5 Lactococcus Lactis Benefits
Lactococcus lactis also known as Lactobacillus lactis & Streptococcus lactis is a gram-positive, lactic acid-producing bacteria that is commonly found in dairy foods like cheese or yogurt.
The strain has been extensively studied for and has been shown to have a number of potential therapeutic applications. In this blog post, I will share my analysis of five clinical studies using L. lactis.
The study examined the effects of oral administration of the lactococcal strain Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris H61 on physiological changes associated with aging in senescence-accelerated mice (SAM). SAM are mice that develop normally but then show an early onset and irreversible advancement of senescence.
The study used SAMP6, a strain of SAM that develops osteoporosis with aging and results showed that oral administration of heat-killed H61 was associated with several different things.
Reduced bone density loss, a suppression of the incidence of skin ulcers, and reduced hair loss compared to control mice and the spleen cells of mice fed H61 produced more interferon-gamma and IL-12, indicating that H61 altered immune responses.
The numbers of viable cells of Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides, and Enterococcus in feces were similar for mice fed H61 and control diets, but counts for Staphylococcus were significantly lower in mice fed H61.
Administration of living cells of H61 or fermented milk containing H61 was also associated with a suppression of the incidence of skin ulcers and reduced hair loss.
The results of this 2007 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition Journal suggest that oral administration of H61 has the potential to suppress some of the manifestations associated with aging but more research is still needed.
This 2010 study reviewed the use of Lactococcus lactis probiotics as a delivery vehicle for pneumococcal antigens in vaccines and found that L. lactis has a GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status through the FDA.
It was suggested that probiotics and inactivated vaccines can improve immunogenicity and this research found that the use of L. lactis in vaccines against pneumococcal diseases could be a promising option.
The study investigated the effects of oral administration of a lactococcal strain on age-related hearing loss (AHL) in mice.
The mice were fed a diet containing 0.05% heat-killed Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris H61 for 6 months and their auditory brainstem response (ABR) was measured.
The results showed that the intake of strain H61 maintained a significantly lower ABR threshold than control mice, indicating backwardness of AHL.
The intake of strain H61 also suppressed the age-related loss of neurons and hair cells in the cochlea. Analysis of the mice's intestinal flora revealed an increase in the prevalence of Lactobacillales, which was positively correlated with hearing ability in mice.
In addition, plasma fatty acid levels were negatively correlated with hearing ability. Overall, the study suggests that the intake of heat-killed strain H61 has the potential to retard AHL in mice but not in humans.
Female Skin Health
In this 2012 study, 30 healthy women were randomly assigned to receive a daily dose of 2 grams of placebo or a probiotic containing 60 mg of heat-killed cells from the Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris H61 strain for 2 months.
The results published in the Journal of Nutritional Science journal found that the Lactococcus Lactis probiotics improved skin hydration and the appearance of hair follicles in the Japanese women.
It should however be noted that this was measured by a self-evaluation survey so further research is needed to confirm these findings and it's unclear if males would also be able to experience these same effects in their skin.
The study found that Lactobacillus lactis NCDO 2118 has anti-inflammatory effects in vitro and in a murine model of colitis. Treatment with this strain was able to reduce clinical symptoms and prevent histological damage in the colon.
The mechanism of action may involve modulation of colonic cytokines and expansion of regulatory T cells and anti-inflammatory dendritic cells. The specific components of L. lactis NCDO 2118 responsible for these effects are currently under investigation.
Lactococcus lactis is a gram-positive bacteria that have been shown to have potential health benefits with potential in anti-aging, immune health, hearing loss prevention, skin health, and treating inflammatory bowel diseases.
Further research in humans is needed to confirm the therapeutic potential of Lactococcus lactis in these areas. For me, one of the most exciting studies I analyzed was the one on hearing loss and human hearing studies using this strain should be encouraged for further discoveries.