Saccharomyces boulardii is a non-pathogenic yeast and it is manufactured and sold as a probiotic supplement in capsule and powder form. Saccharomyces boulardii is used to help colonize the gastrointestinal tract with healthy flora. Many diseases are thought to occur due to depleted healthy intestinal flora, and saccharomyces boulardii supplements may help to prevent and treat these diseases. As with any nutritional supplement, you should talk to your health-care practitioner before taking saccharomyces boulardii.
Mechanism of Action
Antibiotics, chemicals, food poisoning and certain health conditions can all lead to a depletion of healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. The healthy bacteria that Saccharomyces boulardii supplements supply help to prevent the growth and proliferation of harmful microorganisms such as pathogenic yeast, bacteria and parasites in your body.
Alternative health-care practitioners recommend Saccharomyces boulardii supplements to help prevent and treat diarrhea, including infectious types such as rotaviral diarrhea in children, diarrhea caused by bacterial overgrowth in adults, traveler's diarrhea and diarrhea associated with enteral tube feedings. People also use it to prevent and treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea, states “Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.”
List of Uses
In addition to preventing and treating diarrhea, Saccharomyces boulardii is also used to promote overall digestive health and to help treat irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Additional purported uses include the treatment of Lyme disease, bacterial overgrowth in short bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, urinary tract infections, vaginal and Candida-related infections, high cholesterol levels, hives, fever blisters and canker sores, states “Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.” More research needs to be done to confirm the efficacy of Saccharomyces boulardii for these purposes, however.
Preliminary research suggests that Saccharomyces boulardii may also help to treat acne. A double-blind, placebo controlled study cited in the September 1989 issue of “Fortschritte der Medizin,” examined the effects of supplemental Saccharomyces boulardii on 139 patients with acne. At the end of the five-month study, more than 80 percent of the patients taking the supplement experienced complete or considerable healing of acne.
The recommended dose of Saccharomyces boulardii is 250 mg, two times daily, states drugs.com. Aside from flatulence, there are no reported side effects from Saccharomyces boulardii. However, you should not take this supplement if you are allergic to yeast or taking antifungal medication. Finally, Saccharomyces boulardii is contraindicated in patients with severely compromised immune systems because it may cause a disorder called fungemia in these people.