The Benefits of Lactobacillus Gasseri

lactobacillus gasseri
Lactobacillus gasseri is found naturally in breast milk. Kaori Ando/Image Source/Getty Images

Lactobacillus gasseri is a type of probiotic. Also known as "beneficial bacteria" or "good bacteria," probiotics are found naturally in the human body and in certain foods. When taken in dietary supplement form, Lactobacillus gasseri is said to reduce inflammation and offer a variety of health benefits.

Lactobacillus gasseri is a species in the genus Lactobacillus, which is a type of probiotic naturally present in the human digestive, urinary, and genital systems (other Lactobacillus species include rhamnosus, GG, and acidophillus).

These bacteria are thought to help the body function properly by reducing harmful bacteria, enhancing immune function, and stimulating digestion.

Uses for Lactobacillus Gasseri

Lactobacillus gasseri is often used to promote weight loss. Proponents suggest that it can help to reduce belly fat, inhibit fat production, speed up metabolism, and protect against obesity.

In addition, Lactobacillus gasseri is said to treat the following health problems:

Benefits of Lactobacillus Gasseri

Here's a look at several study findings on the potential health benefits of Lactobacillus gasseri:

1)  Weight Loss

A number of clinical trials and animal-based studies suggest that Lactobacillus gasseri may help reduce abdominal fat and support weight loss. 

These studies include a clinical trial published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2013, which included 210 healthy adults with excess abdominal fat.

For the study, participants were given either milk enriched with Lactobacillus gasseri strain SBT2055 or a placebo milk for 12 weeks. At the study's end, those given the Lactobacillus gasseri-enriched milk showed a significantly greater reduction in abdominal fat compared to those given the placebo.

Other recent clinical trials focusing on Lactobacillus gasseri and weight loss include a 2010 study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study involved 87 adults with a high body mass index and excess abdominal fat, each of whom was assigned to 12 weeks of treatment with milk enriched with Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 or a placebo milk. The study's results showed that treatment with Lactobacillus gasseri led to a significant decrease in abdominal fat, waist size, and body weight.

2)  Menstrual Pain

Lactobacillus gasseri may help lessen menstrual pain in women with endometriosis, suggests a small study published in the journal Cytotechnology in 2011.

The study involved 66 patients with endometriosis. Compared to those given a placebo for 12 weeks, those treated with the Lactobacillus gasseri strain OLL2809 for the same time period experienced significantly greater relief of menstrual pain.

3)  High Cholesterol

A small study published in the Journal of Dairy Science in 2010 shows that Lactobacillus gasseri may help keep cholesterol in check.

In a clinical trial involving 32 adults with elevated cholesterol levels, researchers found that those treated with the Lactobacillus gasseri strain CHO-220 and inulin (a type of fiber thought to promote the growth of probiotic bacteria) had significantly greater improvements in total and LDL cholesterol levels (compared to those given a placebo for the same time period).

4)  Respiratory Health

Preliminary research indicates that Lactobacillus gasseri may help treat certain respiratory problems. In a study published in Microbiology and Immunology in 2007, for instance, tests on guinea pigs demonstrated that the Lactobacillus gasseri strain TMC0356 and Lactobacillus GG may help alleviate the inflammatory response associated with allergy symptoms.

In a mouse-based study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2012, meanwhile, scientists observed that Lactobacillus gasseri may suppress the airway inflammation associated with allergic asthma.

Caveats

In some cases, use of Lactobacillus gasseri and other probiotics may trigger such side effects as gas and bloating. In addition, there's some concern that taking probiotics in combination with immunosuppressive drugs may be extremely harmful to your health.

Also keep in mind that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get tips on using supplements here, but if you're considering the use of lactobacillus gasseri, talk with your primary care provider first. Self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.

Where to Find Lactobacillus Gasseri

Lactobacillus gasseri is found naturally in breast milk. It is also found in certain fermented foods such as Puba or carimã, a Brazilian staple food.

You can increase your intake of a variety of probiotics by consuming fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut.

Sold in many natural-foods stores and other stores specializing in dietary supplements, Lactobacillus gasseri can also be purchased online.

Sources

Itoh H, Uchida M, Sashihara T, Ji ZS, Li J, Tang Q, Ni S, Song L, Kaminogawa S. "Lactobacillus gasseri OLL2809 is effective especially on the menstrual pain and dysmenorrhea in endometriosis patients: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study." Cytotechnology. 2011 Mar;63(2):153-61.

Jan RL, Yeh KC, Hsieh MH, Lin YL, Kao HF, Li PH, Chang YS, Wang JY. "Lactobacillus gasseri suppresses Th17 pro-inflammatory response and attenuates allergen-induced airway inflammation in a mouse model of allergic asthma." Br J Nutr. 2012 Jul 14;108(1):130-9.

Jung SP, Lee KM, Kang JH, Yun SI, Park HO, Moon Y, Kim JY. "Effect of Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 on Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind Clinical Trial." Korean J Fam Med. 2013 Mar;34(2):80-9.

Kadooka Y, Sato M, Imaizumi K, Ogawa A, Ikuyama K, Akai Y, Okano M, Kagoshima M, Tsuchida T. "Regulation of abdominal adiposity by probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055) in adults with obese tendencies in a randomized controlled trial." Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jun;64(6):636-43.

Kadooka Y, Sato M, Ogawa A, Miyoshi M, Uenishi H, Ogawa H, Ikuyama K, Kagoshima M, Tsuchida T. "Effect of Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 in fermented milk on abdominal adiposity in adults in a randomised controlled trial." Br J Nutr. 2013 Nov 14;110(9):1696-703.

Kang JH, Yun SI, Park MH, Park JH, Jeong SY, Park HO. "Anti-obesity effect of Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 in high-sucrose diet-induced obese mice." PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54617.

Kawase M, He F, Kubota A, Harata G, Hiramatsu M. "Orally administrated Lactobacillus gasseri TMC0356 and Lactobacillus GG alleviated nasal blockage of guinea pig with allergic rhinitis." Microbiol Immunol. 2007;51(11):1109-14.

Margreiter M, Ludl K, Phleps W, Kaehler ST. "Therapeutic value of a Lactobacillus gasseri and Bifidobacterium longum fixed bacterium combination in acute diarrhea: a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial." Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2006 May;44(5):207-15.

Miyoshi M, Ogawa A, Higurashi S, Kadooka Y. "Anti-obesity effect of Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 accompanied by inhibition of pro-inflammatory gene expression in the visceral adipose tissue in diet-induced obese mice." Eur J Nutr. 2014 Mar;53(2):599-606.

Ooi LG, Ahmad R, Yuen KH, Liong MT. "Lactobacillus gasseri [corrected] CHO-220 and inulin reduced plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol via alteration of lipid transporters." J Dairy Sci. 2010 Nov;93(11):5048-58.

Olivares M, Díaz-Ropero MP, Gómez N, Lara-Villoslada F, Sierra S, Maldonado JA, Martín R, Rodríguez JM, Xaus J. "The consumption of two new probiotic strains, Lactobacillus gasseri CECT 5714 and Lactobacillus coryniformis CECT 5711, boosts the immune system of healthy humans." Int Microbiol. 2006 Mar;9.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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