Saccharomyces boulardii is used to treat and prevent diarrhoea, including infectious types such as rota-viral diarrhoea in children, diarrhoea caused by gastrointestinal take-over by bad bacteria in adults, traveller's diarrhoea, and diarrhoea associated with tube feedings. It is also prescribed for patients with digestion problems, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, Lyme disease, and in general for prevention of bacterial overgrowth in short bowel syndrome. In some cases, it has also been prescribed for lactose intolerant, urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, high cholesterol levels, hives, fever blisters, canker sores, and teenage acne. Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast, a type of fungus is a strain of baker's yeast.
Saccharomyces boulardii is sold under the brand name Baller, Bioget, Econorm, Sacro, Stibs among others.
Yeast was discovered in the 17th century however its genus was not named Saccharomyces until 1837. Later, Louis Pasteur demonstrated the involvement of living organisms in fermentation in 1876 that and in 1883, Emil C. Hansen isolated brewing yeast and propagated the culture, resulting in its discovery. Since its invention, several companies have filed patents for several preparations for treating different conditions. This medicine based on this fungus are made and sold are over the world.
Forms and dosage
Saccharomyces boulardii is available as yeast and as capsules. For oral administration of the medicine for the treatment of diarrhoea associated with the use of antibiotics, the recommended adult dose is 250-500 mg, taken two to four times a day and for diarrhoea caused by Clostridium difficile, the recommended adult dose is 1 gram, taken daily for 4 weeks along with antibiotic treatment. In the treatment of Crohn's disease, the dose is 250 mg, taken three times daily for up to 9 weeks, for treating ulcerative colitis, the recommended dose is 205 mg, taken three times a day. To treat infections caused by ulcer-causing Helicobacter pylori bacterium, the recommended dose is 5 billion colony-forming units, daily in addition to normal therapy.
The price of Saccharomyces boulardii
In the USA, the consumer must pay an average retail price of US$1.14 for one 250 mg pill. This product is sold both as yeast and as a medicine. In India, the consumers have to pay US$4 for a kilogram of yeast.
How does it work?
Saccharomyces boulardii is "probiotic". It has friendly organisms that help to fight disease-causing organisms such as bacteria and yeast in the gut. Its main mechanisms include inhibition of activities of bacterial pathogenic products, trophic effects on the intestinal mucosa. It also modifies host signalling pathways involved in inflammatory and non-inflammatory intestinal diseases. It also inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting inflammation. It stimulates the production of anti-inflammatory molecules like speroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. It can also suppress bacterial infection by preventing adhesion and/or overgrowth of bacteria, toxins, and stimulates antibody production to fight the toxin. The range of mechanism of S. boulardii clearly shows its effectiveness in treating inflamed diarrheal diseases and intestinal inflammatory conditions.
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