Importance of Lactobacillus casei

What is Lactobacillus casei?

Definition
Lactobacillus casei is a species of genus Lactobacillus found in the human urinary tract and mouth. This particular species of Lactobacillus is documented to have a wide pH and temperature range, and complements the growth of L. acidophilus, a producer of the enzyme amylase (a carbohydrate-digesting enzyme).

The most common application of L. casei is industrial, specifically for dairy production.
Lactobacillus casei is typically the dominant species of nonstarter lactic acid bacteria present in ripening cheddar cheese. L. casei is also the dominant species in naturally fermented Sicilian green olives.

Benefits
Probiotic supplements containing L. Casei are used to prevent or treat diarrhea. This includes infectious diarrhea, traveler’s diarrhea, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

It may also have some effect on other digestive problems, including:
colic
constipation
Crohn’s disease
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
lactose intolerance
ulcerative colitis

Aside from the digestive benefits, Lactobacillus casei may also be useful for:
acne, hives, and fever blisters
allergies, eczema, and dermatitis
cold, flu, and respiratory infection
ear infection (otitis media)
oral health problems, such as plaque, gingivitis, and canker sores
Helicobacter pylori infection, which causes stomach ulcers
Lyme disease
necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a serious intestinal disease common in premature infants
rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
urinary tract and vaginal infections

Is Lactobacillus casei aerobic or anaerobic?
Lactobacillus casei is found in different parts of the body, especially in the mouth and intestines. It therefore has a high tolerance for pH (acidity) and a wide range of temperatures. But pH and temperature are not the only differences between mouth and intestines. The biggest difference is the lack of oxygen in the intestines (anaerobic), while the mouth is full of oxygen (aerobic). L. casei is a facultative anaerobic organism, meaning that it can survive with or without oxygen.

Is Lactobacillus casei dairy-free?
In the world of bacteria, lactobacillus and lactic doesn’t mean it contains lactose, and casei isn’t referring specifically to casein. And these types of bacteria weren’t necessarily grown on a dairy medium. In fact, these bacteria naturally occur in the human gut, even in those of us who are dairy free.

Is Lactobacillus vegan?
Lactobacillus probiotics are generally vegan, as they are bacteria—not an animal product. However, the probiotics may be cultured with dairy. Even though the dairy from this culturing process does not remain in the final product, many vegans prefer probiotics specifically labeled “dairy-free” or “vegan” for this reason.

What does Lactobacillus casei do?

Uses
Lactobacillus Casei is a superstar probiotic strain. Beyond its beneficial effects on human health, it is commonly used to make the foods we love. Some examples are: making cheese, green olive fermentation and making yogurt and other fermented milk products.

Side Effects
Probiotics such as Lactobacillus Casei are generally considered safe and potentially helpful in regulating the digestive system. Promising studies involving probiotic drinks concluded that it may reduce the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and C. difficile-associated diarrhea. No adverse events were reported.

Contraindications / Interactions
Antibiotic drugs interacts with LACTOBACILLUS
Antibiotics are used to reduce harmful bacteria as well as friendly bacteria in the body. Lactobacillus is a type of friendly bacteria. Taking antibiotics along with lactobacillus can reduce the effectiveness of lactobacillus. To avoid this interaction take lactobacillus products at least 2 hours before or after antibiotics.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with LACTOBACILLUS
Lactobacillus contains live bacteria and yeast. The immune system usually controls bacteria and yeast in the body to prevent infections. Medications that decrease the immune system can increase your chances of getting sick from bacteria and yeast.

Where is Lactobacillus casei found?
Naturally, these are found in the gut, but fermented foods also contain L. casei as well. These include some yogurts, yogurt-like fermented milk, and certain cheeses.

Who should not take Lactobacillus casei probiotics?
Although considered safe,special precautions must be observed in the following:
Children
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Weakened immune system
Short bowel syndrome
Ulcerative colitis
Damaged heart valves

Clinical uses of Lactobacillus casei probiotics

In the skin
Allergy Benefits
Pollen Allergies – Anyone with severe allergies dreads the start of pollen season. In But a Japanese scientist, Dr. Ogawa, led a study to investigate if probiotic L. casei could provide any relief from this pollen assault.
Newborn Allergies – One researcher thought he could turn the tide of allergies by giving pregnant mothers probiotics. To test this theory, Dr. Ortiz-Andrellucchi gave expecting mothers 6 weeks of L. casei supplementation. This supplementation increased the milk’s concentration of helper cells in the mother’s milk; a good sign that the Lactobacillus casei was doing something.
In summary, the allergy benefits of L. casei are reduced asthma and allergy symptoms.

In the digestive system
Fighting Diarrhea – In 2002 an Argentinian study found that L. Casei had a massive effect on patients with chronic diarrhea. When patients were taking L. Casei, their diarrhea episodes were greatly reduced. But when the probiotic was stopped, diarrhea episodes returned. This study suggests that continual supplementation is ideal for full digestive benefits.

Here is a complete list of the digestive benefits:
maintain remission of diverticular disease
reduce occurrence, risk and symptoms of IBS
inhibit H. pylori (cause of ulcers)
inhibit and reduce diarrhea episodes
decrease milk intolerance
reduce constipation
prevent colorectal tumor growth
inhibit tumor growth of carcinomatous peritonitis/stomach cancer
In the immune system

Immunity Benefits
inhibit viral infections
stimulate the immune system
inhibit candida overgrowth
stimulate the immune system among the elderly
decrease rotavirus infections
decrease colds and influenza
inhibit pathogenic bacterial infections
inhibit pneumonia
inhibit respiratory tract infections
inhibit bronchitis
inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa (pneumonia)
inhibit clostridium difficile

Market Potential for Lactobacillus casei
In Europe, the most active area within the functional foods market has been probiotic dairy products, in particular, probiotic yogurts and milks.

In Japan, soft drinks still dominate the market with dietary fiber and probiotics as the significant functional ingredients. Innovation in ice cream, confectionery, biscuits, snack foods, and calcium-fortified drinks are also expected in the future.
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The vitamin and mineral fortification of foods in general has been the key area of development in food companies. They will continue to research new functional food products, resulting in the association of more food ingredients with health claims. Further product launches are expected in several areas, including sport-related products, fortified foods and drinks, and dairy products such as yogurts, cheese, ice cream, and milks containing prebiotics and probiotics.

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