In 1923, a French scientist by the name of Henri Boulard noticed that Southeast Asian natives chewed on the skins of lychee and mangosteen fruit whenever they contracted cholera. Boulard isolated the yeast strain found on the skin of those fruits and the result was Saccharomyces boulardii.
Boulard also developed a unique fermentation process to isolate the strain. In 1947, the company Biocodex bought the right to Boulard’s S. boulardii including the unique process of isolating the strain.
Biocodex uses lyophilization in manufacturing S. boulardii which is why this probiotic is also referred to as S. boulardii lyo. Today Biocodex produces Florastor, a popular probiotic that contains S. boulardii lyo.
Studies show that Saccharomyces boulardii is an effective probiotic that aids in the treatment and prevention of various gastrointestinal problems such as:
- Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea (ADD)
- Clostridium Difficile Infection (CDI)
- Acute Diarrhea
- Enteral Nutrition-Related Diarrhea
- Traveler’s Diarrhea
- Helicobacter Pylori
Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea (AAD) in Kids
In a 2005 study, 269 children between the ages of 6 months and 14 years of age who were taking antibiotics were divided into two groups. The first group was supplemented with 250 mg of Saccharomyces boulardii for the duration of the treatment. The control group received a placebo. The group that received S. boulardii had significantly lower incidence of diarrhea compared to the control group.
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI)
Clostridium Difficile Infection (CDI)is the most common cause of AAD. An article published in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology in 2009 concluded that Saccharomyces boulardii “Seems to be well tolerated and may be effective for secondary prevention in some specific patient populations with particular concurrent antibiotic treatment.” Or, as we say in English, “It works!”
H. Szajewska’s meta-analysis of five studies concluded that “There exists a moderate clinical benefit of S. boulardii therapy in otherwise healthy infants and children with acute gastroenteritis, mainly a shorter duration of diarrhoea.”
Traveler’s Diarrhea can be a major problem when you travel to places with poor hygiene. A 1993 study followed 3,000 Austrians travelling to different regions. The study concluded, “A significant reduction in the incidence of diarrhea was observed, with success depending directly on the rigorous use of the preparation. . . The medication can be classified as low on side effects.”
Treating Helicobacter Pylori infection with antibiotics often results in side effects including abdominal pain, gas, and nausea. A 2007 study observed 124 patients receiving a 14-day therapy of clarithromycin, amoxicillin, and lansoprazole.
The researchers concluded that “S. boulardii improved anti-H. pylori antibiotherapy-associated diarrhea, epigastric discomfort, and treatment tolerability. In addition, S. boulardii supplement decreased post-treatment dyspepsia symptoms independent of H. pylori status.”
Why It Works
Florastor is yeast-based. Its effects are not compromised by antibiotics unlike bacteria-based probiotics. It is also resistant to digestive enzymes in the gut unlike many other types of probiotics.
Another advantage of Florastor is that it is eliminated from the body within 5 to 7 days of discontinued use.