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What’s The #1 Probiotic For Leaky Gut?

We all know probiotics are amazing for gut health.  But which probiotic is best for leaky gut in particular?  Well, with 100s to choose from, in this guide we’ll finally see a clear winner.

Last Updated: May 6, 2020

Best Probiotic For Leaky Gut

In this guide, you’ll discover…

Is it L Plantarum, B Longum or something else completely? >

Say hello to Saccharomyces Boulardii - the #1 probiotic for leaky gut >

What actually is S Boulardii? >

How is S Boulardii different to other probiotics? >

Got proof? 5 studies showing how S Boulardii helps leaky gut >

How much S Boulardii should you take? With or Without food? >

Why is S Boulardii not in most probiotic supplements? >

What is the best S Boulardii probiotic supplement to take? >

Is it L Plantarum, B Longum or something else completely?

Lactobacillus Plantarum1.

Bifidobacterium Longum2.

Bacillus Coagulans3.

I could go on and on.

After all, these are absolute stars of the probiotics world when it comes to nourishing our gut with the good bacteria it loves.

And it’s also why you’ll find them, along with 8 other amazing strains, in our flagship probiotic supplement, Smart Probiotic.

But what if I was being shipped off to a desert island on some sort of Gilligan’s Island inspired reality TV show and could only take ONE probiotic strain with me?

Just one!

What would be the BEST strain for me to take, especially to help protect against leaky gut?

Let’s find out…

Say hello to Saccharomyces Boulardii – the #1 probiotic for leaky gut

They say a parent shouldn’t choose favorites.

And thankfully today I don’t have to!

That’s because I’m going to let the world of probiotic research make the tough decision for me.

Or said differently, I’m going to show you THE probiotic strain with the most research behind it when it comes to leaky gut support.

This has undoubtedly become the golden child of the scientific research community!

Introducing Saccharomyces Boulardii 4

Or S boulardii for short.

You’ve probably heard of it before.

For example, it is the main ingredient used to treat Traveler’s diarrhea5,6.  And Lord knows how many times it has saved me in far flung parts of the world!

But S boulardii helps in so many other ways.

Top 5 ways S boulardii can help those of us with leaky gut

  1. It kills bad bacteria and inhibits their growth/impact, whilst also supporting our good bacteria – thereby helping correct bacterial imbalances7,8.
  2. It stimulates mucus production by creating newer, healthier mucosal cells9, which acts like the first line of defense for our intestinal wall / gut barrier.
  3. It reduces intestinal inflammation10, further protecting against leaky gut and the fallout effects.
  4. It kills candida overgrowth11 (a bad or ‘pathogenic’ type of yeast when overgrown) – in fact, excess candida is one of the biggest root causes of leaky gut, so this benefit alone is huge!
  5. It reduces diarrhea – including diarrhea associated with antibiotics12, other medications as well as bacterial overgrowth13 and IBS14.  This benefit is a GAME CHANGER for those of us experiencing recurrent loose stools.  Adios golden throne my old friend!

Now, before we go any further, I think it is important to take a moment to ask…

What actually is S Boulardii?

Okay, so technically S boulardii is a type of yeast15, not a type of bacteria.

But since it confers good benefits to our gut and microbiome like other beneficial bacteria, it is classified as a probiotic16.

And I know what some of you may be thinking – isn’t yeast bad?!

It definitely can be.

For example, candida – a type of yeast – can be bad when it overgrows, and progresses to pathogen or “harmful” status17.

But in the case of S boulardii, we are talking about a beneficial probiotic yeast.

A friend.

In fact, once we look through some of the studies below on how S boulardii can help with leaky gut, you might soon be calling it your BFF!

How is S Boulardii different to other probiotics?

Obviously S boulardii confers different benefits to normal probiotic strains.  And we’ll talk about these benefits below, especially with reference to leaky gut.

Apart from benefits though, S boulardii really stands out – head and shoulders above the crowd – because it is arguably the toughest probiotic warrior out there!

It is with no exaggeration the Seal Team Six of the probiotic world. 

As hardy as they come.

Here’s a glimpse into how strong and stable S boulardii is:

  • S boulardii can easily survive at room temperature18
  • S boulardii has a long shelf life – think years!
  • S boulardii can survive through the GI tract (including in the highly acidic stomach, and all of the digestive fluids that come with it!)19,20 – there is no need to even use delayed release capsule technology with this probiotic strain
  • S boulardii actually works best at human body temperature21 – a match made in GI-heaven

No other probiotic strain can boast that it works this well and is just so perfectly designed for the human body!

Got proof? 5 studies showing how S Boulardii helps leaky gut

Most certainly!

You see, my love affair with S boulardii is based on 2 things:

  1. The way it works.  Which is almost instantly.  In fact, few supplements can be ‘felt’ so fast.  In particular, the way it can support better bowel movements22,23 (think less diarrhea!) in just hours, not days. And, it’s effective for both acute and chronic cases of diarrhea24,25 – I guess you could call this probiotic The Don of Diarrhea.
  2. The science behind it.  Especially when it comes to leaky gut focused studies26.  Where conflicting conclusions or weak evidence can often be found – nay is the case for S. boulardii! In fact, an overwhelming number of studies strongly and objectively support S boulardii, and it is this objective support gets me so excited!  That’why I want to spend some time running through these studies now.  I’m a little bit excited.

Ready for some studies showing how S boulardii can help leaky gut?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to do now.

I’m going to focus on a few of my favorites.  And most importantly, I’ll explain in plain English what their often complicated findings suggest.

Let’s go…

So to kick things off, this 2006 study by the Royal College of Surgeons of England concluded:

“S boulardii was found to be effective in the successful control of translocation and improvement of intestinal barrier function… This study showed that S boulardii preserved mucosal integrity.” 27

Interestingly, this study ALSO confirmed just how well S boulardii can help increase:

the intestinal secretion of secretory component of immunoglobulins and secretory IgA concentration in the gut“.

And this secretion is important because it is a key protector against leaky gut28.

So, in summary, S. boulardii helps to produce more of the components necessary for keeping leaky gut at bay!

Meanwhile, this 2010 study by UCLA’s Dr Pothoulakis MD found:

“…exposure of colonic epithelial cell monolayers to S boulardii whole yeast cultures or conditioned medium improve barrier integrity…” 29

Now, I know that’s a mouthful!

So let me explain that in plain english…

…basically, what the paper says is that S boulardii improved the strength of the intestinal wall.  With the above quote specifically referencing the integrity of the large intestine, aka colon, wall.

In addition, Dr Pothoulakis found S boulardii worked well to “suppress bacteria overgrowth” and has “multiple anti-inflammatory mechanisms”.

In other words, it corrected bacterial imbalances and reduced inflammation – hooray!

As you can see, S boulardii is such a powerful probiotic for showing our gut the love!

Next up, in this 2014 study by a team of 12 researchers, it was found that S boulardii…

“…induced the recovery of intestinal permeability (lactulose:mannitol ratio)… In conclusion, S boulardii reduces the inflammation and dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract”. 30

Although this was an animal-based study, it used the same leaky gut test (the lactulose mannitol test) we use to judge intestinal permeability in humans31.  Something I talked about extensively the other week.

As such, the results here are once again extremely supportive of the view that S boulardii is quite simply THE best single probiotic strain for leaky gut.

A true hero!

In this 2007 study from France it was found that S boulardii can help with candida overgrowth too, which is one of the biggest potential root causes of leaky gut and digestive issues32:

“Saccharomyces boulardii decreased inflammation and intestinal colonization by Candida albicans”.33

In other words, S boulardii (a beneficial probiotic yeast) can help tackle overgrowth of Candida (a yeast that becomes bad, or pathogenic, when in excess34) – while also decreasing inflammation.

How cool right!

Finally, in this 2012 study by UCLA – a follow up study by Dr Pothoulakis – they found S boulardii was a true hero in the fight against diarrhea:

“…S boulardii represents the most effective probiotic that can prevent or, together with other agents, treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea and recurrent CDI.” 35

From a personal point of view this last benefit of S boulardii is perhaps it’s greatest.

And this shouldn’t surprise you lovely readers given I’m shouting about “beautiful bowel movements” in every second email like some sorta fecal-frenzied fella!

As you can see there are just so many reasons to fall in love with this probiotic strain.

No wonder it’s my desert island probiotic!

How much S Boulardii should you take? With or Without food?

“How much S boulardii should I take?”

5 billion CFUs is a good amount for daily use to support overall gut health.

That is just 1 small capsule.  Super convenient.

Best of all, by consistently taking this dose we give ourselves a much better chance of not only stopping leaky gut, but also ensuring it doesn’t come back.

“How much S boulardii should I take when using it to stop diarrhea?”

So for most diarrhea – ie antibiotic associated or traveler’s diarrhea and even IBS-D style diarrhea36 – the studies have shown 20 billion CFUs per day to be the right amount.

i.e. 4 capsules per day.

But this is only necessary for the days when we have loose bowel movements.  For all other days, we can sit at the lower dose of 5 billion CFUs.

On days when our bathroom is starting to resemble the set of a budget horror movie, we can take the 4 capsules either in:

  • 2 lots – eg 2 x capsules in AM and 2 x capsules in PM
  • or 1 lot – ie 4 x capsules taken all together at the same time, any time of day

I tend to do the latter, since I’m usually not up for playing Russian roulette with my poor toilet!

i.e. the minute I have a loose movement, I will gulp 4 capsules down.

(No one can stop me)

“Do I take S boulardii with or without food?”

Since S boulardii is such a hardy probiotic strain37, survival rates do not greatly differ based on intake of food.

And as a beneficial probiotic designed for sensitive guts, it won’t lead to an upset tummy if taken by itself.

In other words, it doesn’t really matter when you take it.

I usually just take my standard 5 billion CFUs dose (1 capsule) whenever I have my first meal.

Makes life nice and easy.

Why is S Boulardii not in most probiotic supplements?

With such a gushing review, I guess you’re probably wondering why is S Boulardii not in most broad-spectrum probiotic supplements – including our own Smart Probiotic?

I mean seriously, how did we possibly leave the star of the probiotics world out of our flagship probiotic supplement?!

Especially given it would be so much more convenient if they were combined.

Well, it’s a great question.

And here’s my answer…

The 4 main reasons we could NOT include S boulardii in Smart Probiotic:

  1. Since S boulardii is a type of probiotic yeast38, it is not suitable for some people, eg those unfortunate enough to be immunocompromised.
  2. Just as importantly, it is hard to manufacture S boulardii in the same setting as normal lacto, bifido and/or spore forming probiotics like L Plantarum, B Longum and B Coagulans, respectively.
  3. Most of all, all the amazing studies above – and elsewhere – are all based on the consumption of pure S boulardii by itself, and in fact, there may be an antagonistic/rivalry effect if S boulardii is mixed with too many other probiotics39.
  4. Lastly, the dose of S boulardii often needs to be scaled up or down depending on needs.  For example, when we are using it to stop diarrhea, we need 3-4 times a normal dose, with studies showing higher doses of S. boulardii being most effective when treating diarrhea40. However, when taking it for bacterial imbalances or leaky gut, the dose will be much lower.

Other smart companies out there know this as well.

And so for all these reasons you’ll almost always find S boulardii by itself as a single ingredient supplement.

Which leads to the BIG question…

What is the best S Boulardii probiotic supplement to take?

Here’s the thing…

…NOT all S boulardii probiotic supplements are created equal.

And so it is crucial to know what to look for in order to get the right one.

Which is exactly what we’ll look at in this email.

Let’s go!

Well, there are so many options out there.  And with all of them promising to be the ‘best’ S boulardii on the market, it can get downright confusing.

So how do we judge them?!

The key is to look for an S boulardii supplement that ticks the following boxes:

  1. 5 billion CFUs of S boulardii per capsule – this is the smartest dose for daily gut support41, and also allows us to scale up easily (eg when experiencing diarrhea we will likely need closer to 20 billion CFUs per day).
  2. Clinically studied version – DBV PG 67631442 is perhaps the most well studied strain version of S boulardii, along with CNCM I-745743.  A product containing one of them is best.
  3. Manufactured for long shelf life – to preserve the beneficial yeast cells and reduce degradation over time, S boulardii should be made via a gentle drying and vacuum process.
  4. Stability tested – since probiotics are live microorganisms they should be tested over time to see how they survive. Even better, this should be done at room temperature, since this is how most of us store our supplements.
  5. Allergen free – in particular you should look for a S boulardii supplement that is gluten free, dairy free and soy free, plus no GMOs.
  6. 3rd party verified – any supplement you take should use an independent 3rd party to test it for allergens and prove it meets label claims, such as being gluten free.

As you can see, there is quite a bit to look for if you want the highest quality S boulardii probiotic.

In my past research I’ve found 2 promising contenders

  1. Thorne’s Sacro B – it ticks most of the boxes above, but unfortunately it does not state the strain version used, plus it comes with many unnecessary fillers such as silicon dioxide.  Worse yet, it carries a rather high price tag of $38 for 60 capsules (link).
  2. Pure Encapsulations – I love this company, because they have such a great commitment to purity.  And unsurprisingly they have created a very high quality S boulardii supplement.  Although they don’t use my favorite strain version listed above, they do tick most of the other boxes.  Unfortunately, as with most Pure Encapsulations products, they sell their S boulardii at a very high price, with it being approx $52 for 60 capsules (link).

As you can see even at the top end of the supplements world, there are a few big problems.

And so up until recently I really struggled to recommend a S boulardii supplement.

They were simply all missing a few key criteria and just as bad, the few good ones I could find, were painfully high priced.

So that’s why I got together with my research team at Essential Stacks to create Pure S Boulardii

It is our latest and most fascinating supplement to support good gut health and you can check it out here.

Why I know you’ll love it:

  • It ticks ALL 6 boxes above. For starters, it contains 5 billion CFUs of S boulardii per capsule – the perfect dose.  Next, it proudly & exclusively uses the clinically studied DBV PG 6763 strain version.  In addition, it is made with a patented & gentle drying/vacuum process to preserve the beneficial yeast and ensure maximum shelf life. Even more exciting to me, it is stability tested under room temperature conditions.  And lastly, as with all our flagship digestive health products, it is independently 3rd party verified gluten, dairy and soy free!
  • Best of all, it is so fairly priced.  I’m on a mission to make good gut health easy for everyone to achieve and maintain.  And key to that is producing supplements that we can all afford to buy.  Which is why I’ve worked crazy hard with our supply chain team to get our company to bring Pure S Boulardii to market at a fair price.  And so, whilst Pure Encapsulations sells their S boulardii at ~$52, it’s my great pleasure to announce that ours is available at just $24.92 for 60 capsules!

i.e. Pure S Boulardii is HALF the price of Pure Encapsulations S boulardii, whilst managing to tick ALL the boxes above, including using the world class DBV PG 6763 strain version.

As you can imagine, this was no easy feat.

And it has been quite the journey!

(Honestly, I’ve felt like Frodo in Lord of the Rings at times)

But since we are talking about the #1 probiotic strain for leaky gut, I knew it would all be worth it.

And now that it is finally available for you, I have never been so excited!!

So that’s enough chitter chatter from me…

Click here to try Pure S Boulardii today >

I know you’re going to fall in love with it, just like I have!

“Can I take Pure S Boulardii with Smart Probiotic?”

Yes.

In fact, it can be a really great idea to take both since the 11 probiotic strains in Smart Probiotic help our gut health in many different (and additional) ways to the S boulardii strain.

For example…

  • The L Rhamnosus44 probiotic strain in Smart Probiotic can work really well to promote digestion and boost immune system function45.  Two hugely helpful functions.
  • Meanwhile, the L Plantarum strain in it can be fantastic for tackling bloating and abdominal pain46, symptoms commonly associated with IBS.  Whilst it can also fight alongside S boulardii – albeit in a different way – to reduce intestinal permeability and diarrhea.  Since it uses different mechanisms to achieve this, it makes a great partner to S boulardii.  i.e. fighting the war on all fronts.
  • And the B Bifidum47 & B Longum48,49 strains in Smart Probiotic offer a similar story.  i.e. they also help with intestinal integrity, but in their own way.  Their secret weapon is being able to help regulate the tight junctions50,51, which are the gatekeepers of the intestinal wall52.

I could go on and on, waxing lyrical about how amazing all my little probiotic superheros are.

But the main lesson here is that different probiotics do different things and/or help out in different ways.

That’s why I like to think of probiotics as superheroes…the Avengers of gut health, if you will!

And if you want to win the war against leaky gut, then like the Avengers, your smartest bet is to assemble the whole team.

So whilst S boulardii may be the Iron Man of probiotics, all the other warriors you’ll find in Smart Probiotic are the rest of the Avengers team, and as such, just as important.

“How do I use Pure S Boulardii and Smart Probiotic together?”

  1. Smart Probiotic – simply take 1 capsule daily.  Think of it like the perfect insurance for ongoing good gut health.
  2. Pure S Boulardii – by contrast, you can just take 1 capsule of S Boulardii every 2nd day.  But on days when bowel movements go a little haywire (read: loose!), or you’re eating out trying new foods or traveling, consider taking 3-4 capsules.  Life saver!

So there you go.

All the big questions answered.

And so if you haven’t already picked up your bottles of S boulardii yet, then…

Click here to try Pure S Boulardii today >

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