Lactobacillus Salivarius – Know the facts
If the probiotics in your gastrointestinal tract are often compared by nutritionists to metaphorical soldiers protecting you from digestive problems and pathogens alike, then Lactobacillus salivarius is definitely on the frontline of this permanent shielding from both internal and external threats.
But how much do you know about this beneficial bacterium and its functions within the body? As it turns out, most of us have only heard about probiotics from the occasional yogurt commercial or random internet browsing, but these sources of insufficient data can leave us knowing much too little – to our obvious disadvantage.
Probiotics and human health
As ‘good’ microorganisms found predominantly within the stomach, small intestine, and colon, probiotics have the role of regulating digestive processes such as food decomposition, nutrient assimilation, and bowel motility patterns.
Smaller or larger colonies of these ‘friendly’ bacteria adhere to the mucosal lining of the aforementioned environments and then aid gastrointestinal movement by either breaking down ‘tough’ substances on their own (for instance, milk sugars being transformed into lactic acid) or boosting the production of gastric acid within the stomach.
In addition, probiotics have been shown to create small doses of hydrogen peroxide inside the organism, which has antiseptic and pathogen-inhibitory properties. The result is fewer instances of abdominal discomfort caused by microbes, yeasts, and viruses.
Symptoms that can be alleviated or even completely eliminated by intensive probiotic action are cramps, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation episodes, etc.
Fortunately enough, these immunomodulatory capacities extend into other regions of the body as well. Hence, probiotic organisms can be found at the level of the urinary and vaginal systems alike. It is here where
It is here where Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and numerous other types of such bacteria keep pathogen numbers from becoming overgrown and dangerous to your health.
More recently, probiotics like Lactobacillus salivarius have also been associated with behavioral regulation. Specialized studies reveal that the brain-gut axis – namely the direct connection between your neurological and digestive systems, which are mainly linked via the vagus nerve – is highly dependent on the wellbeing of both sides.
In the same line of inquiry, long-term gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome can worsen pre-existing mental factors such as stress, depression, and anxiety. Therefore, having a healthy and balanced intestinal microbiota can positively impact both ends of these systems by reducing visceral dysfunctionality and meliorating behavioral fluctuations.
As an added ‘bonus’, research aimed at finding other advantages of probiotics has shown over the past years that these microorganisms can have a good influence on other aspects of human health too, including (but not limited to) cardiovascular wellbeing, cavity and gum protection, and even anti-carcinogenic screening over time.
Why is Lactobacillus salivarius important for you?
In the larger picture of probiotics, Lactobacillus salivarius comes through as a highly beneficial bacterium for your overall wellness. Its predominance within the oral cavity is clearly reflected in its name, although it can also be found in the lower G.I. tract.
As many other Lactobacillus probiotic types, it has the potential to simultaneously accomplish a number of functions within the organism by existing in a symbiotic relationship within the oral, intestinal, and urogenital microbiota.
The general improvement of digestive functions is by far one of the most obvious advantages brought about by a sustained colonization with Lactobacillus salivarius within the gut. As these probiotic gatherings thrive by lining the intestinal walls, they actively participate in digestive patterns by increasing the levels of lactic acid.
This then accompanies your stomach’s own gastric acid and bile, resulting in meliorated nutrient absorption and prolonged abdominal comfort. For example, studies have shown that Lactobacillus salivarius is paramount in the correct transportation of folate (or vitamin B9) within the body, as well as a prerequisite for normal processing of substances such as protein and carbohydrates.
In addition, Lactobacillus salivarius has been shown to bring a positive contribution in the case of long-term intestinal disorders as well. Issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), chronic diarrhea, IBD (inflammatory bowel disorder), colitis, persistent gastric ulcers, and Crohn’s disease bring along a number of unwanted symptoms during their manifestation, including bloating, gas, nausea, visceral cramping, irregular bowel motility, etc. Needless to say, these can become debilitating over time and severely affect the quality of your daily life.
Many research papers focused on the amelioration of such diseases via Lactobacillus bacteria (Lactobacillus salivarius included) frequently conclude that these ‘friendly’ microorganisms work towards regularizing digestive functions and improving the side effects otherwise related to the aforementioned imbalances by reducing inflammation, eliminating more sever instances of distention (bloating), and boosting the subjects’ feeling of wellbeing throughout the course of the experiments.
The second most important quality of Lactobacillus salivarius can be definitely linked to immune protection. The immunomodulatory properties of probiotics in general is not something new for the scientific community, with studies and intensive research being the basis of many breakthrough discoveries over the past few years in this area of expertise.
In simple terms, Lactobacillus salivarius can be considered one of the body’s many ‘natural antibiotics’ in the sense that it actively seeks out and eliminates ‘bad’ bacteria that enter your organism via different pathways (breathing, eating contaminated food, dirty hands, etc.).
Aside from lactic acid, Lactobacillus microorganisms can also produce small (but effective) doses of hydrogen peroxide, a substance that inhibits the overgrowth of pathogens by creating an unfavourable environment for their colonies in different parts of the organism.
Consequently, Lactobacillus salivarius should be able to guard your health in the face of various pathogen infections, including those located within the throat and mouth (the main culprits being Streptococcus bacteria), stomach and intestines (Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Helicobacter pylori, etc.), as well as within the urinary and vaginal tracts (Candida albicans).
According to recent findings, Lactobacillus salivarius is to be considered a key factor in dental health as well. According to some studies, the common presence of this and other probiotics at the level of the mouth can be linked to significantly diminished numbers of Streptococcus pathogens (which induce cavity formation, tooth decay, plaque, mouth ulcers, and respiratory infections), alongside better management of periodontal diseases (that manifest themselves through inflammation, an increase in the gingival pocket, halitosis or ‘bad breath’, etc.). All of which you can try to treat with the help of a dentist similar to that of this Bright smile dental in Brooklyn, or others.
Most surprisingly, Lactobacillus salivarius can offer considerable mental support when found consistently within your body. A 2011 paper shows that Lactobacillus salivarius colonies stimulate and energize the brain-gut connection through the vagus nerve, leading to meliorated readings of stress (which is visible through lowered cortisol levels), anxiety, chronic fatigue, and depression. It comes as no surprise that a ‘happy’ gut translates into a ‘happy’ (or ‘happier’) mindset since long-term gastrointestinal dysfunction has been demonstrated to worsen pre-existing mental disturbances if not handled in due time.
How to increase your Lactobacillus salivarius intake?
As you can probably notice by now, Lactobacillus salivarius successfully covers a wide array of health aspects. This then begs the question – how can you get more of it into your system?
With improper eating regimes and strong medication (antibiotics) occasionally destroying notable amounts of probiotic organisms inside your gut, it is crucial that you restore your internal CFUs numbers (colony-forming units) according to your own dietary and personal preferences.
The most widespread and employed form of Lactobacillus salivarius supplementation is that of dietary enhancers. These come in a variety of strain combinations, CFUs concentrations, age-orientations, and formats (pills, powder sticks, liquid drops, etc.).
The trick before buying any such probiotic supplement is to be on the lookout for a good quality-price deal, check for an advantageous manufacturer guarantee, and rely on previous reviews from customers to see whether the product is worth your money or not.
Another useful choice of Lactobacillus salivarius boosting is that of dairy products. Lactobacillus salivarius cultures are often employed by dairy manufacturers in order to trigger the fermentation process in the case of yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, and soft cheeses (Gouda, Parmesan, Mozzarella, etc.).
While pasteurization is generally required before commercialization for safety reasons, more and more brands are choosing to add Lactobacillus salivarius post-pasteurization as well in order to increase the health-boosting properties of their products (like Dannon and Chobani, for instance).
Fermented vegetables also constitute a viable source of Lactobacillus salivarius enhancement, particularly if they are made using a brine base (namely water and higher concentrations of salt).
The more well-known options of pickles, sauerkraut, and olives can nowadays be accompanied by culturally-specific dishes such as Kimchi, Natto, Miso paste, Kombucha tea, and Umeboshi plums in order to attain a diverse and health-friendly menu for basically every day of the week.
Remember: it is always important that you consult with your doctor before starting any sort of Lactobacillus salivarius enhancement, since you have to take into consideration both a professional’s opinion on your method/ product(s) of choice and your personal medical history (as you will see further on, this can greatly affect your sensibility towards probiotics and their action).
Can Lactobacillus salivarius cause any side effects?
First of all, you should know that Lactobacillus salivarius is considered as safe to use by the medical community of present times. There are only a small number of exceptions to this rule, but which must also be taken into account (especially if this is your first introduction to probiotics and their potential effects on the body).
Most likely, an intense supplementation of Lactobacillus salivarius might cause you abdominal discomfort during the first days of usage, including bloating, flatulence, bowel irregularity, and nausea. The symptoms subside on their own within a week as your gut incorporates the new probiotic colonies into the ‘economy’ of your established microflora.
The restrictions begin in the case of your immunity system being weakened or compromised, since this medical situation enables for easier bacterial translocation and, as a consequence, for the installation of sepsis (which can be fatal).
The same caution should be applied if you are suffering from the short-bowel syndrome, taking any prescription medication or are a pregnant/ nursing mother.
Although rare and isolated, negative reactions to Lactobacillus salivarius enhancement are a testimony to our need for more intensive and probiotic-oriented research, as well as a better communication of the subsequent findings to the general public.
Choosing probiotics: Lactobacillus salivarius
If recent nutritional research is of any indication, then the natural presence of Lactobacillus salivarius within your gastrointestinal system is a sign of good health, while active supplementation of this probiotic can ultimately lead to an increased quality of said welfare over time.
The digestive, immune, and mental supporting qualities of Lactobacillus salivarius are undoubtedly enough to make this ‘good’ bacterium a valuable instrument in maintaining your quality of life within high standards in an easy and often affordable fashion.
So don’t hesitate in giving Lactobacillus salivarius a try for yourself to see whether this ‘pro-life’ organism can make a difference in your life for the better. Chances are you won’t regret making that decision anytime soon!