Some of you know that I believe in looking at both the pros and cons of any questionable supplement used in connection with a Candida; I feel the same way about a yeast probiotic.
Pros and Cons of S. boulardii
Saccharomyces Boulardii is described as a “probiotic yeast.”
The most notable use of S. boulardii is a protective response to the flora (beneficial bacteria) when it is being attacked in situations such as rounds of antibiotics.
S. boulardii is normally unaffected by antibiotics.
S. Boulardii will normally reach its maximum state in about 3 days if taken orally, but is cleared from the intestines after 2 to 5 days if daily doses are not continued.
S. boulardii is considered to be a ‘temporary resident’ of the intestines because once enough lactic-acid bacteria are added to
the intestines, S. boulardii is easily replaced.
After reading the above statement about this yeast probiotic being replaced by normal probiotics, the statement below makes sense as far as the biological abilities of S. boulardii: S. Boulardii can be taken beneficially in combination with lactic-acid producing probiotics such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, in fact, S. boulardii can actually be an aid in restoring the normal flora in the intestines. The reason it’s able to do this is due to its ability to assist in the production of short-chain fatty acid levels in the gut; short-chain fatty acids play a crucial role in the health of your intestines, colon, and the beneficial flora in these areas.
All this aside, there are cases of S. boulardii managing to get into the bloodstream due to permeability of the intestines. This result of this ‘can be’ the same as any foods that do the same, meaning to create allergic reactions. There are even less cases of S. boulardii actually reaching the bloodstream of a person suffering from severe permeability of the intestinal wall lining and causing an infection in the bloodstream. And this is one of the problems I have with this yeast probiotic. The other problems I have is when a person takes such a product without doing proper research as far as the interactions with other supplements are concerned. The information below is a warning quoted from a website which markets S. boulardii.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to yeast, Saccharomyces boulardii, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or other species in the Saccharomycetaceae family should avoid S. boulardii. Saccharomyces boulardii use may be associated with itching, urticaria (hives), and generalized skin eruptions.
•Side Effects and Warnings
Saccharomyces boulardii has been generally well tolerated in human studies for treatment of various diarrhea disorders. Symptoms of Saccharomyces cerevisiae infection included septic shock in more than one patient and fever in another. Symptoms of sepsis (infection) included increased white blood cell count, abdominal meteorism (swelling from gas), and respiratory insufficiency. In general, contamination usually occurred in patients with an indwelling vascular catheter.
• Constipation, increased thirst, flatulence (gas), and bloating have been associated with Saccharomyces boulardii use. Use cautiously in patients with constipation.
• Saccharomyces boulardii fungemia (fungal infection) has occurred. Avoid in patients with a yeast infection. Symptoms included septic shock in some patients and fever in another. Symptoms of sepsis include white blood cell count increase, abdominal meteorism, and respiratory insufficiency.
• Saccharomyces boulardii use may also cause Quincke’s edema (swelling) or increases or decreases in blood pressure when used with MAOIs.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Saccharomyces boulardii is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
Saccharomyces boulardii: Interactions with Drugs
Antibiotic treatments may change gastrointestinal flora, subsequently increasing steady state levels of Saccharomyces boulardii in humans. According to various clinical trials, use of Saccharomyces boulardii in combination with antibiotics decreases the frequency and duration of diarrhea. Caution is also advised when taking Saccharomyces boulardii with other anti-diarrhea agents due to additive effects.
• Use of antifungal agents may result in decreased efficacy of Saccharomyces boulardii.
• Saccharomyces boulardii taken in combination with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) may lower blood pressure.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
• Concomitant antibiotic treatment with herbs or supplements may change gastrointestinal flora, subsequently increasing steady state levels of Saccharomyces boulardii in humans. According to various clinical trials, use of Saccharomyces boulardii in combination with antibiotics decreases the frequency and duration of diarrhea.
• Caution is also advised when taking Saccharomyces boulardii with other anti-diarrhea herbs or supplements due to additive effects.
• Use of antifungal herbs or supplements may result in decreased efficacy of Saccharomyces boulardii.
• Saccharomyces boulardii taken in combination with herbs or supplements with monoamine oxidase inhibitor-like activity may lower blood pressure.”
I can’t say that I’m against taking S. boulardii, but taking or not taking this probiotic should be a very personal decision, so before I decided to take this or any other yeast probiotic during a Candida infestation, I would certainly do a lot of research concerning my own Candida-related problems in connection with S. boulardii.