What is Saccharomyces boulardii (SB) and how can it help?

What is Saccharomyces boulardii (SB) and how can it help?

You may have heard of SB before, maybe you’ve even used it. But do you really know what SB is, how it works and when you can benefit from using this ingredient? For more information of this specific type of probiotic, read more.

You may have heard of Saccharomyces boulardii (SB) before, you may even have taken it, but what exactly is SB, how does it work and when can you benefit from using this type of probiotic?

What is SB?

Saccharomyces boulardii, also colloquially referred to as SB, is a probiotic yeast that was first discovered in the 1920s by the French microbiologist, Henri Boulard. Boulard noticed locals were consuming a special tea they had made from the outer skins of mangosteen and lychee, using it to protect themselves during an outbreak of cholera, a diarrhoeal infection caused by a specific strain of bacterium that can infect food or water.
On investigation, Boulard was able to isolate the compound, identifying a specific probiotic yeast that was later called Saccharomyces boulardii, in honour of its founder[1].

How does it work?

Probiotics are defined as live organisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host. They are normally recommended to help strengthen the host’s systems, for example the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

As a probiotic yeast, SB is often used for the treatment of GI tract ailments such as diarrhoea symptoms.

SB works through several different mechanisms, including promoting the health and integrity of the gut lining, interacting with the microbiome and any potential pathogens in the gut, as well as binding to those pathogens to protect against any ill-effects.

SB also works to re-establish normal gut flora after the use of antibiotics by enhancing the production of beneficial microbial by-products such as short chain fatty acids, as well as by supporting the health and function of the immune system.

Who can benefit from using it?

SB has been shown to be useful for several gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhoea. Diarrhoea can be antibiotic-associated, diet or travel related.

How does SB differ from other probiotics?

Probiotics can be either bacterial or yeast microbes. The strains that are most familiar, the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, are both bacterial strains of probiotics.

SB on the other hand is a probiotic yeast. Yeast probiotics do not colonise in the gut, but rather act by controlling the growth of other microbes in the gut by limiting their attachment to intestinal cells by a specific action of binding to the yeast.

The cell wall of SB acts as a decoy, attracting microorganisms to its surface and assisting in their removal from the body.

Using SB with antibiotics

While antibiotics can be lifesaving and have their advantages, unfortunately they do upset the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, commonly causing antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

As an ingredient, SB has been investigated in numerous trials and shown to reduce the incidence of antibiotic associated diarrhoea as well as traveller’s diarrhoea.

It does this by interfering with the organisms causing the diarrhoea and assisting in their clearance from the body, while also assisting in the process to restore healthy gut and bowel flora.

Herbs of Gold Probiotic + SB provides a combination of probiotic bacteria with SB to help maintain healthy intestinal flora. The probiotics in this product have been specifically chosen for their ability to survive stomach acid and therefore reach the intestines where they can exert the most benefit.

Herbs of Gold Probiotic + SB contains 6 billion colony-forming units (CFU) of SB which helps to relieve diarrhoea associated with antibiotic use. SB is also useful in helping to relieve the occurrence of symptoms of traveller’s diarrhoea.


[1] McFarland L. V. (2010). Systematic review and meta-analysis of Saccharomyces boulardii in adult patients. World Journal of Gastroenterology16(18), 2202–2222.

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