Digestive health is often coined the “bread and butter” of Naturopathic Medicine. As NDs, we often incorporate some sort of GI assessment and/or treatment in the majority of our cases. I am glad you asked about the probiotic yeast , Saccharomyces Boulardii. I am very fond of this product for several reasons. Its’ main claims to fame being the ability to effectively deal with inflammatory gastro-intestinal concerns, including antibiotic – associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections.
With many patients often undergoing several rounds of antibiotics to treat infections, having trips to the hospital for trauma or surgery and/or lengthy stays in hospital or extended care facilities, Clostridium seems to be an organism increasing in its prevalence both in our hospitals and in our communities.
Loose watery stools and abdominal cramps are often hallmarks of the infection. Patients often think it is just their system having been upset by the previous course of antibiotics (which it may be). The issue is that the diarrhea does not seem to be resolving. Stool tests can show C. difficile infection but can also be “hit and miss” at times.
This is where I like to use Saccharomyces. The patient has been on a course or two of antibiotics, perhaps had a hospital stay, and may have done a course of probiotics to help get their GI health back on track, but it does not seem to be working. The loose stools and cramping still persist.
I have also used Saccharomyces for other GI concerns where regular probiotics don’t seem to be gaining any ground. Issues like IBS, IBD, Crohns, Colitis, food poisoning and traveler’s diarrhea can show positive response with this product. I have a large pediatric component to my practice and will often use Saccharomyces as well to treat cases of diarrhea in children.
Recent studies have examined the efficacy of S. boulardii in treating acute diarrhea in children. A recent review of five clinical trials involving a total of 619 otherwise healthy infants and children with acute gastroenteritis revealed that S. boulardii ‘significantly reduced’ both the risk and the duration of diarrhea.
So remember this little probiotic yeast with the big name. It may be just the thing to bring balance and relief to your upset digestive system.
Dr. Nibber’s blog is dedicated to setting the record straight on natural ingredients by dispelling common myths and highlighting truths on the basis of solid science. The end-result? Informed consumers that demand legitimacy and credibility from the supplement world, making safe, effective & high-quality products more available to you.
Castagliuolo I, Riegler MF, Valenick L, et al. Saccharomyces boulardii protease inhibits the effects of Clostridium difficile toxins A and B in human colonic mucosa. Infect Immun. 1999; 67:302-307.
Min YD, Choi CH, Bark H, Son HY, Park HH, Lee S, Park JW, Park EK, Shin HI, Kim SH.Effect of Saccharomyces boulardii in children with acute gastroenteritis and its relationship to the immune response. J Int Med Res. 2007 Mar-Apr;35(2):201-12.
Can M, et al. Prophylactic Saccharomyces boulardii in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea: a prospective study. Med Sci Monit. 2006 Apr;12(4):PI19-22. Epub 2006 Mar 28.
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