L. paracasei is a probiotic bacterial strain that can be commonly found in the mouth and intestinal tract, as well as a number of dairy products. This bacterium can have positive effects on digestion and basic immune functions. It also offers preventative benefits for diarrhea, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and other common conditions. If that isn’t quite enough to convince you of its importance, it has proven to be especially beneficial for women due to its ability to combat vaginosis and vaginal yeast infections.
L. paracasei helps to improve immune function, reduce oxidative stress, and decrease body fat
L. paracasei has been shown to have positive effects on the body’s immune system, as it has been shown to help to positively augment mucosal immune responses.1
One particularly important discovery surrounding L. paracasei is its antioxidant capability. This function could prove to be useful in the future to help counteract oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when the amount of free radicals exceeds the amount of antioxidants in our body. These excess free radicals can cause damage to nearby cells, proteins, and DNA. This kind of cell damage can have severe effects on long-term health. This study has shown that L. paracasei supplementation was able to reduce plasma antioxidant levels and neutralize excess free radicals in athletes that had oxidative stress from a four-week period of intense physical activity.2
Some recent studies have suggested that L. paracasei may be able to help reduce weight gain by shifting the structure of gut microbiota disrupted by high fat diets toward microbiota of an individual with a more healthy diet. Other studies have demonstrated that L. paracasei has been shown to reduce storage of body fat by modifying specific factors in fat storage regulation.3 These studies indicate that L. paracasei could be an effective complement for weight loss and weight management regimens in the future.
L. paracasei can help to combat and prevent a number of common health conditions
A combination of a high-fiber diet and regular L. paracasei supplementation has proven effective in reducing abdominal bloating and prolong abdominal pain in symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease, a condition in which small out pouching sacs develop in the wall of the colon, leading to diarrhea, constipation, painful cramps, chills, and fever.4 This is a condition that becomes more common as people get older. Diverticulosis, the most common form of the disease, occurs in 10% of people over age 40 and in 50% of people over age 60.
Similar to L. reuteri, research suggests that L. paracasei supplementation in infants with stage 2 necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) may be beneficial in reducing progression of the condition. NEC is the most common cause of gastrointestinal related death among premature babies. It occurs in about 5% of premature babies.
Several studies have shown that L. paracasei reduces constipation and could be a natural remedy for infant diarrhea. It also has shown to lessen fatigue, reduce bodily symptoms, and improve neurocognitive functions in some individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.5 As previously mentioned, L. paracasei has proven to be especially important for women due to its ability to aid in the treatment and prevention of bacterial vaginosis.6
As you can see, L. paracasei serves a large number of important functions in the body, but it’s unlikely that you’re getting a sufficient amount of it through your normal routine. Whether from poor diet or antibiotic usage, you probably don’t have enough probiotic bacteria in your gut to feel the benefits. That’s why it’s so important to supplement with a good probiotic to quickly restore a healthy bacterial balance to your gut and stave off the many associated conditions caused by imbalance in the flora.
4Annibale B, Maconi G, Lahner E, et al. Efficacy of Lactobacillus paracasei sub. paracasei F19 on abdominal symptoms in patients with symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease: a pilot study. Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol 2011;57:13–22. – PubMed
5Sullivan, Å., Nord, C.E. & Evengård, B. Effect of supplement with lactic-acid producing bacteria on fatigue and physical activity in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Nutr J 8, 4 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-8-4
6Delia A, Morgante G, Rago G, Musacchio MC, Petraglia F, De Leo V. Effectiveness of oral administration of Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei F19 in association with vaginal suppositories of Lactobacillus acidofilus in the treatment of vaginosis and in the prevention of recurrent vaginitis. Minerva Ginecol. 2006;58(3):227–231. – PubMed
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