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How does Saccharomyces boulardii work?

S. boulardii has been observed in the following ways:

A) Anti-toxinic: S. boulardii produces proteins, which work to neutralize bacterial toxins. This may include the toxins produced by Clostridium difficile.

B) Anti-microbial: S. boulardii adheres to pathogens, which decreases their adhesion to the intestinal wall and decreases invasion of enterocytes into the body. These pathogens are then removed during bowel movements.

C) Enzymatic activity: In healthy adults, S. boulardii increases the enzymatic activities (lactase, alpha-glucosidase, alkaline phosphatase).[1] The production of intestinal polyamines by S. boulardii is one of its most relevant and specific mechanisms of action. The polyamines spermidine, spermine, and putrescine enhance the expression of brush border enzymes (such as hydrolases, proteases, and transport molecules).[3]

D) Immune enhancement: S. boulardii helps prevent infection by stimulating the immune system along the GI lining by increasing the protective antibody IgA.

E) Anti-inflammatory: S. boulardii causes a decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines.

1. J.P. Buts & al. - PEDIATRIC RESEARCH 1986;20:192-196
2. J.P. Buts & al. - GUT 1999; 45:89–96
3. J.P. Buts & al. - PEDIATRIC RESEARCH 1994;36(4):522-527