Lactobacillus Rhamnosus
Last updated: October 29, 2020

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Human gastrointestinal microbiota, also known as gut flora or gut microbiota, are the microorganisms that live in the digestive tract of humans. They maintain the proper functionality of the gastrointestinal system, and keep it in the best possible condition. Any imbalance in this delicate equilibrium will have negative repercussions for our health, in the short and long term. To help maintain your gut health, you need some support, which is why we recommend the probiotic bacterium lactobacillus rhamnosus.

Stress, illness and especially the use of antibiotics can be debilitating to your gastrointestinal health. Lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic supplements will prevent the onset of symptoms derived from an imbalance in this system. Would you like to know more about this amazing bacterium? Keep reading!

Key Facts

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a probiotic bacterium which helps to improve gastrointestinal health, when taken regularly.
  • Experts often recommend the use of lactobacillus rhamnosus to treat any type of imbalance in the intestinal tract, resulting from the use of antibiotics.

Our Selection: The Best Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Supplements on the UK Market

Lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotics are one of the most widely sold supplements these days. Unfortunately, most of the products on the market do not contain a sufficient quantity of the bacterium to be effective. Here we show you five products that are effective and popular with consumers. If you purchase one of the following probiotics, you will not regret it.

The Best Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Supplements for Gut Health

This product contains 16 strains for the best results, including L. Rhamnosus. Unlike many brands that only include few strains, this product provides a broad spectrum of bacterial cultures. Made from a 50 billion CFU source powder, it provides 30bn CFUs per 2 capsule serving.

They are made in the UK as per GMP and ISO standards, and are non-GMO and do not contain gluten, wheat or dairy. This product also won the BEST GUT SUPPLEMENT AWARD at the Beauty Shortlist & Wellbeing Awards, in March 2020.

The Best Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Supplements for Those on Antibiotics

The strains within OptiBac ‘For those on antibiotics’ are extremely well-researched alongside antibiotics, and are even safe to take at the same time as antibiotics. Scientifically proven to survive to reach the gut alive without the need for a special protective coating. Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus have been clinically trialled alongside, and created especially for those who are taking antibiotics.

Provides 4 billion high quality live microorganisms per capsule, guaranteed until end of expiry. With OptiBac you get 4 billion bacteria you can count on. No refrigeration required. These supplements are free from added flavourings, colours and preservatives.

The Best Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Supplements With High Strength Cultures

Nu U Bio-Cultures complex formula offers 5 strains. Each specially formulated strain is chosen for its effectiveness. 80% of your immune system is in your stomach. These strains of cultures are the good bacteria that fight the bad bacteria. Also this supplement provides 10 Billion CFU source powder which produces 1 billion viable organisms per capsule.

With an incredible 180 Bio-Cultures capsules, this pack gives amazing value with 6 months supply. Bio-Cultures complex is made right here in the UK so you are safeguarded by the highest standards in the world. It is free from artificial ingredients and suitable for vegetarians.

The Best Overall Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Supplements

Vitamin Bounty’s Pro 50 offers a potent, 50 Billion organisms per serving, making it one of the most effective probiotics with prebiotics on the market. Pro-50 has 13 probiotic strains, ensuring you will get the support you need for your overall digestive health.

Users reported positive results for a wide-range of ailments such as psoriasis, IBS, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure and many others.

The Best Value for Money Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Supplements

This supplement by Natures Aid provides three types of what are often known as friendly bacteria. It contains lactic acid, which helps to maintain a healthy digestive system by increasing the acidity and inhibiting the reproduction of many harmful bacteria. And it was manufactured using 5 billion live organisms.

With a count of 90 capsules per pack and costing around £7, this is are great value for money supplement. You should also know that it´s made 100% in the UK to GMP standards. Without any artificial flavours, colours or preservatives, it is also lactose, yeast and gluten free too.

Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Should Know About Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

Did you know that there are hundreds of thousands of microorganisms in the human body? The microbiota of the human body is comprised of these tiny organisms. Various factors, such as food or the use of antibiotics can affect the microbiota (especially of the intestines) and have adverse consequences for your health.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements are effective and very popular. As a consequence they are more expensive than other probiotics.
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What is a lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic?

  • Safety: The supplement must be safe for human consumption and not provoke any unwanted side effects, even at high doses.
  • Vitality: It is essential that the supplement contains a sufficient amount of live microorganisms.
  • Longevity: In order for the supplement to be considered effective, the bacteria must be able to survive in the digestive tract.
  • Stability: The microorganisms contained in the supplements must be kept alive for the product to remain effective.
  • Correct strain: There are different varieties (or strains) of the same bacteria, it is necessary to check which strain has been used in the supplement you are thinking about buying. For example, lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.
  • Scientific evidence: It is essential that you rely on some kind of scientific study or test that corroborates the effectiveness of the probiotic.
  • Labeling: It is expected that the probiotic should be correctly labeled, and that the instructions for use are clear and easy to understand.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is one of the most studied and widely used probiotics. As long as the above criteria are met, it can be isolated and distributed as a supplement by the pharmaceutical and food industries. You can find enriched lactobacillus rhamnosus in fermented foods and in probiotic capsules.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is usually cultivated from cow’s milk.
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What is the relationship between lactobacillus rhamnosus and gastrointestinal microbiota (also known as gut flora)?

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a bacterium, or more precisely a bacillus, which is found in the normal microbiota of healthy people. Although this microorganism is usually only found temporarily in the intestines, it has been shown that the ingestion of this bacterium helps the growth of other beneficial bacteria and inhibits the production of pathogens.

Thanks to the fact that lactobacillus rhamnosus is resistant to gastric acids, it is suitable to be used as a probiotic supplement. This is because it is able to survive during its passage through the digestive tract. This probiotic is used as a treatment for a wide-range of illnesses, including:

  • Food allergies
  • Diarrhoea associated with gastroenteritis
  • Diarrhoea associated with the use of antibiotics
  • Respiratory tract infection (RTI)
  • Skin conditions (such as dermatitis, eczema)
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Irritable gut syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • Asperger’s syndrome (AS)
  • Anxiety

The only application for which lactobacillus rhamnosus has been clinically proven to be effective, is for the treatment of diarrhoea associated with the use of antibiotics. In this case it has been demonstrated that the ingestion of this probiotic significantly reduces the duration of diarrhoea resulting from this type of medical treatment.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, be sure to choose a product that is free from animal products.
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Can antibiotics be harmful to my microbiota?

Antibiotics are prescribed, in general, to destroy some type of bacterial pathogen that has infiltrated the body. However, one of the side effects of this type of treatment is the destruction of other microorganisms, such as the beneficial bacteria of our intestinal microbiota.

The loss of these beneficial bacteria (dysbiosis) results in a series of negative effects in the body. Depending on the age of the individual affected, the repercussions will be less or more severe. In the following table, we show you the effects associated with the apparition of dysbiosis, depending on the age of the person affected:

Age Important life event Consequence of dysbiosis
0 years old Birth Colonisation of germs resistant to antibiotics.

Increase in the prevalence of infections, asthma, allergies and type 1 diabetes.

Increase in the risk of developing infant obesity.

1 year old Breastfeeding – First steps Colonisation of germs resistant to antibiotics.

Increase in the risk of developing infant obesity.

Increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

2- 10 years old First steps – Eating solid foods Colonisation of germs resistant to antibiotics.

Increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

11 – 16 years old Puberty Colonisation of germs resistant to antibiotics.

Increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Increase in the risk of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).

16 – 40 years old Reproduction Colonisation of germs resistant to antibiotics.

Increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Increase in the risk of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).

+ 40 years old Ageing and loss of mobility

Colonisation of germs resistant to antibiotics.

Increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Increase in the risk of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).

Babies and small children are the most at risk of suffering from the deterioration of the microbiota resulting from the use of antibiotics. However, the consequences of dysbiosis in adults can be just as severe, as in the case of infection from the aggressive pathogen Clostridium difficile.

What symptoms are caused from the destruction of intestinal microbiota?

Anyone who wants to avoid long term issues (increase of resistant bacteria, increase of infections and increase in the prevalence of allergies) should pay attention to the apparition of the following symptoms, which can be indicative of the onset of intestinal dysbiosis:

  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Inexplicable fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

You must have noticed several symptoms on the list which are normally categorised as “neurological” or “psychological” ailments. How is it possible that an imbalance of the intestinal system could affect our mental state? What is certain is that the microbiota works to produce and regulate neurotransmitters that affect the state of our mental health.

If any of the previously mentioned symptoms appear, especially during or after completing an antibiotic treatment, it is possible that the quality of your intestinal microbiota has been affected. We recommend that you follow our advice, so that you can restore the balance of bacteria in your digestive tract.

Can I restore my microbiota with a diet lactobacillus rhamnosus?

A balanced diet, rich in vegetables and low in animal fats, will create a perfect breeding ground for a healthy microbiota. This is even more true if you consume fermented foods (yogurt, kimchi and kefir for example), as you are introducing beneficial bacteria into your system such as lactobacillus rhamnosus.

If you wish to specifically increase your intake of lactobacillus rhamnosus through your diet, look for products containing this microorganism. From milk and yogurt, to seeds (chia and flax) supplemented with lactobacillus rhamnosus, there are countless ways to introduce this bacillus into your diet.

Dairy products are a great way to get more lactobacillus rhamnosus.
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Finally, we recommend that you avoid tobacco, alcohol and sweeteners. It has been proven that these products negatively affect the state of your microbiota, increasing the likelihood of dysbiosis. Reducing stress can also be something worth considering, if you wish to encourage the growth of beneficial hormones.

Can a lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic help to repopulate my microbiota?

If you have already adopted the previously mentioned habits for healthier living, but you still haven’t successfully rebalanced your microbiota, the introduction of a probiotic supplement in your diet can help you enormously. Lactobacillus rhamnosus is one of the most studied microbial species with many benefits proven in clinical trials.

This probiotic has been used to treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract in both children and adults. Although it has also been used as a remedy for food intolerance, infections and irritable bowel syndrome. Where this product really works, is in the management of diarrhoea resulting from the use of antibiotics.

Major global health organisations, such as the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority, recognise the benefits of lactobacillus rhamnosus.

The presence of lactobacillus rhamnosus in the digestive tract of a person can inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria and help the colonisation of beneficial microorganisms. From improving the state of the microbiota, the following positive effects can be seen:

  • Improved digestion
  • Reduced abdominal swelling
  • Reduction of the intensity and severity of diarrhoea
  • Relief from constipation
  • Reduced insomnia
  • Less severe symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Increased population of microorganisms that produce vitamins
  • Protection against infections and diseases such as Clostridium difficile

How much do lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotics cost?

Lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotics require a delicate process of cultivation, packaging and transport. As a result, the price of these supplements is a little higher than other products, at around £20-£30. The use of exclusive bacterial strains will also increase the price of a product.

In this case, it can be more economical to look for a supplement rich in less expensive strains of bacteria (like Bifidobacterium), which you can combine with lactobacillus rhamnosus to increase the effects of the bacteria. This will mean you can improve you intestinal health in a much more cost-effective way.

How should a lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic be taken?

What is the recommended dose? The dose of all probiotics is measured in Colony Forming Units (CFU). This parameter references the quantity of living cells in each dose of the supplement. The recommended dose of lactobacillus rhamnosus is two billion bacteria (2 x 109 CFU).

How is it taken? Avoid taking the supplement with hot liquids or acids (such as coffee). Substances of this type can kill probiotics. In the same way, it is recommended that you do not take the supplement within three hours of taking any prescribed medication (especially if you are taking a course of antibiotics).

When should it be taken? We recommend that you take your lactobacillus rhamnosus supplement at the same time each day. If you know that you are going to start taking antibiotics, or if you are heading to a country that has a high incidence of traveler’s diarrhoea (TD), begin taking your supplement a few days beforehand.

Did you know that the “Yoba for life” foundation distributes yogurt rich in lactobacillus rhamnosus to improve the general health of the population of Tanzania? Tanzania is a poor country, where the majority of people are not able to afford supplements.

What contraindications do lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotics have?

Generally speaking, consuming lactobacillus rhamnosus is safe, even at high doses. However, taking more than the daily recommended dose has been seen, paradoxically, to inhibit the benefits of these microorganisms. Experts recommend not ingesting more than two billion bacteria (2 x 109 CFU) per day.

Under normal conditions, the human body is perfectly capable of regulating lactobacillus rhamnosus, not allowing it to grow in an uncontrolled manner. However, in individuals with a debilitated immune system (people with AIDS, transplant recipients and babies) this microorganism can cause dangerous infections.

Adverse effects from the use of this product have not been seen in pregnant women. However, it is advised to consult a doctor before beginning a probiotic treatment if you are pregnant, to evaluate the real necessity of supplementation during gestation against any possible risks.

Austin ChiangDoctor. Endoscopist. Jefferson Health Hospital (Philadelphia)
“Basically, each person’s response to the use of probiotics varies…We need to look more closely at the safety data for these items. There is no supplement that serves everyone equally!”

Shopping Criteria

If you would like to make an informed and educated choice when purchasing a lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic, you should keep certain criteria in mind that will help you to distinguish between a good supplement and one of inferior quality. We recommend that when you are making your final choice, you should pay special attention to the following characteristics:

Vegan or Vegetarian Friendly

Lactobacillus rhamnosus grows extremely well on crops used to make plant milk and its derivatives. Vegans and vegetarians should be very careful when buying probiotic supplements of this type, and be sure to look for a vegan quality stamp. This will ensure that the product has been manufactured without the use of any animal-based products.

Additionally, people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet should always pay attention to the composition of the capsules in which the supplement is packaged. It is common for the capsules of these types of products to be manufactured from gelatin sourced from cows or pigs. However, don’t panic because capsules made from vegetable cellulose do exist and are widely available.

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Intolerances and Allergies

These types of supplements are often manufactured in laboratories that also process lactose, gluten, nuts, seafood or fish. If you have an intolerance to any of these ingredients, remember to carefully check the label of the product to ensure you are purchasing a probiotic completely free of any allergens.

In very rare cases, there have been reports of allergic reactions to lactobacillus rhamnosus. If you are allergic to any other type of probiotic microorganism, consult your doctor before you start taking a supplement containing this bacterium. If you experience fever, diarrhoea or abdominal pain after taking this probiotic, consult you health practitioner as soon as possible.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been used to treat infants, teens, adults and the elderly since the 1990s, producing beneficial effects in all age groups.

Bacterial Strains

There are different types of lactobacillus rhamnosus, known as “strains”. The most comprehensively researched strain, with the most proven beneficial effects, is lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. Although less well-studied, there are many other bacterial strains that are also highly beneficial.

The following table contains information about the most relevant strains and their functions:

Strain Principal function
GG Prevention and treatment of diarrhoea (especially resulting from the use of antibiotics). Alleviates abdominal swelling.
CGMCC1.3724 Weight loss in obese people.
GR-1 Prevents of recurring urinary tract infections in women.
HN001 Alleviates the symptoms of postnatal depression.
ACTT 7469 Prevents gastrointestinal infections such as E. Coli

Although lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is definitely the most effective strain according to experts, any of the previously mentioned probiotics will help to improve the health of your intestinal microbiota. If you are looking for a particular type of benefit, we advise you to choose a product with a specific strain.

Packaging and Preservation

Remember that probiotics contain living microorganisms, which will die and lose their effectiveness after a certain amount of time. This is why you should pay special attention to the expiration date of the product. Keep in mind that three months after the expiry date, there will not be a sufficient amount of active bacteria remaining to produce any kind of positive benefit.

If you want to preserve the life of your lactobacillus rhamnosus supplement for as long as possible, we advise you to store it in the fridge (but do not ever put it in the freezer). Low temperatures will paralyze the metabolism of microorganisms, which will increase their lifespan. Exposure to heat will have the opposite effect, quickly killing the bacteria.

Andreu PradosPharmacist and Nutritional Dietitian, Science Writer Specialised in Gut Microbiota and Probiotics for the European Society for Neurogastroenterology
“The preservation and method of administration of products containing probiotics should be considered to ensure that the probiotic remains effective. They should be stored in a refrigerator, or otherwise the living microorganisms will lose their vitality when exposed to heat.”

Quantity of CFU

Remember that the recommended dose of this supplement is two billion bacteria or (2 x 109 CFU). However, we suggest that you chose a supplement with a slightly higher dose per capsule. This will ensure that you are not affected by the inevitable death of some of the bacteria during the packaging, transport and delivery process.

Value for Money

Keep in mind that the majority of probiotics will need to be used continuously for a minimum of two months, before any beneficial effects will be noticed. If possible, choose a product with lactobacillus rhamnosus that contains at least sixty capsules, so that you will be able to use the supplement over several months, and at a more economical price.

Summary

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is the probiotic most highly recommended by experts. There are countless studies that have corroborated the effectiveness of this bacterium in treating various illnesses – in particular for the treatment of diarrhoea resulting from the use of antibiotics.

Remember to take your supplement a few hours before or after antibiotics, to ensure that the lactobacillus rhamnosus can perform its protective function. If you follow our advice and use this probiotic correctly, the intestinal discomfort associated with pharmaceutical antibiotics will be a thing of the past.

Did you find this article about lactobacillus rhamnosus useful? If so, please leave a comment below and share it around!

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