Saccharomyces boulardii is the name of fungus that is used as medicine. It is a "good' fungus that helps restore digestive health. The fungus is believed to be a strain of yeast in the same family as baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but some have thought it is a separate strain of yeast.
What is Saccharomyces boulardii ?
Saccharomyces boulardii is called a probiotic because it is a microorganism that has a positive effect on digestion when consumed. Its main use is in treating diarrhea. It has been approved for treating acute diarrhea, chronic acne and as a source or vitamins B and protein. Saccharomyces boulardii is sold over the counter in drug stores, health food stores, and specialty grocery stores. It is usually packaged in a capsule, and it can also be found as a powder.
Uses of Saccharomyces boulardii
Saccharomyces boulardii has been used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, Lyme disease, and any bacterial overgrowth. Some research has shown that Crohn's diseases stays in remission longer in those taking Saccharomyces boulardii. It is also helpful for urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, hives, canker cores, acne, fever blisters, hives, traveler's diarrhea and high cholesterol. Saccharomyces boulardii can even help with the difficult to treat, recurring bowel dysbiosis caused by Clostridium difficile. Saccharomyces boulardii is also useful in treating the bacteria that causes ulcers, Helicobater difficile. Saccharomyces boulardii can be taken after a course of antibiotics when the antibiotics have killed off the beneficial bacteria and diarrhea results. It may be effective in treating diarrhea in infants as well. People with cystic fibrosis and lactose intolerance may also benefit from taking Saccharomyces boulardii but evidence is insufficient. Those on feeding tubes can benefit from using Saccharomyces boulardii, but more studies need to be made to confirm the evidence. In treating acne with Saccharomyces boulardii, additional therapies are also needed. Prevention of the diarrhea associated with HIV infection is another possible effective use of Saccharomyces boulardii.
Side effects and warnings about Saccharomyces boulardii
Most people can tolerate Saccharomyces boulardii but it can cause gas. It is also thought to be safe for consumption by children; however, when treating childhood diarrhea, it is always wise to consult a medical professional. Those with weak immune symptoms should also consult with a medical professional because a systemic yeast infection called fungemia could occur. Those people who are allergic to yeast could have an allergic reaction to Saccharomyces boulardii as well, and might develop hives, digestive disturbances or breathing problems.
Drug interactions with Saccharomyces boulardii
Because Saccharomyces boulardii is a fungus, anti-fungal medications should not be taken along with it. Anti-fungal medications include drugs such as fluconazole, terinafine, and itraconazole.