The bacteria in our digestive tract are amazing and can influence and modulate the immune system. But the ability of these amazing bugs to affect our health is not limited to the intestines. It can affect our whole body and influence inflammation as well.
So in my usual ways I’ve been off researching exactly which ones are best for reducing inflammation because as you might know, when you look on a label for probiotics there are all sorts of names from:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus fermentum
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Bifidobacteria bifidum
- Bifidobacteria longum
- Bacillus coagulans
- Streptococcus thermophilus
And perhaps you’ve heard of quite a few more.
While there is research to support the benefits of many of these probiotics for various different things, I’m predominantly interested in reducing inflammation and improving immune function.
There are two best rated probiotics that have particular effects in these 2 areas.
TOP 2 Best Rated Probiotics For Inflammation
Based on the research (1-4), two strains that I’d recommend are:
- Bifidobacterium infantis (B. infantis)
- Saccharomyces boulardii (S. Boulardii)
Lots of the research done with probiotics is done in animal studies, so discovering the benefits of many probiotic strains is still a very young science, which I’m sure we will continue to hear more about in times to come 🙂
But there are some good human studies with the ones I found as well. Having human studies makes the strength of the research much better and gives us a clearer indication of the primary benefits.
Research on Bifidobacterium infantis (B. infantis)
In a recent study (1), researchers looked at inflammatory cytokines (CRP, TNF-a, IL6 – also called inflammatory markers) in patients with ulcerative colitis, psoriasis and chronic fatigue syndrome, measuring the markers before and after administration of B. infantis.
After taking the probiotic for 6-8 weeks all 3 inflammatory markers were substantially reduced in all 3 conditions with an average 70% of participants experiencing positive results.
What this indicates is that this bacteria not only affects localized inflammation in the digestive tract but outside the gut also. Even in healthy subjects there was a slight modification of TNF-a and IL6 inflammatory markers.
Many health conditions show increased levels of CRP, IL6 and TNF-a. Conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, depression, cancer, obesity and many others. So what this research suggests to us is that many other health conditions could benefit from taking B. infantis probiotic.
Research on Saccharomyces boulardii (S. Boulardii)
S. Boulardii is a type of yeast rather than a bacteria strain but it has an influence on many things and is considered one of the MOST beneficial “probiotics” available.
There are around 53 randomized trials in both adults and children with 81% of those finding positive benefits of S. Boulardii on health (3).
S. Boullardi has been shown to help:
- Reduce toxins of pathogens – including candida and salmonella
- Preserve normal intestinal physiology
- Preserves tight junctions to prevent intestinal permeability
- Restore normal short chain fatty acid balance
- Decrease synthesis of inflammatory cytokines
- Increase IgA signals to increase the immune defense in the gut
- Helps reestablish normal microbiota rapidly after antibiotics (2)
All of the above are very important for reducing the inflammatory cascade in the body and helping to promote the immune system.
Another animal study I found showed that in obese type 2 diabetic mice given S. Boullardi for 4 weeks they had reduced inflammatory markers IL4 and IL6 by 2-fold, IL-B1 reduced 40%, and TNF-a reduced by 20%. They showed reduced liver fat and inflammation and changes in metabolism and other gut microbes (3).
All meaning this yeast has many beneficial properties for us to enjoy 🙂
You won’t find the above strains in many of the probiotics available because they aren’t common. So I took the liberty of finding some well reputed sources for you.
In Australia it is much harder to find Bifidobacterium infantis (B. infantis). In fact this Bio-Kult product is currently the only one available, unless you order it in from overseas. Use the coupon code: to get a discount on your purchase.
Or you can get B. infantis in a overall digestive aid from Vitamin King. Search for FibreSmart.
As for S. Boulardii that is easier to find. This one here is a good choice. You will often find the S. Boulardii is promoted for gastro relief because it is a great fix for Bali belly 🙂
Hope you found this helpful and these probiotics help reduce your inflammation and improve your health too 🙂
Nutritionist & Health Counselor
1. Groeger et al. Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 modulates host inflammatory processes beyond the gut. Gut Microbes 4:4, 325–339; July/August 2013.
2McFarland L. Systematic review and meta-analysis of Saccharomyces boulardii in adult patients. World J Gastroenterol 2010 May 14; 16(18): 2202-2222
3. Everard A et al. Saccharomyces boulardii administration changes gut microbiota and reduces hepatic steatosis, lowgrade inflammation, and fat mass in obese and type 2 diabetic db/db mice. mBio 5(3):e01011-14. doi:10.1128/mBio.01011-14.
4. Chung et al. Oral administration of Bifidobacterium spp. improves insulin resistance, induces adiponectin, and prevents inflammatory adipokine expressions Biomedical Research (Tokyo) 35 (5) 303-310, 2014