What is Lactobacillus?

May 23, 2023 2 min read

What is Lactobacillus?

Lactobacillus is a genus of Gram-positive, lactic acid bacteria that are found in various habitats including the human gut, mouth, and vaginal tract. It is also found in a variety of fermented foods and dairy products, such as yogurt, kefir, and cheese. Additionally, Lactobacillus can be found in some dietary supplements, including probiotics and some prebiotics. Here are some species, functions, and benefits of lactobacillus:

  1. Lactobacillus acidophilus: This species is commonly found in the human gut and is known to improve digestion, boost the immune system, and support vaginal health in women (1).
  2. Lactobacillus rhamnosus: This strain has been shown to improve gut health by reducing inflammation, promoting healthy gut bacteria, and preventing infections caused by harmful bacteria (2).
  3. Lactobacillus casei: This species has been shown to improve the immune system and reduce the risk of certain infections, such as respiratory infections and diarrhea (3).
  4. Lactobacillus plantarum: This strain has been found to help with digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and may also have anti-inflammatory properties (4).
  5. Lactobacillus fermentum: This species has been shown to improve gut health by reducing inflammation and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut (5).
  6. Lactobacillus reuteri: This strain is known to help reduce inflammation in the gut, promote healthy gut bacteria, and may also have anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects (6).

Overall, lactobacillus strains have been found to have many potential benefits for gut health and overall well-being.  


  1. Lee YK, Salminen S. Handbook of probiotics and prebiotics. John Wiley & Sons; 2009.
  2. Kechagia M, Basoulis D, Konstantopoulou S, et al. Health benefits of probiotics: a review. ISRN Nutr. 2013;2013:481651.
  3. Ouwehand AC, Salminen S, Isolauri E. Probiotics: an overview of beneficial effects. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2002;82(1-4):279-289.
  4. Sanders ME. Probiotics: definition, sources, selection, and uses. Clin Infect Dis. 2008;46 Suppl 2:S58-61; discussion S144-151.
  5. Wadhwani N, Shedbalkar UU, Nair R, et al. Biogenic synthesis of antibacterial silver chloride nanoparticles using culture supernatant of Lactobacillus fermentum. Microb Pathog. 2017;104:365-370.
  6. Bruce-Keller AJ, Salbaum JM, Luo M, Blanchard E, Taylor CM, Welsh DA, et al. Obese-type gut microbiota induce neurobehavioral changes in the absence of obesity. Biol Psychiatry. 2015;77(7):607-15.

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