16 Benefits of Lactobacillus Helveticus

Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT on August 21, 2017Written by Isabel Spahn on August 21, 2017

Overview

Lactobacillus helveticus is a type of lactic acid bacteria that’s naturally found in the gut. It’s also found naturally in certain foods, like:

  • Italian and Swiss cheeses (e.g., Parmesan, cheddar, and Gruyère)
  • milk, kefir, and buttermilk
  • fermented foods (e.g., Kombucha, Kimchi, pickles, olives, and sauerkraut)

You can also find L. helveticus in probiotic supplements. L. helveticus has been linked to improved gut, oral, and mental health. Below we break down the research and look into the ways L. helveticus may benefit your health.

Want to learn about other probiotics? Here’s a handy dandy probiotics 101 guide.

What are the benefits?

Here we explain 16 possible health benefits. Some have proven results in human studies. Others are preliminary studies and results are reported in mice or in vitro. In vitro studies are done in cells in a lab. We’ve split them up so you can easily navigate. And while all of the studies and results are exciting, further studies, including human clinical studies, are needed to prove the results found in the preliminary mice and in vitro studies.

Studies in humans

1. Promotes overall gut health

This study found that consumption of L. helveticus promoted the production of butyrate, which helps with gut balance and stability.

2. Decreases blood pressure

A study of 40 participants with high to normal blood pressure found the daily consumption of powdered, fermented milk tablets with L. helveticus reduced blood pressure without any adverse effects.

3. Improves anxiety and depression

Preliminary results have shown that L. helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum, taken in combination, can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

4. Improves sleep

One study showed consumption of fermented milk with L. helveticus improved sleep in patients aged 60–81 years.

5. Shortens the length of upper respiratory tract illnesses

This study, which had 39 elite athlete participants, found L. helveticus reduced the length of upper respiratory tract illnesses.

6. Increases calcium levels

In a study done in 2016, a group of participants between the ages of 64 and 74 ate yogurt with L. helveticus probiotic every morning. The study found serum calcium levels increased in those who ate the yogurt.

7. Has a positive effect on calcium metabolism

A study of postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 78 found that there was a positive effect on calcium metabolism in women who were given milk with L. helveticus. It also found that it decreased parathyroid hormone (PTH), which is associated with bone loss.

8. Treats gut infections

A study published in Frontiers in Microbiology suggests that L. helveticus might help treat infections in your gut.

Studies in mice

9. Learning and memory

When mice were given Calpis sour milk whey, an L. helveticus-fermented milk product, the mice showed improvement in learning and recognition tests.

10. Arthritis

In this study, researchers found L. helveticus decreased the production of splenocytes in mice, which can improve the symptoms associated with arthritis.

11. Dermatitis

Here mice were given L. helveticus-fermented milk whey orally. Researchers found it may be effective in preventing the onset of dermatitis.

12. Fungal growth

This study found that L. helveticus suppressed vulvovaginal candidiasis in mice.

13. Breast tumors

In this study mice that were fed L. helveticus-fermented milk showed decreased growth rates of mammary tumors.

14. Infection

In this study, researchers found milk fermented by L. helveticus given to mice offered improved protection against salmonella infection.

Studies in vitro

15. Cancer

There have been a few in vitro studies that looked at the cancer-fighting potential of L. helveticus. This study found that L. helveticus inhibited the production of human colon cancer cells. Two different studies found L. helveticus subdued the production of human colon cancer cells. This study found L. helveticus inhibited the production of liver cancer cells, specifically HepG-2, BGC-823, and HT-29 cancer cells.

16. Inflammation

In this study, researchers looked at the ability of L. helveticus to modify or regulate immune functions in vitro. Their results indicated it could be useful in the development of products used to prevent or treat inflammation-associated diseases.

Where to find this probiotic

As mentioned, L. helveticus is a strain of bacteria commonly found in dairy products and fermented foods.

L. helveticus is also sold as a probiotic. You can find probiotics in most pharmacies, health food stores, and online. Here are some products you can get off of Amazon. We picked products that had the highest customer rating:

Make sure to research the company because these products are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Get more details on the best probiotic supplements out there.

How much can you consume?

Probiotics are measured by the number of living organisms per capsule. A typical L. helveticus dose ranges from 1 to 10 billion living organisms taken daily in 3 to 4 divided doses.

Before you begin a new supplement, consult with your health care provider or a nutritionist. Your first choice for introducing probiotics should be by eating the foods where it occurs naturally. If you choose to use supplements, do your research on brands. Supplements are not monitored by the FDA, and there could be issues with safety, quality, or purity.

Risks and warnings

L. helveticus is considered safe and has very few side effects or interactions. A few things to note:

  • L. helveticus taken with antibiotics might reduce the effectiveness of L. helveticus.
  • Taking L. helveticus with medications that suppress the immune system may increase your chances of getting sick.

Talk to your doctor or nutritionist before you start taking L. helveticus to make sure there are no interactions.

The bottom line

Probiotics and foods that contain L. helveticus could bring you added health benefits. Exactly how much of an impact, if any, will depend on your individual gastrointestinal system. Some people may be able to tolerate more L. helveticus in their diet, or as a supplement, than other people.

It’s best to eat foods that naturally have L. helveticus or start with small doses, and then add on, according to a dietary plan. Ask your healthcare provider to help you create a regimen that works best for you. And make sure to keep track of how you feel!

We pick these items based on the quality of the products, and list the pros and cons of each to help you determine which will work best for you. We partner with some of the companies that sell these products, which means Healthline may receive a portion of the revenues when you buy something using the links above.

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