How Probiotics Work. Probiotic Strains.

Probiotics contain bacteria that helps restore the perfect balance in your gut. Up until the 1960s, very few probiotic strains had been identified, but in recent times scientists have discovered many more strains.


Most Common Probiotic Strains

Probiotics contain certain strains and each strains has different health benefits, depending on the job they do in your gut or, more generally, the body. Here is a list containing the most popular probiotic strains:



In total, there are more than 50 species of lactobacilli. They can be found naturally in the body in the digestive, genital and urinary systems, but also in fermented foods such as yogurt, or in dietary supplements. Lactobacillus has been used for quite some times to treat and prevent various conditions and diseases.
Some of the common types of lactobacilli found in probiotic supplements are Lactobacillus acidophilusL. acidophilus DDS-1, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus johnsonii, Lactobacillus plantarium, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus salivarius.

Studies have shown Lactobacillus can be used to treat or prevent yeast infections, IBS, urinary tract infection, antibiotic-related diarrhea, traveller’s diarrhea, skin disorders (acne, eczema, and fever blisters), treat lactose intolerance and prevention of respiratory infections. Here are the results of some studies:

  • Probiotic StrainsLactobacillus GG was administered to children aged 5 to 14 with IBS over a period of eight weeks. The children were given 3 billion cells twice daily and the treatment resulted in reduced severity and frequency of abdominal pain.
  • Lactobacillus GG was given to children taking antibiotics. The results showed a decrease in reported diarrhea.
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei and Streptococcus thermophilus given twice per day to hospitalized adults for a week during antibiotic treatment resulted in decreased risk of diarrhea.
  • Lactobacillus GG containing milk was given to children aged 1 to 6 who attended day care. The subjects got fewer cases of or less severe lung infections than the children that did not drink it.
  • Vaginal capsules containing Lactobacillus gasseriand Lactobacillus rhamnosus lengthened the time in between bacterial vaginosis
  • In a study containing 245 people who traveled 14 regions throughout the world, LactobacillusGG reduced the risk of traveler’s diarrhea by 47%.



There are close to 30 species of bifidobacteria, which make up most of the healthy bacteria located in the colon. This type of bacteria appears in the intestinal tract a few days after birth, mainly in breastfed infants.

There are approximately 30 species of bifidobacteria. The make up most of the healthy bacteria in the colon. They appear in the intestinal tract within days of birth, especially in breastfed infants.

Some of the bifidobacteria used as probiotics are Bifodbacterium bifidum, Bifodbacterium breve, Bifodbacterium infantis, Bifodbacterium lactisBifodbacterium longumBifodbacterium pseudolongumBifodbacterium thermophilum.

Studies have bifidobacteria’s properties of helping with irritable bowel syndrome, glucose tolerance, blood lipids and dental cavities.

  • Bifidobacterium infantis35624 was administered to 362 patients with IBS over the course of a four-week study. They patients showed improvement in abdominal pain, bowel dysfunction, bloating, gas and incomplete evacuation.
  • Salivary levels of bifidobacteria are linked to dental cavities in both adults and children.
  • Bifidobacterium lactisBb12 has beneficial effects on metabolism, including increased HDL in adult women, lowered serum LDL-cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes, and improved glucose tolerance during


Probiotics BenefitsSaccharomyces boulardii

Also known as S. boulardii, this is the only yeast probiotic strain. Studies have shown that it works in treating and preventing traveler’s diarrhea or diarrhea associated with antibiotic use. It has also been proven to treat acne, prevent the reappearance of Clostridium difficile and to reduce the side effects of treatment for Helicobacter pylori.


Streptococcus thermophilus

This is one of the most effective probiotic strains in the prevention of lactose intolerance. S. thermophilus improves digestion, decreases leaky gut symptoms, fights or prevents upper respiratory infections (pneumonia), reduces AIDS symptoms, increases immunity, reduces atopic dermatitis symptoms, decreases the chance of kidney stones, increases HDL levels, decreases IBS symptoms, increases anti-tumor activity and decreases acute diarrhea.


Enterococcus faecium

This is a strain usually found in the intestinal tract of humans and animals. Besides promoting a healthy immune system, it has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, increase antimicrobial action in the GI tract, reduce certain types of diarrhea and help with chronic constipation.

  • faecium SF68 has been proven effective in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea



Leuconostoc has been used since ancient times in food processing and ingestion of foods containing live bacteria and dead bacteria.


>>> Want to learn How to Choose the Best Probiotic Supplement? Click here.


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