Lactobacillus brevis is the binomial name
denoting a strain of lactic acid bacteria. Food
manufacturers rely on these bacteria’s ability
to ferment carbohydrates and contribute to the
creation of desirable foods. Tasty results of
the process include yogurt and sauerkraut. It
was not until recent years that Lactobacillus
brevis was recognized as a crucial member of the
probiotic microorganisms that actively promote
the health of the human gut. Yet did you know
that Lactobacillus brevis can quite possibly
save your life?
What is Lactobacillus Brevis and Where Can I
Lactobacillus brevi, also known as l. brevis, s
is one of the beta bacteria (1) most commonly
associated with the fermentation of vegetation,
dairy and even sourdough. Its subsequent
introduction into the human digestive system
underwent close scrutiny and resulted in
Lactobacillus brevis’ addition to the group of
Benefits Associated with Lactobacillus Brevis
Continuous clinical studies acknowledge that
Lactobacillus brevis provides anti-inflammatory
benefits to the human digestive system. A 2006
study (2) offered such convincing proof that
oral ulcers associated with Behcet's syndrome
could be controlled with the targeted
supplementation of L. brevis, researchers
strongly urged larger trials.
A 2009 publication (3) decisively ranks lactic
acid bacteria – of which l. brevis is one – into
the group of probiotics that evidence not only
anti-inflammatory properties but also show
anti-cancer activities. Digestion of these
beneficial bacteria by test animals resulted in
a marked suppression of colonic tumor formation
and reduction of DNA damage.
Not All Lactobacillus Brevis Is Created Equal
Getting your daily dose of probiotics in general
-- and Lactobacillus brevis in particular --
might lead you past the yogurt shelf of the
dairy aisle. After all, with the potential
benefits ranging from help with constipation
over inflammatory bowel disease to even colon
cancer, it stands to reason that ingestion of
lactobacillus containing probiotics is a crucial
aspect of continued health and wellbeing.
The trick to reaping all of the benefits
probiotics have to offer is buying them when
they are supplied as live cultures. Back in
1996, a study researching the effect of oral
supplementation of Lactobacillus brevis (4)
factored in live and also heat treated
preparations. Consistent evaluation proved that
heat treated cultures failed to provide any
statistically significant beneficial outcomes,
while live Lactobacillus brevis offered a
statistically considerable benefit to human test
This of course significantly impacts the
availability of beneficial Lactobacillus brevis
to the consumer. If yogurt is not your passion
and the sheer amount you would have to ingest
for maximum health is more than you are willing
to eat, oral supplementation is an attractive
option. Utilizing the kind that contains live
cultures of the probiotic is a key element.
Another important consideration is the storage
of the supplements. Unlike vitamins that
generally do well on any pantry shelf,
probiotics should be stored in a controlled cool
environment that is dry and out of direct
Is Lactobacillus Brevis Really Worth the
You may be tempted to think that your overall
dietary habits make supplementation with L.
brevis unnecessary. Nothing could be further
from the truth! Physicians recognize that
following an antibiotics treatment for deadly
Clostridium difficile infections with
lactobacillus supplementation greatly increases
the treatment’s effectiveness and also prevents
a disease specific setback. (5)
There are of course some potential
contraindications that can make the
supplementation with lactobacillus problematic.
If you currently take medications – especially
immunosuppressive drugs – make sure you discuss
your intent to use Lactobacillus brevis ahead of
time with your physician. The same holds true if
you suffer from cancer, HIV or other diseases
that greatly impact the immune system.
1. Holzapfel, WH; Wood, Brian (editors). (1998).
Genera of lactic acid bacteria (1st ed.). London
Blackie Academic & Professional. P. 34.
2. Tasli L, Mat C, De Simone C, Yazici H (2006).
Lactobacilli lozenges in the management of oral
ulcers of Behcet's syndrome.
3. Ljungh A, Wadstrom T
(editors) (2009). Lactobacillus Molecular
Biology: From Genomics to Probiotics. Caister
Academic Press. P. 153
4. Kishi A, Uno K, Matsubara Y,
Okuda C, Kishida T (1996). Effect of the oral
administration of Lactobacillus brevis subsp.
coagulans on interferon-alpha producing capacity
in humans. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8829098?dopt=AbstractPlus
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