L. salivarius is a probiotic strain that provides a number of benefits to your body, such as lowering cholesterol, relieving asthma, and reducing tissue inflammation. It is found throughout the body, but it is particularly concentrated in the saliva. Consequently, one area in which it differs from other beneficial probiotics is in the great benefit that it provides to dental health.
L. salivarius is great for oral health
According to researchers, this probiotic strain dramatically decreases the level of plaque forming bacteria in the mouth while naturally freshening breath and reducing gum sensitivity.1 There have been a number of studies proving the beneficial effects on keeping fresh breath, such as this study demonstrating that regular supplementation with L. salivarius can improve halitosis,2 or this one demonstrating a general improvement in oral malodor.3 The overall oral health of smokers in particular benefits greatly from supplementation with this probiotic.4
In addition to improving oral health, L. salivarius has been proven to strongly inhibit H. Pylori, a type of harmful bacteria that leads can lead to stomach ulcers an even cancer.5 In a six-week study involving supplementation with both L. salivarius and fructooligosaccharide (FOS, a type of prebiotic that acts as food for the probiotic bacteria), participants experienced significantly reduced total cholesterol, bad cholesterol (LDL), and showed an increase in good cholesterol (HDL).6 This combination was shown to be more beneficial than L. salivarius alone.
L. salivarius, asthma and other positive outcomes
There have been several studies related to the impact of L. salivarius on asthma. These mice studies indicate that it decreases allergen-induced airway responses in mice,7 and it also alleviated clinical symptoms and airway inflammation in mice with asthma.8 This 2015 study involving asthmatic patients aged 20-35 years old demonstrated that L. salivarius decreases the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and exhibited beneficial immunomodulatory activity.9
Some studies are still in relatively early stages regarding their impact on humans, such as this one indicating that L. salivarius may facilitate the recovery of inflamed tissue by increasing production of inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines.10 Another recent study suggests that it may be able to help improve gut microbial balance in patients with diabetes.11
We’ve already discussed a plethora of important benefits that L. salivarius provides for the body, but there are still more! Some other important benefits include enhancing both natural and acquired immune responses,12 reducing symptoms and improving quality of life in children and adults with atopic dermatitis,13 and suppressing or inhibiting the growth of certain cancer cells.14 Regardless of the type of health issue you’re looking to address, there’s a good chance that L. salivarius will be an important tool to keep in your repertoire. Be on the lookout for it the next time you’re shopping for a probiotic supplement.
1Mayanagi, G., Kimura, M., Nakaya, S., Hirata, H., Sakamoto, M., Benno, Y., & Shimauchi, H. (2009). Probiotic effects of orally administered Lactobacillus salivarius WB21-containing tablets on periodontopathic bacteria: a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial. Journal of clinical periodontology, 36(6), 506–513. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-051X.2009.01392.x
2Iwamoto, T., Suzuki, N., Tanabe, K., Takeshita, T., & Hirofuji, T. (2010). Effects of probiotic Lactobacillus salivarius WB21 on halitosis and oral health: an open-label pilot trial. Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, oral radiology, and endodontics, 110(2), 201–208. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tripleo.2010.03.032
3Suzuki, N., Yoneda, M., Tanabe, K., Fujimoto, A., Iha, K., Seno, K., Yamada, K., Iwamoto, T., Masuo, Y., & Hirofuji, T. (2014). Lactobacillus salivarius WB21–containing tablets for the treatment of oral malodor: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial. Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology and oral radiology, 117(4), 462–470. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oooo.2013.12.400
4Shimauchi, H., Mayanagi, G., Nakaya, S., Minamibuchi, M., Ito, Y., Yamaki, K., & Hirata, H. (2008). Improvement of periodontal condition by probiotics with Lactobacillus salivarius WB21: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Journal of clinical periodontology, 35(10), 897–905. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-051X.2008.01306.x
5Ryan, K. A., Daly, P., Li, Y., Hooton, C., & O’Toole, P. W. (2008). Strain-specific inhibition of Helicobacter pylori by Lactobacillus salivarius and other lactobacilli. The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy, 61(4), 831–834. https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkn040
6Rajkumar, H., Kumar, M., Das, N., Kumar, S. N., Challa, H. R., & Nagpal, R. (2015). Effect of Probiotic Lactobacillus salivarius UBL S22 and Prebiotic Fructo-oligosaccharide on Serum Lipids, Inflammatory Markers, Insulin Sensitivity, and Gut Bacteria in Healthy Young Volunteers: A Randomized Controlled Single-Blind Pilot Study. Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology and therapeutics, 20(3), 289–298. https://doi.org/10.1177/1074248414555004
7Li, C. Y., Lin, H. C., Hsueh, K. C., Wu, S. F., & Fang, S. H. (2010). Oral administration of Lactobacillus salivarius inhibits the allergic airway response in mice. Canadian journal of microbiology, 56(5), 373–379. https://doi.org/10.1139/w10-024
8Yun, X., Shang, Y., & Li, M. (2015). Effect of Lactobacillus salivarius on Th1/Th2 cytokines and the number of spleen CD4⁺ CD25⁺ Foxp3⁺ Treg in asthma Balb/c mouse. International journal of clinical and experimental pathology, 8(7), 7661–7674.
9Drago, L., De Vecchi, E., Gabrieli, A., De Grandi, R., & Toscano, M. (2015). Immunomodulatory Effects of Lactobacillus salivarius LS01 and Bifidobacterium breve BR03, Alone and in Combination, on Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells of Allergic Asthmatics. Allergy, asthma & immunology research, 7(4), 409–413. https://doi.org/10.4168/aair.2015.7.4.409
10Peran, L., Camuesco, D., Comalada, M., Nieto, A., Concha, A., Diaz-Ropero, M. P., Olivares, M., Xaus, J., Zarzuelo, A., & Galvez, J. (2005). Preventative effects of a probiotic, Lactobacillus salivarius ssp. salivarius, in the TNBS model of rat colitis. World journal of gastroenterology, 11(33), 5185–5192. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v11.i33.5185
11Chung, P. H., Wu, Y. Y., Chen, P. H., Fung, C. P., Hsu, C. M., & Chen, L. W. (2016). Lactobacillus salivarius reverse diabetes-induced intestinal defense impairment in mice through non-defensin protein. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry, 35, 48–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2016.05.013
12Pérez-Cano, F. J., Dong, H., & Yaqoob, P. (2010). In vitro immunomodulatory activity of Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 and Lactobacillus salivarius CECT5713: two probiotic strains isolated from human breast milk. Immunobiology, 215(12), 996–1004. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imbio.2010.01.004
13Drago, L., Iemoli, E., Rodighiero, V., Nicola, L., De Vecchi, E., & Piconi, S. (2011). Effects of Lactobacillus salivarius LS01 (DSM 22775) treatment on adult atopic dermatitis: a randomized placebo-controlled study. International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology, 24(4), 1037–1048. https://doi.org/10.1177/039463201102400421
14Zhang, M., Wang, F., Jiang, L., Liu, R., Zhang, L., Lei, X., Li, J., Jiang, J., Guo, H., Fang, B., Zhao, L., & Ren, F. (2013). Lactobacillus salivarius REN inhibits rat oral cancer induced by 4-nitroquioline 1-oxide. Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.), 6(7), 686–694. https://doi.org/10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-12-0427