Role of Lactobacillus bulgaricus as a probiotic

What is Lactobacillus bulgaricus?
Definition
Lactobacillus d. bulgaricus (L. d. bulgaricus) is a beneficial bacteria found in the digestive tract. Intestinal bacteria are referred to as gut flora or microbes.

Characteristics
It is a gram-positive rod, non-motile, non-forming spores, non-pathogenic, acidophilic, and anaerobic. It has complex nutritional requirements that vary according to the environment which includes carbohydrates, unsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, and vitamins.

History
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus (until 2014 known as Lactobacillus bulgaricus) is one of over 200 published species in the Lactobacillus genome complex and is the main bacterium used for the production of yogurt. It also plays a crucial role in the ripening of some cheeses as well as in other processes involving naturally fermented products. Bulgaria is known as the homeland of yogurt and it was a Russian scientist, Ilya Metchinkoff who linked the longevity of the Bulgarian people to eating yogurt. Hence the name bulgaricus. Metchinkoff realized that Lactobacillus bulgaricus bacteria were beneficial in boosting immunity and treating many health conditions.

Benefits
The FDA has not approved L. d. bulgaricus or any other probiotic to treat disease. However, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) did note some potential health benefits and suggests that they may play a role in managing the following health conditions:
liver disease
common cold
atopic dermatitis (eczema)
allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
colic
preventing necrotizing enterocolitis

In the 1960s and 1970s, there was extensive research on this probiotic by Russian researchers such as Dr. Ivan Bogdanov. Here is a full list of the benefits:
decrease triglycerides, LDL levels, total cholesterol
increase immunity and fight viruses
decrease leaky gut symptoms
decrease diarrhea & nausea
improve dairy digestion
decrease inflammation
improve IBS symptoms
decrease tooth decay
manage HIV symptoms
decrease leaky gut
fight dyspepsia

Where is Lactobacillus bulgaricus found?
Bulgaricus can be found naturally in the gastrointestinal tract of mammals living in Bulgaria.

Is Lactobacillus bulgaricus the same with Lactobacillus bulgaricus GLB44
Kingdom
Lactobacillus bulgaricus belongs to Kingdom Bacteria, Class Bacilli, Lactobacillales order. With over 200 published species, some strains of L. d. bulgaricus such as L. bulgaricus GLB44, also produce bacteriocins. It differs from the rest of the strains as it was isolated from the leaves of Galanthus nivalis (snowdrop flower) in Bulgaria, The only known strain of this subspecies that has a vegan origin (not from yogurt) available as a commercial probiotic

Is Lactobacillus bulgaricus a probiotic?
L. Bulgaricus is one of the first probiotic strains ever studied. The Russian Nobel Prize winner, Ilya Mechnikov, first isolated Lactobacillus Bulgaricus around 1882 when he discovered the probiotic’s role in beneficial digestion.
Is Lactobacillus bulgaricus pathogenic?
Lactobacilli are normal inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract of man and animals where they are widely considered to exert several beneficial roles including immunomodulation, interference with enteric pathogens, and maintenance of healthy intestinal microflora. Historically, probiotic roles have been ascribed primarily to Lactobacillus acidophilus. The genus Lactobacillus presently comprises more than 50 recognized species of non-pathogenic bacteria which in addition to their probiotic effects are useful to humans as indispensable agents for the fermentation of foods and feed.

What is the best source of Lactobacillus bulgaricus?
Food
You can find Lactobacillus bulgaricus and other probiotics both in natural foods or in supplement form particularly in a variety of fermented common foods, including:
yogurt
pickles
sauerkraut
certain cheeses
kimchi
miso
some soy sauces
fermented bean pastes

Beverage
beer
wine

Supplement
Now Foods OralBiotic Lozenges
California Gold Nutrition LactoBif Probiotics
Garden of Life
Olympian

What is the role of Lactobacillus bulgaricus in yogurt?
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus is commonly used alongside Streptococcus thermophilus as a starter for making yogurt. The Lb. bulgaricus 2038 strain has been used for decades for yogurt fermentation. The two species work in synergy, while the former produces amino acids from milk proteins, which are then used by the latter. This relationship is considered to be symbiotic. Both species produce lactic acid, which gives yogurt its tart flavor and acts as a preservative.

Is Lactobacillus bulgaricus harmful or beneficial?
Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Lactobacillus acidophilus are beneficial bacteria. It’s a type of probiotic, known as ‘friendly’ bacteria and is found in the digestive tract. There are numerous bacteria in the gut and digestive system and the balance between healthy and bad bacteria has been associated with good health.

Risks and benefits of Lactobacillus bulgaricus probiotics
Use
Lactobacillus acidophilus and bulgaricus have been used as a probiotic. It aids in digestion, prevents diarrhea, and relieves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Lactobacillus acidophilus and bulgaricus may work by helping the body maintain normal consistency of bacteria in the stomach and intestines.

Safety
Due to more than a century of safe use, the FDA has granted L. bulgaricus a “grandfather” status, with an automatic GRAS status (Generally Recognized as Safe)

Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; chest tightness, difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Contraindications
This product has not been approved by the FDA to treat any disease, and it should not be substituted for prescription medications. When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor if you have any of the following:
Allergies to soy products
Lactose intolerance
Asthmatic
Pregnant or breast-feeding a baby
Diabetes

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