Saccharomyces boulardii: the must-have travel supplement

11 July 2019  |  Editor

Saccharomyces boulardii – Travellers' Diarrhoea and Beyond

Saccharomyces boulardii is fast becoming known as the must-have travel supplement, and if you’re heading abroad this year, you’d be well advised to pop some in your suitcase. This intelligent probiotic has been well researched for its powerful ability to help prevent travellers' diarrhoea; a significant problem which is estimated to affect more than 60% of those travelling to developing countries.

It’s important to understand though, that the benefits of Saccharomyces boulardii extend way beyond travellers' diarrhoea. Read on for some research highlights on the wider clinical applications of this beneficial microorganism.

Saccharomyces boulardii is very different to the microorganisms you’ll find in most probiotics. Here’s why:

  • Most probiotics are strains of beneficial bacteria that are known to reside in a healthy gut. Although classed as a probiotic, Saccharomyces boulardii is very different.
  • Unlike other probiotics, Saccharomyces boulardii isn’t a bacterial strain; it isn’t a normal part of our friendly gut flora and doesn’t colonise the gut.

Instead, it helps to strengthen the gut’s natural defences and also has the ability to adhere to harmful bacteria (such as coli and Salmonella) and gently remove them from the body.

Saccharomyces boulardii is the only yeast that is formally regarded as a probiotic.

Saccharomyces boulardii has been researched for its clinical application in:

  • Travellers' diarrhoea
  • Antibiotic-associated diarrhoea
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI) in children
  • Bowel regularity in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD)
  • Leaky gut
  • Candida

Optibac Probiotics Saccharomyces Boulardii Capsules

Saccharomyces boulardii and Travellers' Diarrhoea

The efficacy of  Saccharomyces boulardii for preventing travellers' diarrhoea has been demonstrated in a large cohort of travellers (1016 persons) to Northern Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. Treatment with Saccharomyces boulardii started 5 days before travel and lasted throughout the trip (average 3 weeks). Saccharomyces boulardii was shown to significantly reduce the incidence of diarrhoea.

In a 2010 systematic review and analysis, researchers concluded that Saccharomyces boulardii can be strongly recommended for the prevention of travellers' diarrhoea. Trials also support the use of Saccharomyces boulardii for prevention of enteral nutrition-related diarrhoea and reduction of Helicobacter pylori treatment-related symptoms.

Saccharomyces boulardii and Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhoea

Saccharomyces boulardii is resistant to antibiotics so can be successfully used alongside antibiotics.  The effectiveness of Saccharomyces boulardii for the prevention of antibiotic side effects has been demonstrated in a number of human clinical trials and meta-analyses.  In a study of 193 patients, administration of Saccharomyces boulardii significantly prevented the occurrence of diarrhoea compared to a placebo.

In another study of 338 patients taking antibiotics,  Saccharomyces boulardii significantly reduced the incidence of diarrhoea compared to placebo.
The addition of  Saccharomyces boulardii to antibiotic treatment in children with otitis media and ⁄ or respiratory tract infections also significantly reduced the incidence of diarrhoea compared to placebo.

Saccharomyces boulardii and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Saccharomyces boulardii may be a useful treatment for the maintenance treatment of Crohn's disease. In patients with Crohn's disease in clinical remission, the addition of Saccharomyces boulardii to standard therapy resulted in fewer clinical relapses

In a group of 6 ulcerative colitis patients who could not tolerate mesalamine, treatment with  Saccharomyces boulardiifor 3 months resulted in persistent clinical remission.

Saccharomyces boulardii and Leaky Gut

A 2008 study found that improvements in intestinal permeability may be in part responsible for the beneficial effect of Saccharomyces boulardii observed in inflammatory bowel disease. In patients with Crohn's disease in remission, Saccharomyces boulardii resulted in improvements in intestinal permeability while those receiving placebo experienced an increase in permeability over the study period.

Saccharomyces boulardii and Candida Albicans

Candida albicans causes intestinal infections in immunocompromised patients. It may also cause systemic candidiasis.  Saccharomyces boulardii produces capric, caprylic and caproic acids which can help to prevent the proliferation of candida yeasts.

A 2010 study published in FEMS Microbiology Letters found that Saccharomyces boulardii helps to reduce candida adhesion and also lowers the cytokine-mediated inflammatory host response.

Saccharomyces Boulardii – A Wide Range of Clinical Applications

Saccharomyces boulardii is best known for its ability to help prevent travellers' diarrhoea but its usefulness extends much further than that. Saccharomyces boulardii has a range of clinical applications backed by scientific research including for antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, urinary tract infections, IBS, IBD, leaky gut and candida. It is commonly available as a single supplement or in combination with a range of beneficial bacteria. It has demonstrated a good safety profile, doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge and can be safely and effectively taken alongside antibiotics. It’s one of our must-have products for travels, and way beyond.