To continue our series on probiotics, I’m going to introduce you to another important strain – Lactobacillus plantarum. As with other probiotics, this strain supports the digestive system and encourages healthy immune function. This strain, when combined with other beneficial strains of bacteria, may support overall health and wellbeing.  To get a better handle on the benefits of this powerful probiotic, let’s get into the research.
Benefits of Lactobacillus plantarum
L. plantarum works to maintain a balance of good and bad bacteria and does so while helping out with digestion and optimizing levels of vitamins and minerals. In fact, L. plantarum can actually synthesize some nutrients, like L-lysine.  Animal models show Lactobacillus plantarum may be helpful in reducing bacterial translocation, a benefit dependent on bacterial adhesion to the intestinal wall. 
Antibiotics are becoming an increasingly common contributor to hospital-acquired infections, and research shows Lactobacillus plantarum may be of help. Because antibiotics deplete natural gut flora, it opens the way for spore-forming bacteria to infect and proliferate. One study has shown supplementation with L. plantarum may reduce the incidence of Clostridium difficile-associated disease in hospitalized patients following antibiotic administration.  In addition to this benefit, L. plantarum may also reduce gastrointestinal side effects commonly associated with antibiotics.  Still, others note many of the same benefits as with Lactobacillus probiotics: decreased colorectal cancer risk is a big one. 
Supplementing Lactobacillus plantarum
One of the best way to receive Lactobacillus plantarum regularly is to choose a supplement that includes the strain in combination with many others. But whether you get your probiotics through diet or a top-quality supplement, don’t forget the prebiotics. These are essentially the food sources for probiotics and could also go a long way in boosting health. Many prebiotics can be found in garlic, chicory root, and pure inulin. A probiotic supplement that contains prebiotics as well as probiotics, like Global Healing's Ultimate Probiotic, could be a helpful addition to your life.
- Bravo, J. et al. Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 108 (38).
- Cahyanto MN, Kawasaki H, Nagashio M, Fujiyama K, Seki T. Construction of Lactobacillus plantarum strain with enhanced L-lysine yield. J Appl Microbiol. 2007 Mar;102(3):674-9.
- Mangell P, Lennernas P, Wang M, et al. Adhesive capability of Lactobacillus plantarum 299v is important for preventing bacterial translocation in endotoxemic rats. APMIS. 2006 Sep;114(9):611-8.
- Klarin B, Wullt M, Palmquist I, et al. Lactobacillus plantarum 299v reduces colonisation of Clostridium difficile in critically ill patients treated with antibiotics. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2008 Sep;52(8):1096-102. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.2008.01758.
- Lonnermark E, Friman V, Lappas G, et al. Intake of Lactobacillus plantarum reduces certain gastrointestinal symptoms during treatment with antibiotics. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2010 Feb;44(2):106-12. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3181b2683f.
- Mark S. Geier, Ross N. Butler, Gordon S. Howarth. Probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics: A role in chemoprevention for colorectal cancer? Cancer Biology & Therapy. 2006;10(5):1265-1269. doi: 10.4161/cbt.5.10.3296.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.