Florastor is a commercial pro-biotic product marketed and produced by the private company Biocodex. Pro-biotics are friendly bacterial organisms often linked to beneficial effects on the human body, and are naturally found in a wide range of fermented products such as yogurt, cheese and yeast. The active ingredient in Florastor, Saccharomyces boulardii, is a living yeast bacteria found in several scientific studies to have profound effects on human digestion, the immune system and other disease-causing bacteria.
Since pro-biotics live in your intestinal tract and compete with other "unfriendly" bacteria for dominance, many pro-biotic products are used to combat intestinal disorders such as diarrhea. A review published in the journal "Clinical Microbiology and Infection" by Yvan Vandenplas in October 2008 found that Saccharomyces boulardii combated diarrhea in three specific ways. It not only had an anti-secretory effect on the diarrhea itself, but also inhibited the binding of toxins to the intestinal walls and stimulated the body's own enzyme production and defense system as well.
Colitis is characterized by an inflammation of the colon and often results in abdominal pain, constipation and/or diarrhea and other digestive problems. A study published in the journal "Infection and Immunity" by Ignazio Castagliuolo, et al, in January 1999, found that treatment of rats suffering from antibiotic induced colitis with Saccharomyces boulardii resulted in fewer symptoms of inflammation and digestive trouble. Antibiotic induced colitis occurs when antibiotic therapy destroys the natural "friendly" bacteria in the colon and invasive bacteria begins to dominate.
As a living bacteria, Saccharomyces boulardii, is effective at combating other bacteria that are detrimental to human health. In a study published in the "Journal of Infection and Immunity" by Stephanie Dahan, et al in February 2003, researchers found that Saccharomyces boulardii inhibited the growth of the E. coli bacteria, which is responsible for causing widespread human illness through contaminated food products.
Immune Boosting Effects
The natural pro-biotics of our digestive system are important parts of our own defensive mechanism against pathogenic diseases. A study conducted at the Laboratory of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium by JP BLuts, et al in February of 1990, found that the administration of Saccharomyces boulardii to rats resulted in increased secretions of immunoglobulins by the digestive system. Immunoglobulins are natural antibodies used by the immune system to immobilize and destroy bacteria and viruses.
- Clinical Microbiology and Infection: Bacteria and yeasts in the treatment of acute and chronic infectious diarrhea. Part II: Yeasts: Yvan Vandenplas: October 2008
- Infection and Immunity: Saccharomyces boulardii Protease Inhibits the Effects of Clostridium difficile Toxins A and B in Human Colonic Mucosa:Ignazio Castagliuolo et al: February 2003
- Infection and Immunity: Saccharomyces boulardii Interferes with Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli-Induced Signaling Pathways in T84 Cells: Stephanie Dahan et al: February 2003
- Laboratory of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium: Stimulation of secretory IgA and secretory component of immunoglobulins in small intestine of rats treated with Saccharomyces boulardii: JP Bluts et al: February 1990
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