Popular Probiotic Strains and What They Do
May 26, 2020
Probiotics look like a strange mishmash of scientific names, but it doesn’t have to be confusing. The most common ones fall into two types (genus): Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, abbreviated by L. and B. respectively.
Lactobacillus colonizes mainly in the small intestines, while Bifidobacterium is found in the large intestines (colon), the waste management system of the body. As you can imagine, proper digestion ensures you stay regular and you’re getting the most nutrients out of your food.
Common Probiotic Strains
Each probiotic strain has a different effect on your body. Here are the most common.
L. acidophilus – The most widely known probiotic, L. acidophilus lives in the walls of the small intestines and in the vagina where it combats bacteria. L. acidophilus helps your body absorb nutrients, digest dairy, ease mild constipation, balance bacteria in the GI tract, and support a healthy immune system.
L. rhamnosus – Found naturally in the body and in many dairy products, it promotes proper digestion, immune health, vaginal health and can also assist in weight management.
L. reuteri – Able to survive stomach acids, this strain is found in the intestines and mouth and is believed to promote oral health, women’s health and heart health.
L. plantarum – Attacks bad bacteria and can survive the harsh environment of the intestinal tract. It supports digestion, a healthy immune system, and eases bloating. For those with occasional food intolerances, L. plantarum may prove especially beneficial.
L. helveticus – Found naturally in fermented foods and certain cheeses, it’s also found in the gut. It helps to enhance intestinal, oral and even mental health.
L. casei – This popular strain helps ease occasional diarrhea and soothe other digestive issues.
L. brevis – Discovered nearly 100 years ago, L. brevis is found in the gut, but only in small amounts today due to poor eating habits, lifestyle and various environmental factors. For that reason, it’s important to supplement.
B. bifidum – According to some scientists, this is the second most prominent bacteria in humans and beneficial for aiding digestion, especially lactose, and supporting a healthy immune system.
B. longum – Living in your GI tract, B. longum protects intestinal walls from harmful bacteria by helping your body break down proteins and carbohydrates. It also supports a healthy immune system, eases occasional constipation and supports a healthy response to occasional stress. B. longum can also act as an antioxidant.
B. breve – Present in the digestive tract and vagina, this strain helps fight off bacteria and harmful yeast. B. breve helps your body absorb nutrients by fermenting sugars and breaks down plant fiber so you can digest it.
Probiotic supplements have exploded in popularity recently, especially for immune health since the majority of your immune system resides there. Science is just scratching the surface of what these tiny organisms can do, but the benefits appear limitless. If you’re thinking about discovering probiotics for yourself, make sure it is high-quality and from a reputable retailer that stands behind what it sells. For more information, check out these probiotics now.