Lactobacillus: What is it? Species, Benefits, Uses and Side effects

April 30, 2019 0 Comments

Lactobacillus is a friendly, non-spore-forming and rod-shaped bacteria that forms a major part of the bacteria group which forms lactic acid from sugar that is, the lactic acid bacteria group. There exists a lot of different species of this bacteria. They can continue to live or exist in both the aerobic environment and in an anaerobic environment. They are commercially viable for the production of yogurt, cheese, sour milk, beverages, fermented vegetables, and some sausages.

Lactobacillus constitute a remarkable component of the human microbiota at numerous body sites like the genital, urinary and digestive system.

Lactobacillus Probiotics

Probiotics are living microorganisms which when consumed provide numerous health benefits. There are many probiotics used in modern time but the most commonly used one is the Lactobacillus Acidophilus. Other species of Lactobacillus, when combined with other probiotics, are very helpful in treating irritable bowel disease. These can also help to control vaginal and urogenital infections or to progress immunity of the mucous intestine.

Species of Lactobacillus Bacteria

Lactobacillus Acidophilus – It is a homofermentative species that grows rapidly even at low pH values and they naturally occur in animal and human mouth and even in the gastrointestinal tract. It forms the major part of the microbiota found in vaginal.

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus- It is a short non-spore-forming rod-shaped bacterium which is mostly found in chains. It is mainly useful in acting towards various female-related infections but it may not be that beneficial in circumstances involving infants or weakened immune system.

Lactobacillus Plantarum– Lactobacillus Plantarum is a widely spread member of the species- Lactobacillus and is easily found in many products of fermented food and also in plant matter in an anaerobic environment. It is said to be first isolated from saliva. They can occur in a single form, in short chains or in pairs. It is a very versatile and flexible species.

Ways Lactobacillus Benefits our Health

Lactobacillus displays a very mutual relation with human bodies. The human body, which is the host, provides it with nutrients and in return, it shows protection against many pathogen invasions that is, they inhibit their growth. Lactobacillus helps maintain human health by treating vaginal infections, eczema, and diarrhea.

Many modern studies have shown that some probiotics permit lactobacilli to grow on the sites of teeth and prevent other bacteria from inducing further tooth decay. Oral health in relation to lactobacilli is a modern field on which only a few scientific types of research have been done which provide some suitable evidence of using Lactobacillus as a probiotic for oral health as well.

Lactobacillus also helpful in breaking down food and absorbing some essential nutrients. One can also use lactobacillus in reducing symptoms of stomach pains, constipation and bloating.Lactobacillus can also help in decreasing the total cholesterol levels of the human body.

Lactobacillus proves to be very good for our health as it helps to treat many diseases like diarrhea in children- children suffering from rota-viral diarrhea are found to get over it in up to 3 days when treated with Lactobacillus.

Eczema (skin disorder)- Studies have shown that one can reduce or prevent themselves from the symptoms of eczema.

Airway Infections– Infants and Children who are given Lactobacillus probiotics are protected from these infections.

Ulcerative Colitis– Research show that taking multi species probiotics including Lactobacillus benefit a lot during this bowel condition.

How does Lactobacillus Benefit Women?

Scientists have discovered that the intake of vaginal capsules constituting Lactobacillus can be very effective in preventing bacterial vaginosis (BV) which has some serious effects like increasing risks of pregnancy complications. Lactobacillus proves to be useful in maintaining vaginal health and giving extra protection. These powerful bacteria feed upon the glycogen that is present in vaginal mucus and in return, produce lactic acid or hydrogen peroxide which may help in preventing yeast infections and preterm deliveries in women.

Side effects

We all are well aware of the fact that there are pros and cons to everything and so does with Lactobacillus. This bacteria has some side effects that needs to be taken care of. In very rare cases of people with weakened immune systems, and has caused some diseases which makes it a matter of major concern.

People who have short bowel syndrome are more likely to evolve Lactobacillus infections than other people. The same is the case with people having ulcerative colitis. It has been found that Lactobacillus can develop an infection (in rare cases) on the inner lining of the heart valves and heart chambers thus, making it a major issue for people with destructed heart valves.

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