Probiotics Fight Skin/Mucosal Candida Infections And Irritable Bowel Syndrome

An excellent review of the effects of probiotics and Candida growth is provided in a recent issue in Clinical and Infectious Diseases. This review covered peer reviewed papers published from 2000 to 2015.


A number of human, animal, and laboratory studies have examined the effects of probiotic on Candida growth and infections. Probiotics inhibited Candida growth and virulence in all 12 of 12 in vitro (cell cultures) studies. In human clinical studies, use of probiotic bacteria supplements were reported to significantly inhibit Candida growth and/or significantly improve clinical outcomes (such as less infection, lower infection rates, shorter hospitalization, or reduced symptoms of vulvovaginal candidiasis) in 5 out of 7 studies involving the mouth/oral cavity, 4 out of 5 studies involving the urogenital tract, and in all 7 out of 7 studies involving the gastrointestinal tract (Matsubara, Bandara et al. 2016). 

Mixtures of probiotic strains may be more effective that single strains. A review of 16 published studies examining the health effects of probiotic supplements reported that 12 of these studies reported that mixtures of probiotics gave significantly better response than single probiotics- while a similar clinical response between multiple and single probiotics was reported in the 4 other studies (Chapman, Gibson et al. 2011) In the future, oral and topical Candida treatment may be increasingly used to prevent and treat Candida related health problems.

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Probiotic supplements may even be helpful for irritable bowel syndrome- which is
all-too often a frustrating and hard to treat disease. A recent Italian study treated 150 patients with either 1) 5 billion Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria, 5 billion Lactobacillus reuteri, plus 330 milligrams of the p:rebiotic inulin (50 patients), 2) 5 billion Lactobacillus Plantarum, 5 billion Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and 5 billion Bifidobacterium animalis (50 patients) or 3) placebo containing 390 milligrams inulin (50 patients). After 60 days treatments, many irritable bowel symptoms were significantly less common in the 2 probiotic groups of irritable bowel patients as compared to the placebo group (p<0.001 for all comparisons). After 60 days treatment a significant reduction in bloating was reported in 80 and 85% of the probiotic-treated patients but only in 20% of the placebo-treated patients. After 60 days a significantly decrease in abdominal pain was seen in 70 and 80% of the probiotic-treated patients but only in 15% of the placebo-treated patients. After 60 days, A significant drop in constipation was seen in 70 and 80% of the placebo groups but only in 7% of the placebo-treated patients. (Mezzasalma, Manfrini et al. 2016)


References / Sources

Chapman, C. M., et al. (2011). “Health benefits of probiotics: are mixtures more effective than single strains?” Eur J Nutr 50(1): 1-17.

Matsubara, V. H., et al. (2016). “Probiotics as Antifungals in Mucosal Candidiasis.” Clin Infect Dis 62(9): 1143-1153.

Mezzasalma, V., et al. (2016). “A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial: The Efficacy of Multispecies Probiotic Supplementation in Alleviating Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Associated with Constipation.” Biomed Res Int 2016: 4740907.



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