Lactobacillus rhamnosus, or L. rhamnosus, is a
type of probiotic bacteria. Probiotics, as
defined by the Food and Agricultural
Organization of the United Nations, are “live
microorganisms which, when administered in
adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the
host.” (1) L. rhamnosus was first isolated in
1983 in the intestines of a healthy human
subject by scientists Barry Goldin and Sherwood
Gorbach, when it was shown to have
remarkable tolerance for the harsh acids
normally found in the stomach and digestive
tract.. The “GG” in the title of the strain L.
rhamnosus GG is derived from the last names of
the two scientists. Like other probiotics, L.
rhamnosus has properties that are beneficial to
the intestinal tract. It is also believed to be
of considerable assistance with the immune
system, particularly in combating intestinal and
urinary tract pathogens. L. rhamnosus is also
used as a natural preservative in yogurt-based products,
where the bacterium attaches to the
lining of the intestines, where it encourages
the growth of helpful organisms that aid in
rhamnosus is a probiotic bacterium that helps
eliminate and prevent the growth of harmful
bacteria in the intestines. Many consumers may
be familiar with lactobacillus probiotics, which
are touted today by some yogurt manufacturers as
an aid in digestion and in promoting regular
bowel activity. In fact, lactobacilli have been
used for centuries to aid in the fermentation of
dairy products. During the 20th century,
researchers began evaluating these organisms and
their positive effects on the human body and its
ability to naturally ward off disease and
infection. The lactobacillus rhamnosus bacterium
was first isolated by researchers in 1983, when
it was shown to have remarkable tolerance for
the harsh acids normally found in the stomach
and digestive tract.(2) The following are some of
the well noted benefits of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus:
Helps Fight Intestinal Tract Illnesses
According to studies published by Goldin and
Gorbach, L. rhamnosus is said to be able to
survive the highly acidic conditions of the
human stomach, as well as the intestinal tract.
It is also believed to be bile-stable. (2) This
makes the probiotic highly desirable in its
ability to conquer intestinal ailments.
Suppresses Bacterial Infections in Renal
In 2005, it was demonstrated that with patients
experiencing kidney-related illnesses, L.
rhamnosus is capable of interrupting the
gastrointestinal transportation of the variety
of enterococcus that is resistant to the
antibiotic vancomycin. (3)
Assists in Prevention of Urinary Tract
According to an article published in the
November 2009 issue of Renal and Urology News,
daily ingestion of L. rhamnosus Gr-1 may be
effective in helping postmenopausal women who
suffer from chronic urinary tract infections.
While dosage of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is
considered to be a standard treatment for a UTI,
L. rhamnosus is a viable alternative when
antibiotic resistance is a consideration. (4)
The probiotic seems to be capable of
safeguarding the urogenital tract by its ability
to excrete biosurfactants. This enables the
tract to limit the adhesion of pathogens.
Helps Build a Superior Immune System
While blood cells are certainly a major agent in
managing the body’s immune system, the gut is
also a huge contributor in this area. Because of
the ability of L. rhamnosus to survive in
extremely acidic environments such as the
digestive system, the probiotic can thrive in
the gut. L. rhamnosus stimulates the production
of antibodies and also assists in the process of
phagocytosis, a means by which the body combats
dangerous invasive bacteria.
Aids in Dairy Product Digestion Among the
A 1998 study conducted among dairy-sensitive
research subjects showed that the subjects who
consumed milk with L. rhamnosus GG did not
exhibit the inflammatory response that occurred
with the subjects who drank milk without the
probiotic. Also, the L. rhamnosus appeared to
enhance the immune system in the test subjects
in whom the probiotic-enhanced milk did not
generate an inflammatory reaction. (5)
Decreases Duration of Diarrhea
Research conducted in 2000 in several European
countries indicated that the administration of
L. rhamnosus GG to children suffering from
rotavirus shortened the duration by at least one
day of the pervasive diarrhea associated with
the illness. (6) Another study showed that
ingestion lf L. rhamnosus GG was helpful in
reducing the extent of diarrhea when it exists
as a side effect of antibiotic use to combat H.
pylori infections. (7)
Safety of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus:
With the exception of extremely rare
occurrences of sepsis in limited groups of
patients with serious diseases, such as HIV or
AIDS, and in patients with short bowel
no significant side effects have been shown to
exist with the the use of L. rhamnosus. There may be
an initial brief period of bloating and gas
among subjects taking it for the first time.
These symptoms should disappear as the body
becomes accustomed to the presence of the
Lactobacillus rhamnosus is one of the most
widely studied probiotics, noted and valued for
its ability to survive and even thrive in the
harsh conditions of the digestive and urinary
tracts. Multiple clinical trials have determined
the bacterium to be especially beneficial in
promoting and maintaining digestive tract
health. Lactobacillus rhamnosus is extremely
well tolerated by men and women, and has been
associated with only very rare side effects.
Studies have shown that, taken regularly,
lactobacillus rhamnosus can be an effective
supplement in promoting and maintaining
digestive tract health.
(1) FAO/WHO: Health and Nutritional Properties
of Probiotics in Food including Powder Milk with
Live Lactic Acid Bacteria. Report of the Joint
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the
United Nations/World Health Organization (WHO)
Expert Consultation on Evaluation of Health and
Nutritional Properties of Probiotics in Food
Including Powder Milk with Live Lactic Acid
(2) Conway PL, Gorbach SL, Goldin BR (1987).
"Survival of lactic acid bacteria in the human
stomach and adhesion to intestinal cells".
Journal of. Dairy Science. 70 (1): 1–12.
(3) Manley KJ, Fraenkel MB, Mayall BC, Power DA
(2007). "Probiotic treatment of vancomycin-resistant
enterococci: a randomised controlled trial.”
Medical Journal of Australia, 186 (9): 454–7.
(4) Schieszer, J, “Antibiotic UTI Prophylaxis
Slightly Better,” Renal & Urology News, November
(5) Pelto L, Isolauri E, Lilius EM, Nuutila
J, Salminen S. “Probiotic bacteria down-regulate
the milk-induced inflammatory response in
milk-hypersensitive subjects but have an
immunostimulatory effect in healthy subjects.”
Clinical & Experimental Allergy. 1998 Dec; 28
(6) Guandalini S, Pensabene L, Abu Zikri M, Amil
Dias J, Gobio Casali L, et al. “Lactobacillus GG
Administered in oral rehydration solution to
children with acute diarrhea: A multi-center
European trial.” Journal of Pediatric
Gastroenterology & Nutrition. 2000; 30: 54-60.
(7) Armuzzi A, Cremonini F, Ojetti V, Bartolozzi
F, Canducci F, Candelli M, Santarelli L,
Cammarota G, De Lorenzo A, Pola P, Gasbarrini G,
Gasbarrini A. “Effect of Lactobacillus GG
supplementation on antibiotic-associated
gastrointestinal side effects during
Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy: a pilot
study.” Digestion. 2001; 63 (1):1-7.
(8) Gupta, V; Garg, R. "Probiotics".
Indian Journal of Medical Microbioloy 27 (3):
(9) WebMD.com website. Lactobacillus - webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-790-LACTOBACILLUS.aspx?activeIngredientId=790&activeIngredientName=LACTOBACILLUS&source=2
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