7 Lactobacillus Plantarum Health Benefits

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Lactobacillus Plantarum is a gram positive probiotic bacilli shaped bacteria that comes from the Lactiplantibacillus genum. It can be found in dairy & fermented foods like Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Miso and other Lacto-Fermented foods.

In this guide I have combed through 5 of the most in-depth Lactobacillus Plantarum studies to try and figure out what health benefits this strain may have for humans.

Each study is totally different and some are better than others. I share how the studies were conducted and if any results were found from the scientists conducting them.

Weight Loss

This study published January 2022 in Nature had South Korean scientists from the research and development center of Medytox INC conduct a study on 3 groups of mice fed various diets to test the anti-obesity effects of Lactobacillus Plantarum.


The mice were split into three different groups with group 1 fed a Normal Chow Diet, Group 2 High Fat Diet, and Group 3 also a high-fat diet. Groups 1 and 2 followed this same diet for 12 weeks but Group 3 switched to a high-fat diet with 100,000 CFU of Lactobacillus Plantarum LMT1-48 at 8 weeks to check if it would help them lose weight.


The results showed that the group of mice that switched to taking the L. Plantarum displayed an anti-obesity effect. Visceral and Subcutaneous Fat was lower. It was thought that L. Plantarum was able to "downregulate plasma levels of leptin, resulting in inhibition of fat accumulation and adipocyte proliferation" in the mice eating a high-fat diet.

Osteoporosis

This 2019 study conducted by Chul Sang Lee & Sae Hun Kim from Korea University, Seoul looked at the potential benefits of probiotic bacteria and more specifically as an Anti-osteoporotic for dexamethasone-induced-osteoporosis.


9-probiotic strains were pre-screened to test if they would be able to survive a low PH solution in bile salts which simulated stomach acid. In short it was proved that the strains would be able to colonize the small intestines which is important for the study to be successful.


Lactobacillus Plantarum A41 and L. Fermentum SRK414 were two strains that stood out as winners by proving the highest anti-oxidative properties and inhibiting inflammatory markers that were monitored. Bone metabolism markers were also shown to be regulated L. Plantarum A41 was a strain to show potential for Osteoporosis based on all of the markers studied.

IBS

The clinical trial published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology included a diverse range of 214 participants with Irritable Bowel Syndrome over the age of 18 recruited by general practitioners in India. To make sure their IBS wasn't an intestinal infection. Other diseases were also ruled out so it's clear that all of the participants only had IBS.


For four weeks a selection of the group (108 people) was given 10-Billion Colony Forming Units of Lactobacillus Plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) via capsule and then at the end of the 1-month, there were checked 3-times. Another selection of the group (106 people) was given a placebo and 10 were kicked out of the study. 


78.1% of the group taking the L. Plantarum probiotic capsule daily reported good or excellent results for their IBS symptoms versus only 8.1 reporting either good or excellent in the placebo group. The results were conclusive from the large data set on Lactobacillus Plantarum's potential benefits for IBS symptoms. One participant in the study did report transient vertigo as a side effect that eventually subsided.

Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

This 2012 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, looked at whether or not taking the probiotic supplement Lactobacillus plantarum CJLP133 orally would be beneficial for Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema in children aged 12 months to 13 years old. There were 118 participants that started but for reasons unknown only 83 completed it.


Part of the group were given a placebo and the other half took the 5 Billion CFU of L. Plantarum CJLP133 strain twice per day for 12 weeks at markers like Atopic Dermatitis scores, eosinophil counts, serum total IgE and cytokines were all evaluated to check if the L. Plantarum strain helped or not.


The group of 9 South Korean Doctors and scientists that conducted this study concluded that taking an oral supplement of Lactobacillus Plantarum CJLP133 twice daily for 12 weeks was beneficial in the treatment of Pediatric Atop Dermatitis. This study had some great people involved and a diverse range of children participating but studies are still needed to confirm efficacy.

Anxiety

This study published in 2016 is a long read and has a lot of content to digest through. It attempted to test if the Lactobacillus Plantarum probiotic strain could help with Anxiety via the gut and brain connection. The study was interesting because it was conducted on ZebraFish which makes a pleasant change from reading about mice or rats.


The Zebra Fish (Danio Reriro) in this study were put into anxiety-induced situations and also via stress-induced dysbiosis which is an imbalance between good & bad gut bacteria. The reason for using Zebra fish is because they have behaviors that are similar to human neurological processes.


The results of this extremely complicated study were that groups of Zebra Fish treated with the L. Plantarum probiotic strain eventually showed less anxiety-related behavior compared to the Zebra Fish that did not take the L. Plantarum strain. Serotonin transporter expression was increased and so was the GABA-A receptor which both may be important for mental health.

Depression

The Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Bialystok, Poland published the results of their Randomized Controlled Trial in the peer-reviewed Psychoneuroendocrinology journal in 2018. It looked at the gut & brain axis effects of Lactobacillus Plantarum 299v probiotic bacteria in participants diagnosed with major depressive disorder.


30 participants finished taking the L. Plantarum bacteria with an SSRI for 8 weeks and another 30 took the same SSRI but with a placebo probiotic also for 8 weeks. Results compared between both groups showed that there was decreased kynurenine concentration in the probiotics group which was said to lead to increased cognitive benefits. 

Immune Health

This Meta-Analysis from China was published in March 2021 in the Frontiers of Immunology. The analysis was performed on 18 Immunoregulatory Randomized Controlled trials involving various strains of Lactobacillus Plantarum at varied Colony Forming Units. 


The conclusion from the Chinese researchers was that there was enough evidence to show that Lactobacillus Plantarum could have an anti-inflammatory effect which could promote host immunity. It was found that the bacteria could increase Interleukin 10 an anti-inflammatory cytokine whilst reducing some pro-inflammatory cytokines via the microbiome.

Side Effects

It was interesting to see in the IBS study that one person experienced vertigo after taking Lactobacillus Plantarum. This could have been unrelated to the L. Plantarum strain but side effects from probiotics have been known.

Some side effects include bloating, gas, stomach cramping, weight gain, headaches, and more. These side effects usually pass with time and it has been noted that many of these studies lasted for many weeks. If you experience any side effects you should consult with a doctor and discontinue the use of probiotics.

Final Thoughts

By far the Best Lactobacillus Plantarum study in this guide for me was the anxiety study conducted on Zebra Fish. It's fascinating to know that we Zebra Fish share up to 84% of human genes known to be associated with human disease. Because of the similarities, L. Plantarum could have benefits for anxiety via the gut and brain connection was further confirmed in the depression study.

It's important to remember that Lactobacillus Plantarum probiotic supplements should not be used as a replacement for any prescribed medication and you should consult with your doctor first for any health concerns. Nothing in this guide is medical advice and I am not a Doctor.

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