16S-rDNA V4-V6 region-targeted pyrosequencing on stool samples revealed modulating effects on the microbiota. Specifically, Dorea, Enterococcus, and Dialister bacteria decreased, providing evidence that the Lactobacillus gasseri strain affected the microbiome.
This study adds to the growing body of research supporting the potential health benefits of probiotics, including the Lactobacillus gasseri strain, in improving gut health and reducing symptoms of IBS.
2. Helps for Weight Loss in Mice
Obesity in mice can be induced through a high-calorie diet, leading to an increase in body weight, fat accumulation, and metabolic disturbances resembling human obesity.
A study found that triglyceride levels in the liver were lower, fat tissue mass was reduced, and body weight was lower in the mice that received Lactobacillus Gasseri compared to those who did not.
A 2014 study conducted by the Milk Science Research Institute in Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan and published in the European Journal of Nutrition investigated the anti-obesity effects of Lactobacillus Gasseri SBT2055 (LG2055) through the inhibition of pro-inflammatory gene expression.
The study involved feeding a group of six mice a high-fat diet for 24 weeks while administering the Lactobacillus Gasseri bacteria. The researchers hypothesized that the presence of the probiotic bacteria would have a positive effect on the obesity caused by the high-fat diet, which was indeed observed in the final results.
DNA microarray analysis showed that both CCL2 and CCR2 pro-inflammatory genes were inhibited, which could have contributed positively to the anti-obesity effect. Therefore, the study concluded that in mice, Lactobacillus Gasseri appeared to have an anti-obesity effect by inhibiting pro-inflammatory genes.
3. Regulates Colitis Inflammation in Mice
Mice with colitis exhibit inflammation of the colon, which can result in symptoms such as diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, and altered bowel habits.
A study found that Lactobacillus Gasseri significantly reduced inflammation markers and the severity of colitis in all ten mice. Specifically, neutrophils and macrophages, which are crucial components of the inflammation response, were reduced. Interestingly, male mice experienced stronger IBD benefits than female mice.
Chronic inflammation is a condition that can lead to various health issues, such as hay fever, rheumatoid arthritis, and periodontitis, among others. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affects approximately 1.3% of the US population, and its symptoms can be severely debilitating. Fortunately, studies have shown that Lactobacillus Gasseri may help alleviate inflammation symptoms.
In 2007, a study was conducted to determine the effects of Lactobacillus Gasseri on colitis in mice. The mice were given Lactobacillus Gasseri for three days, and their inflammation markers were noted. The results were published in The American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology journal.
These findings suggest that Lactobacillus Gasseri may be beneficial in reducing inflammation associated with IBD. Further research is needed to determine if these benefits can be translated to humans.
4. Improves Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal infection caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. It is characterized by symptoms such as abnormal vaginal discharge, often with a fishy odor, itching, and irritation.
A study found that women who used fluconazole anti-fungal cream in combination with the Lactobacillus Gasseri probiotic cream had a 100% cure rate within 6 months and 89% within 12 months.
In 2015, BMC Infection Diseases published a study involving 40 Scandinavian female participants who were diagnosed with Bacterial Vaginosis and Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis. The study evaluated the effectiveness of EcoVag®, a product that contains Lactobacillus Gasseri DSM 14869 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus DSM 14870, when taken alongside anti-fungal medication or antibiotics.
The women in the study group were treated with EcoVag® for 5 days after antibiotic treatment. However, larger double-blind placebo-controlled studies were needed to further prove the efficacy of EcoVag® in treating these conditions.
5. Improves Allergic Rhinitis Reactions
Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is an allergic reaction that occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the environment. Common symptoms of allergic rhinitis include sneezing, itching or irritation in the nose, watery eyes, nasal congestion, and postnasal drip
In 2016, two separate studies were conducted to investigate the potential health benefits of Lactobacillus Gasseri. In the first study, 15 participants with perennial allergic rhinitis and high serum IgE levels were given 200ml of milk containing Lactobacillus Gasseri TMC0356 every day for 4 weeks. After 28 days, the study showed a significant reduction in high serum IgE levels, as well as a decrease in rhinitis reactions to Japanese cedar pollen and mites.
In the second study, 49 school children with asthma and allergic rhinitis were given Lactobacillus Gasseri every day for 2 months, while 56 children were given a placebo for the same amount of time. At the end of the study, clinical symptom scores for asthma and allergic rhinitis were found to be significantly reduced in the probiotic-treated patients as compared to the controls. It's worth noting that the children had to take the probiotic daily for 8 weeks to achieve these results, but the outcome was clear.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotic's like Lactobacillus Gasseri are good bacteria. They are essential for maintaining a healthy microbiome as they contain beneficial bacteria that provide a wide range of health benefits. These benefits can vary depending on the specific strain of bacteria present in the probiotic.
Lactobacillus strains are some of the most well-known and well-studied probiotic strains. Bifidobacterium strains are also known for their beneficial effects. In recent years, soil-based probiotics have gained popularity as well, with products like FlowFlora containing a mix of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains.
It's important to note that probiotics take time to work and results may vary from person to person. Some people may also experience side effects such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. It's best to start with a low dose and gradually increase to allow the body to adjust to the new bacteria.
How Long Does it Take To Notice the Benefits of Lactobacillus Gasseri?
The short answer: It takes most people 3 to 4 weeks to feel significant benefits of Lactobacillus Gasseri. That's because the strain needs time to colonize your gut bacteria and have an effect on all of the bacteria in your microbiome.
However, it's important to note that taking probiotics is not a quick fix and could take longer to notice any benefits. It's always recommended to consult with a doctor before using probiotics to treat any health conditions.
While some studies on Lactobacillus Gasseri show promising results, it's important to keep in mind that not all studies are conducted on humans or have a large number of participants. The two studies on allergic rhinitis show the most promise.
Dr. Sara Mesilhy has a Master’s degree in Gastroenterology and holds a membership with the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom. She completed her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at Cairo University and is currently part of the ProbioticReviewGirl medical team.