Though not as widely recognized as other lactobacillus strains, like L. acidophilus and L. casei, Lactobacillus brevis (L. brevis) is a wonderful candidate for probiotic supplementation. This probiotic bacterium is regularly found in sauerkraut and pickles. Like other Lactobacillus bacteria, L. brevis is a vessel for lactic acid production, meaning it is one of the probiotic strains commonly used to ferment dairy products. Fun fact: L. brevis is good for your body, but bad for your brew! One of the most common causes of beer spoilage is due to excessive amounts of L. brevis. It is typically present in low amounts in the body due to poor food choices, environmental factors, and overall lifestyle habits. Considering all of the benefits L. brevis can provide for your body (which we shall conveniently outline below) you should strongly consider introducing more of it into your gut.
L. brevis is good for the gut
L. brevis offers a number of great benefits for GI related issues and general gut health. It can alleviate constipation and increase bowel movement frequency. Several studies suggest that L. brevis may be beneficial for people suffering from Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) by reducing intestinal permeability, lowering inflammation, and improving fibrosis (decreasing scar tissue). Other studies have shown that regular L. brevis supplementation can be especially beneficial from those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), as studies have shown that it can reduce diarrhea, decrease abdominal pain, and improve general quality of life for these individuals.
L. brevis can improve immunity and combat allergies
Several studies indicate that L. brevis reduces the incidence of influenza in elementary school children, particularly in unvaccinated individuals. It may also enhance white blood cell function and increase antiviral activity towards herpes virus. Other research has demonstrated that L. brevis exhibits anti-allergy properties, such as reducing anti-allergen antibodies and suppressing systemic anaphylaxis (a life threatening allergic reaction).
L. brevis provides an assortment of other potential benefits
L. brevis has been shown to reduce the incidence and severity of oral mucositis. Oral mucositis is a debilitating oral condition that commonly arises from cancer chemotherapy treatment. It can lead to ulcers in the mouth, oral pain, and difficulty with eating, drinking, and speaking. It has also demonstrated potential to decrease glucose levels in diabetics and increase insulin levels in healthy individuals.
As you can see, L. brevis has a plethora of potential benefits that make it a perfect candidate for probiotic supplementation. It is important to introduce a variety of beneficial probiotics into your microbiota, so be sure to add L. brevis to the list of potential candidates next time you shop for a probiotic.
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