Lactobacillus brevis: The most important health benefits

by Katie Stone, ND December 06, 2017

Lactobacillus brevis: The most important health benefits

Lactobacillus brevis belongs to the lactic acid bacteria family, comprised of about 16 different strains. L. brevis is found in a wide variety of environments, including fermented foods such as sauerkraut and pickles, and in normal gut microbiota of the human body. It’s particularly abundant in the intestines, vagina and feces.

Lactobacillus brevis is found on dairy farms in raw milk. In most cases, it lives alongside other lactic acid bacteria in a variety of foods, particularly those containing live bacteria.

Foods commonly known to contain lactic acid bacteria include raw milk, wine, salami, cheese, sourdough bread, pickles, yogurt, cocoa, and coffee. L. brevis specializes in sour fermented food. 

Lactobacillus brevis is also present in kefir grains and is known as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide (dextran) that forms the grains.

Better digestive health

Lactobacillus brevis is particularly beneficial for digestive health. Several studies indicate that it has the ability to combat gastric ulcers by inhibiting a major cause of ulcers, Helicobacter pylori.

Several studies have shown that a number of probiotics including L. brevis can reduce the possible side effects associated with traditional treatments for H. pylori such as pharmaceutical medications. It also reduces the signs of infection in the gastric mucosa.

Improving cognitive function

Lactobacillus brevis may also help to improve cognitive function when used in combination with other probiotics.

A study involving adults who were given a fermented milk product to drink every day found that these particular probiotics helped to improve brain activity in distinct brain regions involved in mediating cognitive performance.

This is believed to be a result of the gut-brain connection, which suggests that the composition of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract can influence the brain and behavior, particularly in terms of cognitive function.

Boosting immunity in adults and children

Several studies have shown that taking L. brevis in food or as a supplement can help to improve immune function, and it has been patented several times.

Research shows that L. brevis can help to boost the immune system by increasing the production of natural killer cells. The anti-microbial facets properties of L. brevis are particularly beneficial for the health and condition of the gums.

One study has shown that L. brevis produced enzymes that prevented nitrite/nitrate formation in patients with gum disease. L. brevis was found to decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines while boosting the patients’ immune systems. This suggests it may be effective in healing damaged gums.

Women of childbearing ages are encouraged to benefit from L. brevis, as high amounts are associated with the health of the vagina. It also appears that newborns receive quantities of L. brevis from the mother through breast feeding or through natural child birth. This helps to protect the baby’s gut from pathogens and also assist with digestion.

Katie Stone, ND
Katie Stone, ND


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