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Lactobacillus

Lactobacillus are a group of beneficial bacteria typically found in your digestive and urinary tracts and in fermented foods, especially fermented dairy, e.g. kefir. The Lactobacillus genus plays an essential role in health maintenance. Clinical research on Lactobacillus is extensive and documents the following functions:

  1. Digestion and nutrient absorption. Lactobacillus aids digestion by breaking down complex carbohydrates and proteins, making it easier for the body to absorb nutrients.1Krajmalnik-Brown R, Ilhan ZE, Kang DW, DiBaise JK. Effects of gut microbes on nutrient absorption and energy regulation. Nutr Clin Pract. 2012 Apr;27(2):201-14. doi: 10.1177/0884533611436116.2Barkhidarian B, Roldos L, Iskandar MM, Saedisomeolia A, Kubow S. Probiotic Supplementation and Micronutrient Status in Healthy Subjects: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials. Nutrients. 2021 Aug 28;13(9):3001. doi: 10.3390/nu13093001.
  2. Immune regulation. Lactobacillus interacts with gut cells, helping to stimulate and regulate immune responses and defending the body against harmful pathogens.3Ding YH, Qian LY, Pang J, Lin JY, Xu Q, Wang LH, Huang DS, Zou H. The regulation of immune cells by Lactobacilli: a potential therapeutic target for anti-atherosclerosis therapy. Oncotarget. 2017 Jun 2;8(35):59915-59928. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.18346.4hao, W., Liu, Y., Kwok, L.-Y., Cai, T., & Zhang, W. (2020). The immune regulatory role of Lactobacillus acidophilus: An updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Food Bioscience, 36, 100656. doi: 10.1016/j.fbio.2020.1006565Ren, D., Wang, D., Liu, H., Shen, M., & Yu, H. (2019). Two strains of probiotic Lactobacillus enhance immune response and promote naive T cell polarization to Th1. Food and Agricultural Immunology, 30(1), 281-295. doi: 10.1080/09540105.2019.1579785
  3. Antimicrobial production. Lactobacillus prevents harmful bacteria from growing and causing illness by producing lactic acid and other antimicrobial substances.6Iram D, Kindarle UA, Sansi MS, Meena S, Puniya AK, Vij S. Peptidomics-based identification of an antimicrobial peptide derived from goat milk fermented by Lactobacillus rhamnosus (C25). J Food Biochem. 2022 Dec;46(12):e14450. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.14450.7Darbandi A, Asadi A, Mahdizade Ari M, Ohadi E, Talebi M, Halaj Zadeh M, Darb Emamie A, Ghanavati R, Kakanj M. Bacteriocins: Properties and potential use as antimicrobials. J Clin Lab Anal. 2022 Jan;36(1):e24093. doi: 10.1002/jcla.24093.
  4. Gut barrier support. Lactobacillus helps to maintain a healthy gut lining, which keeps harmful substances and pathogens out of the bloodstream.8Dempsey E, Corr SC. Lactobacillus spp. for Gastrointestinal Health: Current and Future Perspectives. Front Immunol. 2022 Apr 6;13:840245. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.840245.
  5. Anti-inflammatory function. Lactobacillus levels are linked with anti-inflammatory potential in the gut and as well as with the ability to reduce excessive inflammation in the body.9Aghamohammad, S., Sepehr, A., Miri, S. T., Najafi, S., Pourshafie, M. R., & Rohani, M. (2022). Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of Lactobacillus spp. as a preservative and therapeutic agent for IBD control. Immunity, Inflammation and Disease, 10(6), e635. doi: 10.1002/iid3.63510Oh NS, Joung JY, Lee JY, Kim Y. Probiotic and anti-inflammatory potential of Lactobacillus rhamnosus 4B15 and Lactobacillus gasseri 4M13 isolated from infant feces. PLoS One. 2018 Feb 14;13(2):e0192021. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192021.11Monteros, M.J.M., Galdeano, C.M., Balcells, M.F. et al. Probiotic lactobacilli as a promising strategy to ameliorate disorders associated with intestinal inflammation induced by a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Sci Rep 11, 571 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-80482-z
  6. Gut-brain connection. Lactobacillus may play a role in the gut-brain axis, influencing mood and cognitive function.12Oroojzadeh, P., Bostanabad, S.Y. & Lotfi, H. Psychobiotics: the Influence of Gut Microbiota on the Gut-Brain Axis in Neurological Disorders. J Mol Neurosci 72, 1952–1964 (2022). doi: 10.1007/s12031-022-02053-313Sabit H, Kassab A, Alaa D, Mohamed S, Abdel-Ghany S, Mansy M, Said OA, Khalifa MA, Hafiz H, Abushady AM. The Effect of Probiotic Supplementation on the Gut-Brain Axis in Psychiatric Patients. Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2023 May 6;45(5):4080-4099. doi: 10.3390/cimb45050260.

What are the best sources of Lactobacillus?

Apart from living in the gut, several Lactobacillus species are present in fermented dairy like kefir and yoghurt and in fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi. Sourdough starter also contains live Lactobacillus cultures. Additionally, a range of Lactobacillus strains can be found in probiotic supplements. Consuming natural food sources of Lactobacillus cultures and taking food supplements containing Lactobacillus strains can help maintain the Lactobacilli population in your gut.14Slattery C, Cotter PD, O’Toole PW. Analysis of Health Benefits Conferred by Lactobacillus Species from Kefir. Nutrients. 2019 Jun 1;11(6):1252. doi: 10.3390/nu11061252.15Prado MR, Blandón LM, Vandenberghe LP, Rodrigues C, Castro GR, Thomaz-Soccol V, Soccol CR. Milk kefir: composition, microbial cultures, biological activities, and related products. Front Microbiol. 2015 Oct 30;6:1177. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.01177.16Giraffa, G., Chanishvili, N., & Widyastuti, Y. (2010). Importance of lactobacilli in food and feed biotechnology. Research in Microbiology, 161(6), 480-487. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2010.03.001

What foods can Lactobacillus feed on?

Lactobacillus is a versatile group of bacteria that can derive energy from various sources. A diet that contains plenty of foods rich in prebiotic fibres, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and pulses/legumes, can help support the growth and metabolic activity of Lactobacillus. Additionally, galactooligosaccharides (GOS) have been found to promote the growth of Lactobacillus species like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantarum.17Arnold, J.W., Roach, J., Fabela, S. et al. The pleiotropic effects of prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides on the aging gut. Microbiome 9, 31 (2021). doi: 10.1186/s40168-020-00980-018Fuhren, J., Schwalbe, M., Peralta-Marzal, L. et al. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of differential galacto-oligosaccharide utilization in Lactobacillus plantarumSci Rep 10, 21657 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-78721-4

Where to find Lactobacillus in the Chuckling Goat Microbiome Test

The Chuckling Goat Microbiome Test features a general score for Lactobacillus as a group (genus). It also provides readings for several Lactobacillus species known to have an impact on human health, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus delbruekii, Lactobacillus helveticus, and Lactobacillus johnsonii. You will find your Lactobacillus scores in the “Lactic acid bacteria” section of the “Probiotics” report.

Synonyms: LAB, Lactobacilli, lactic acid-producing bacteria, Lactobacillales, lactic-acid-producing microorganisms, Lactobacillus species

Version and date: Version 1. 20th June 2023

Author: Dr Miguel Toribio-Mateas BSc (Hons) MSc DProf MRSB

Important disclaimer

The Chuckling Goat Gut Microbiome Handbook is an educational resource built to translate complex science into plain English. The information provided on this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your GP or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Always check with your GP for interactions with medications/health conditions before changing your diet or starting to take food supplements.

References

  • 1
    Krajmalnik-Brown R, Ilhan ZE, Kang DW, DiBaise JK. Effects of gut microbes on nutrient absorption and energy regulation. Nutr Clin Pract. 2012 Apr;27(2):201-14. doi: 10.1177/0884533611436116.
  • 2
    Barkhidarian B, Roldos L, Iskandar MM, Saedisomeolia A, Kubow S. Probiotic Supplementation and Micronutrient Status in Healthy Subjects: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials. Nutrients. 2021 Aug 28;13(9):3001. doi: 10.3390/nu13093001.
  • 3
    Ding YH, Qian LY, Pang J, Lin JY, Xu Q, Wang LH, Huang DS, Zou H. The regulation of immune cells by Lactobacilli: a potential therapeutic target for anti-atherosclerosis therapy. Oncotarget. 2017 Jun 2;8(35):59915-59928. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.18346.
  • 4
    hao, W., Liu, Y., Kwok, L.-Y., Cai, T., & Zhang, W. (2020). The immune regulatory role of Lactobacillus acidophilus: An updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Food Bioscience, 36, 100656. doi: 10.1016/j.fbio.2020.100656
  • 5
    Ren, D., Wang, D., Liu, H., Shen, M., & Yu, H. (2019). Two strains of probiotic Lactobacillus enhance immune response and promote naive T cell polarization to Th1. Food and Agricultural Immunology, 30(1), 281-295. doi: 10.1080/09540105.2019.1579785
  • 6
    Iram D, Kindarle UA, Sansi MS, Meena S, Puniya AK, Vij S. Peptidomics-based identification of an antimicrobial peptide derived from goat milk fermented by Lactobacillus rhamnosus (C25). J Food Biochem. 2022 Dec;46(12):e14450. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.14450.
  • 7
    Darbandi A, Asadi A, Mahdizade Ari M, Ohadi E, Talebi M, Halaj Zadeh M, Darb Emamie A, Ghanavati R, Kakanj M. Bacteriocins: Properties and potential use as antimicrobials. J Clin Lab Anal. 2022 Jan;36(1):e24093. doi: 10.1002/jcla.24093.
  • 8
    Dempsey E, Corr SC. Lactobacillus spp. for Gastrointestinal Health: Current and Future Perspectives. Front Immunol. 2022 Apr 6;13:840245. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.840245.
  • 9
    Aghamohammad, S., Sepehr, A., Miri, S. T., Najafi, S., Pourshafie, M. R., & Rohani, M. (2022). Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of Lactobacillus spp. as a preservative and therapeutic agent for IBD control. Immunity, Inflammation and Disease, 10(6), e635. doi: 10.1002/iid3.635
  • 10
    Oh NS, Joung JY, Lee JY, Kim Y. Probiotic and anti-inflammatory potential of Lactobacillus rhamnosus 4B15 and Lactobacillus gasseri 4M13 isolated from infant feces. PLoS One. 2018 Feb 14;13(2):e0192021. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192021.
  • 11
    Monteros, M.J.M., Galdeano, C.M., Balcells, M.F. et al. Probiotic lactobacilli as a promising strategy to ameliorate disorders associated with intestinal inflammation induced by a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Sci Rep 11, 571 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-80482-z
  • 12
    Oroojzadeh, P., Bostanabad, S.Y. & Lotfi, H. Psychobiotics: the Influence of Gut Microbiota on the Gut-Brain Axis in Neurological Disorders. J Mol Neurosci 72, 1952–1964 (2022). doi: 10.1007/s12031-022-02053-3
  • 13
    Sabit H, Kassab A, Alaa D, Mohamed S, Abdel-Ghany S, Mansy M, Said OA, Khalifa MA, Hafiz H, Abushady AM. The Effect of Probiotic Supplementation on the Gut-Brain Axis in Psychiatric Patients. Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2023 May 6;45(5):4080-4099. doi: 10.3390/cimb45050260.
  • 14
    Slattery C, Cotter PD, O’Toole PW. Analysis of Health Benefits Conferred by Lactobacillus Species from Kefir. Nutrients. 2019 Jun 1;11(6):1252. doi: 10.3390/nu11061252.
  • 15
    Prado MR, Blandón LM, Vandenberghe LP, Rodrigues C, Castro GR, Thomaz-Soccol V, Soccol CR. Milk kefir: composition, microbial cultures, biological activities, and related products. Front Microbiol. 2015 Oct 30;6:1177. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.01177.
  • 16
    Giraffa, G., Chanishvili, N., & Widyastuti, Y. (2010). Importance of lactobacilli in food and feed biotechnology. Research in Microbiology, 161(6), 480-487. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2010.03.001
  • 17
    Arnold, J.W., Roach, J., Fabela, S. et al. The pleiotropic effects of prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides on the aging gut. Microbiome 9, 31 (2021). doi: 10.1186/s40168-020-00980-0
  • 18
    Fuhren, J., Schwalbe, M., Peralta-Marzal, L. et al. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of differential galacto-oligosaccharide utilization in Lactobacillus plantarumSci Rep 10, 21657 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-78721-4

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