Lactobacillus gasseri is a bacteria naturally found in the gastrointestinal tract in the human body. It has an incredible characteristic: It reduces the absorbtion of fats, helping you to lose weight. In this guide we will share the secrets of the microscopic organism with you and its use as a probiotic supplement.
Experts agree that controlling your weight is one of the most difficult and complicated challenges people face. Some people cannot succeed in losing weight even through regular exercise and a balanced diet. This unfair situation can be caused by an imbalance in the intestinal microbes. Read on to learn more!
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Key Facts
- 3 Our Selection: The Best Lactobacillus Gasseri Supplements
- 4 Buyer's Guide: Everything You Should Know About Lactobacillus Gasseri
- 4.1 What kind of bacteria is Lactobacillus gasseri?
- 4.2 What differentiates Lactobacillus gasseri from other bacteria?
- 4.3 What benefits does Lactobacillus offer me?
- 4.4 Why can I have low levels of Lactobacillus gasseri?
- 4.5 What symptoms produce low levels of Lactobacillus gasseri?
- 4.6 How can I increase my levels of Lactobacillus gasseri?
- 4.7 How to identify a probiotic as Lactobacillus gasseri?
- 4.8 How to take a probiotic with Lactobacillus gasseri?
- 4.9 What contradictions do probiotics have with Lactobacillus gasseri?
- 4.10 Who can benefit from a probiotic containing Lactobacillus gasseri?
- 5 Shopping criteria
- 6 Summary
- Lactobacillus gasseri is a bacteria which forms part of the intestinal flora of healthy people
- Clinical studies into Lactobacillus gasseri show that this bacteria can contribute to weight loss and lowering of fat absorption in overweight adults.
- Taking probiotics with Lactobacillus gasseri is safe for the majority of people, although immunosuppressed individuals should use this product with caution.
Our Selection: The Best Lactobacillus Gasseri Supplements
If you use a probiotic with an insufficient quantity of Lactobacillus gasseri or one with an inactive strain, you will be wasting your money. We want to help you to choose the product which best meets your needs, so we have put together this list of the best probiotic supplements with Lactobacillus gasseri:
Buyer's Guide: Everything You Should Know About Lactobacillus Gasseri
Lactobacillus gasseri is a bacterium that forms part of the normal microbial flora of the human body. Although it is especially abundant in the intestine, it is also found in breast milk and other tissues. Healthy levels of L. gasseri will benefit our immune system, our digestion, and our metabolism.
What kind of bacteria is Lactobacillus gasseri?
The normal microbial flora, or microbiota, refers to all the microorganisms naturally found in a healthy person. Unlike pathogenic bacteria, the microbiota is beneficial for its host, promoting the development of immunity, metabolic balance, and physical and mental well-being.
The intestinal tract has its own microbiota, mostly consisting of bacteria of the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Here, the microbiota is in contact with food, toxins, and pathogens. Its proper functioning will prevent infections, abdominal discomfort, and failure to absorb nutrients.
Lactobacillus gasseri is part of the intestinal microbiota of healthy people. This bacterium plays an important role in the fermentation of nutrients, a process in which the most complex substances (such as lactose) are transformed into simpler compounds that are easier to process by the body.
What differentiates Lactobacillus gasseri from other bacteria?
The intestinal microbiota as a whole protects the gastrointestinal tract from infections by preventing invasion of pathogenic microorganisms. In addition, they facilitate the digestion of certain compounds, avoiding bloating and abdominal discomfort. Lactobacillus gasseri may also contribute to weight loss.
In 2013, a clinical trial was conducted with overweight individuals, administering a supplement with L. gasseri before meals. After twelve weeks of study, it was shown that these people had lost about one kilogram of weight, without altering their diet or their degree of physical activity. A result at least promising.
The roles played by the rest of the microbiota in the process of weight loss is discussed. In the table below you will find similarities and differences between L. gasseri and the two most popular probiotics, the well-known L. casei and the “active Biffidus” (its scientific name is Bifidobacterium animalis):
|Lactobacillus gasseri||Lactobacillus casei||Bifidobacterium animalis|
|Protection against infections||Yes (stimulates immunity)||Yes (stimulates immunity)||Yes (stimulates immunity)|
|Vitamin production||Possible (B12)||Possible (B-group vitamins)||Yes (B-group vitamins and vitamin K)|
|Aids with digestion||Yes (fermentation)||Yes (fermentation)||Yes (fermentation)|
|Prevention of constipation||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Weight loss||Possible (lowers fat absorption and reduces the size of fat cells)||Under study||Under study|
|Lowering of cholesterol||Under study||Unknown||Unknown|
|Other effects (under study)||Prevention of insomnia, treatment of endometriosis, improves the symptoms of anxiety and depression||Treatment of ulcerative colitis, Crones disease, gastroenteritis, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome||Reduction of respiratory infections, reduces discomfort and fussiness in infants, relief of eczema|
What benefits does Lactobacillus offer me?
Lactobacillus gasseri favours the proper development of homeostasis (processes that contribute in maintaining a healthy balance in the body). Although this bacterium is mainly located in the digestive tract, its effect will spread throughout the body. In the following list, you will find its potential benefits:
- Improvement of the digestive process
- Relief from intestinal discomfort
- Relief from swelling
- Improvement of constipation and diarrhoea
- Reduction of the abdominal perimeter
- Weight loss
- Reduction of fat absorption
- Reduction of LDL cholesterol levels
- Decrease in adipocyte size (fat-storing cells)
- Insomnia relief
- Relief from symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Vitamin production, such as B12
- Protection against viral and bacterial infections
It’s true that many of these potential benefits need to be confirmed by clinical trials of greater scientific rigor. However, the first results obtained presented encouraging results. So much so that it is already possible to buy L. gasseri in our country for its probiotic use.
Why can I have low levels of Lactobacillus gasseri?
Poor intestinal microbiota has been found in people undergoing chronic stress. If an inadequate diet is added to this situation (rich in saturated fats, sugars, and refined carbohydrates), the levels of intestinal flora, including Lactobacillus gasseri, will be negatively affected.
Many times, people trying to lose weight replace the refined sugars in their diet with sweeteners like sucrose. The continued use of these substances has been linked to a decrease in healthy microbiota (such as Lactobacillus gasseri) followed by increased proliferation of harmful bacteria.
What symptoms produce low levels of Lactobacillus gasseri?
Lactobacillus gasseri is an essential component of the intestinal flora. If these beneficial microorganisms die and disappear, a series of negative effects will occur. In the list below, you will find the most common symptoms that may appear if the intestinal microbiota suffers some sort of damage:
- Frequent flatulence
- Foul-smelling odor
- Heavy digestions
- Weight gain
- Increase of the abdominal perimeter
- Increase in LDL cholesterol levels
- Increased frequency of digestive tract infections
- Symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Symptoms of insomnia
- Vulvovaginal infections (such as candidiasis)
Remember that the intestinal microbiota (including Lactobacillus gasseri) plays a key role in maintaining the health of the entire body. Its actions are not limited to the intestinal tract. Although it seems incredible, these bacteria can affect our tolerance to stress and our behaviour.
How can I increase my levels of Lactobacillus gasseri?
It has been proven that Lactobacillus gasseri is transmitted from mothers to children through breastfeeding. Later, it will be possible to conserve this beneficial bacteria by maintaining a healthy diet and adequate hygiene habits. In the following list, we summarise the simplest ways to increase or maintain your L. gasseri levels:
- Diet: A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and whole foods will favour the growth of the microbiota.
- Consumption of fermented foods: Yogurt, kefir, miso, kimchi, and other fermented foods containing probiotic microorganisms. Its consumption will enhance the development of your intestinal flora.
- Exercise:Exercise is an essential component to any healthy lifestyle. By decreasing our stress levels, it allows the growth of gasseri.
- Stress management: It is important to manage stress (through meditation, exercise, or therapy) to keep our intestinal flora in good condition.
- Limit the use of sweeteners: Ingredients such as sucrose or xylitol, present in many food products, can be harmful to our microbiota.
- Use antibiotics only under medical prescription: Careless use of antibiotics destroys our intestinal flora, promotes the emergence of resistance, and enables the invasion of pathogenic bacteria.
If you are constantly under stress or if you have followed an inadequate diet for a long period of time, you may have eliminated all the colonies of Lactobacillus gasseri from your body. In that case, a probiotic can be very useful when it comes to replenishing your intestinal flora.
How to identify a probiotic as Lactobacillus gasseri?
When we talk about a “probiotic,” we refer to a supplement that contains live microorganisms that benefit our body (usually of the genus Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium). We should not confuse them with “prebiotics,” or inert substances that favour the production of healthy bacteria.
Not all bacteria are meant to be used as probiotics. When a microorganism with potentially beneficial properties for humans is discovered, it will be necessary to ensure that it meets a series of criteria before it can be administered as a probiotic supplement:
- Safety: The bacteria can not be harmful to humans. It can not cause negative effects.
- Vitality: A large part of the microorganisms must survive the packaging process.
- Survival: At least 50% of the bacteria has to survive the action of gastric juices.
- Stability: Packaged microorganisms must remain alive, as long as the expiration date is not exceeded.
- Suitable strain: It is not enough to include species of the microorganism, the particular strain with proven benefits should be used. It is recommended to indicate what type or types of strain have been used. For example, L. gasseri BNR17.
- Scientific evidence: There should be clinical trials with humans that demonstrate the effectiveness of the supplement.
- Labelling: Product labels must provide readable and comprehensible information about the probiotic.
Lactobacillus gasseri meets these criteria, so you can find probiotic products that contain these live and encapsulated microorganisms. Thanks to its great resistance to gastric acids and heat, they will arrive alive to your gastrointestinal tract, ready to exert its beneficial effect.
How to take a probiotic with Lactobacillus gasseri?
Each manufacturer is obliged to provide clear instructions on how and when to use their probiotics. However, as a reference, we recommend that you ingest your probiotic half an hour before meals, to take better advantage of its digestive effect and the reduction of lipid absorption.
If you are taking antibiotics, you should distance your treatment as much as possible from your probiotic intake. Try to ingest your Lactobacillus gasseri supplement, at least 2 hours before or two hours after your antibiotic, to prevent the dreaded bactericidal effect in making your probiotic useless.
The “dose” of probiotic is measured, in this case, in Colony Forming Units (CFU). This is a measure of the number of cells available in each capsule. In studies conducted with Lactobacillus gasseri, 1010 CFU (ten billion) were used per capsule. Six L. gasseri capsules were administered daily, that’s sixty billion cells!
What contradictions do probiotics have with Lactobacillus gasseri?
After administering such high doses of Lactobacillus gasseri without the occurrence of adverse effects, it is possible to state that this probiotic is safe for human consumption. Nevertheless, there are certain people, with special characteristics, who should consult their doctor before using this probiotic:
- Immunosuppressed people: Immunosuppressed people (such as AIDS sufferers or transplant recipients) have a weakened immune system. In them, this probiotic could trigger unwanted infections.
- Under the age of 15: Children have a developing immune system which can react unexpectedly to a probiotic. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a specialist before administering this microorganism to children under 15 years old.
- Pregnant woman and infants: There is insufficient data to confirm the safety of this probiotic in pregnant women and infants. It is therefore advised that these women refrain from consuming this probiotic.
As you can see, with few exceptions, it is safe to use a probiotic containing Lactobacillus gasseri. Some studies reported mild side effects (such as flatulence and upset stomach) that appeared at the beginning of treatment and resolved after a few weeks of continued use of the probiotic.
Who can benefit from a probiotic containing Lactobacillus gasseri?
Overweight individuals who have diets rich in refined sugars or sweeteners will benefit most from a supplement containing Lactobacillus gasseri. Yet, this microorganism is useful for treating many other symptoms. Consider using this probiotic (in addition to obesity or being overweight) if you suffer from:
- Allergies and intolerances
- Helicobacter pylori infection
- Elevated cholesterol LDL
- Menstrual pain (dysmenorrea)
Keep in mind that Lactobacillus gasseri is obtained, in many cases, from dairy crops. If you are lactose intolerant, be sure to choose a probiotic free of protein or sugar derived from milk. There exist vegan probiotics too (free of animal products).
Finding the probiotic with Lactobacillus gasseri that best suits your needs is not as easy as it may seem. There are a number of factors that you must consider when buying a product that is right for you. With this guide on supplements, we recommend that you pay attention to the following details.
- Vegan or Vegetarian Nutrition
- Intolerances and Allergies
- Bacterial Strains
- Packaging and Preservation
- Amount of CFU
- Price-Quality Ratio
Vegan or Vegetarian Nutrition
If you are vegan or vegetarian, you should be careful when purchasing a probiotic with Lactobacillus gasseri. Probiotic manufacturers often use milk or its derivatives to “grow” these microorganisms. Choose an item with the vegan quality seal if you want to avoid consuming animal products.
Although your probiotic (consisting of microorganisms and other substances, such as zinc and calcium) does not contain animal products, it may not be suitable for vegans if it is packaged in a gelatine capsule. Unless the manufacturer indicates otherwise, the coating gelatine contains bovine or porcine collagen.
Intolerances and Allergies
If you are allergic or intolerant to lactose, gluten, fish, seafood, or nuts, carefully read the label of your Lactobacillus gasseri probiotic. If you have any doubts regarding the composition of the product, consult a doctor or pharmacist before using it for the first time.
Did you know that there is not one “unique” Lactobacillus gasseri? These bacteria are susceptible to mutations that give them distinctive characteristics. Experts classify microorganisms with similar properties into groups (strains). In the following table, you can find out about the best-known strains and their functions:
|BNR17||Loss of weight and adipose tissue|
|CP2305||Aleviates constipation and diarrhoea. Improves sleep quality. Reduces the symptoms of anxiety.|
|SBT2055||Reduces the waistline. Strengthens immunity.|
|OLL2809||Relief of menstrual cramps|
|LBV150||Prevention of vulvovaginal infections (eg. candidiasis)|
Any strain of Lactobacillus gasseri will help you strengthen your intestinal flora. However, if you are looking for a specific effect (such as the reduction of the abdominal perimeter) we suggest that you choose a product that uses a certain strain with proven effects (like the BNR17 or the SBT2055)
Packaging and Preservation
Since probiotics contain live cell cultures, you should pay attention to the expiry date of your probiotic. If more than three months have gone by since that date, you can be sure that all bacteria are inactive. Ingesting millions of dead Lactobacillus gasseri won’t help you!
A good preservation method will help you maintain the effectiveness of your probiotic for as long as possible. Although each manufacturer gives specific storage instructions, experts recommend keeping the probiotics in the refrigerator. Low temperatures slow down the death of Lactobacillus gasseri.
Amount of CFU
If you do not suffer from any immunodeficiency, it is a good idea to choose a probiotic with a high amount of CFU (10-15 billion). Keep in mind that many of these bacteria will die during the transportation and delivery process. When packaging a large amount of Lactobacillus gasseri, the loss of effectiveness of the supplement is avoided.
In general, Lactobacillus gasseri packages contain fifteen to thirty capsules. The effect of probiotic supplementation becomes apparent after one month of treatment, so we advise you to opt for products that contain about thirty capsules per pack. In the long run, they will be cheaper.
Considering that these supplements lose their effect as time goes by, we do not advise you to buy “discount” packages with more than thirty capsules. If after a month of treatment, you continue to suffer from abdominal discomfort and difficulty losing weight, ask for an appointment with your doctor to rule out other diseases of greater severity.
Lactobacillus gasseri is a bacteria which makes up a part of the intestinal flora in healthy people. This microorganism guards against infections, fosters the immune system and encourages digestion. It also promotes weight loss in people with elevated IMC. Adding this probiotic to your diet can help you shed more kilos.
Don't forget that probiotics are living organisms, that need careful storage to keep them alive. However, their many benefits more than make this worthwhile. We hope that you've found the information in this article useful to let you get the most out of Lactobacillus gasseri.
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