6 Lactobacillus Helveticus Health Benefits: Psychological, Sleep And Skin


Lactobacillus Helveticus is a lactic-acid, rod-shaped gram-positive bacteria from the genus Lactobacillus. It's name is derived from the ancient Swiss Helvetian tribe dating back to the 1st century BC, its name carries historical significance.

In this article, I will evaluate the 6 health benefits of Lactobacillus helveticus.

1. Improves Stress In Rats

Stress in rats, refers to the physiological and behavioral responses observed in rats when exposed to chronic stressors, which can mimic certain aspects of the stress response in humans.

A 2015 study authored by Shuang Liang, investigated Lactobacillus helveticus NS8 in alleviating behavioral, cognitive, and biochemical abnormalities caused by chronic stress in rats. The findings revealed tangible improvements in chronic stress-induced behavioral and cognitive dysfunctions, along with a notable reduction in stress hormone levels in the blood.

2. Improves Cognitive Function

Cognitive function refers to the mental processes and abilities involved in acquiring, processing, storing, and retrieving information, which includes perception, attention, memory, language, problem-solving, and decision-making.

A 2018 study authored by Kazuhito Ohsawa, tested the cognitive effects of Lactobacillus helveticus-fermented milk in healthy middle-aged adults. 

Cognitive function was rigorously assessed using the Japanese version of the repeatable battery for the assessment of neuropsychological status (RBANS) test. The results showed significant cognitive function improvements in the group consuming the L. helveticus-fermented milk drink.

Notably, the RBANS test measured total score, attention score, and delayed memory score, demonstrating a significant difference in the attention score compared to the placebo group after the eight-week intervention.

3. Improves Sleep

Sleep is a natural physiological state characterized by reduced consciousness, decreased physical activity, and altered brainwave patterns, essential for restorative processes and overall well-being.

2009 study authored by S Yamamura, looked at the impact of Lactobacillus helveticus fermented milk on sleep quality. Results indicated a significant improvement in sleep efficiency and a notable reduction in awakenings among those consuming the fermented milk.

4. Improves Blood Pressure

Blood pressure, refers to the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the arteries, and it is measured as systolic pressure (during heart contraction) over diastolic pressure (during heart relaxation), expressed in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

A 2005 clinical study authored by T Jauhiainen, investigatedthe effects of Lactobacillus helveticus fermented milk on blood pressure in a cohort of 94 hypertensive patients. The study's findings demonstrated a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure with L. helveticus fermented milk compared to the control group.

5. Strengthens Skin Barrier In Mice

The skin barrier in mice is the protective outer layer of their skin that serves as a barrier against water loss, pathogens, and irritants. Studying the skin barrier in mice helps researchers gain insights into human skin conditions and develop potential treatments for disorders related to skin barrier dysfunction.

A 2006 study authored by H Baba, explored the effects of Lactobacillus helveticus-fermented milk whey on the skin of hairless mice. 

Mice drinking the L. Helveticus milk experienced reduced transepidermal water loss from intact skin and smaller areas of early dermatitis compared to the group receiving only water. The fermented milk whey also improved moisture content and mitigated transepidermal water loss in mice with induced dermatitis.

6. Protects Against Candida 

Candida, refers to a type of yeast or fungus belonging to the Candida genus, commonly found on the skin, mucous membranes, and in the gastrointestinal tract, which can cause infections in humans, particularly in immunocompromised individuals or those with disrupted microbial balance.

A 2012 study authored by HM Joo, investigated Lactobacillus helveticus HY7801 on vulvovaginal candidiasis using a mouse model. Results showed significant reduction in candida fungal infection and inflammatory cytokine levels, along with inhibition of NF-κB pathway activation in vaginal tissues treated with L. helveticus. 

L. helveticus increased the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and exhibited a toxic effect on the Candida in culture.

Is Lactobacillus Helveticus Good For SIBO?

A 2019 study authored by A Fontana, suggested Lactobacillus helveticus as a treatment for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) due to its ability to produce mucus-binding proteins. These proteins play a crucial role in adhesion to the intestinal mucosa layer, allowing L. helveticus to bind to intestinal mucus and protect epithelial cells. 

By adhering to the mucosal surface, L. helveticus prevents the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the small intestine, which is a characteristic of SIBO. Additionally, the production of mucus-binding proteins, along with the production of extracellular polysaccharides (EPSs), suggests that L. helveticus could have a beneficial effect as a probiotic in treating SIBO. 

SIBO, or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, is a medical condition characterized by an abnormal increase in the number and/or types of bacteria in the small intestine, which can lead to symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and malabsorption of nutrients.

Is Lactobacillus Helveticus Good For Anxiety?

A 2011 clinical study authored by Michaël Messaoudi suggested that the probiotic formulation containing Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175 (PF) has benefits for anxiety

In the preclinical study conducted on rats, daily administration of PF for two weeks reduced anxiety-like behavior. In the subsequent clinical trial involving healthy human volunteers, the administration of PF for 30 days resulted in alleviation of psychological distress, particularly in measures of anxiety, depression, and anger-hostility.

These results indicate that the combination of L. helveticus R0052 and B. longum R0175 in the probiotic formulation exhibits anxiolytic-like activity in rats and provides beneficial psychological effects in healthy human volunteers. 

lactobacillus helveticus Vs bifidobacterium longum

Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum are two distinct bacterial strains with notable differences in their classification and characteristics. Lactobacillus helveticus belongs to the phylum Bacillota, while Bifidobacterium longum falls under the phylum Actinomycetota. 

Both strains are Gram-positive bacteria, indicating the presence of a thick peptidoglycan layer in their cell walls. In terms of higher classification, L. helveticus belongs to the Lactobacillaceae family and Lactobacillus genus, while B. longum is classified within the Bifidobacteriaceae family and Bifidobacterium genus.

L. helveticus and B. longum have distinctive rod-shaped morphology. Lactobacillus helveticus is commonly found in dairy products and the human gastrointestinal tract, while Bifidobacterium longum is also present in the gut microbiota of humans and other mammals, contributing to various health benefits.

What Is lactobacillus helveticus r0052?

Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 is a specific strain of Lactobacillus helveticus, a type of bacteria commonly found in fermented dairy products. A 2023 study authored by FL De Oliveira, tested Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and investigated its effects.

The study showed, Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 led to increased abundance of beneficial bacteria (Lactobacillus and Olsenella), decreased levels of harmful bacteria (Lachnospira and Escheria-Shigella).

R0052 also reduced ammonia production, increased production of beneficial short-chain fatty acids (acetic acid and total SCFAs), and modulation of cytokine levels towards an anti-inflammatory profile.

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