NOTE: Video under development.
Lactobacillus gasseri: Additional Advantage for Reduction of Visceral Fat,
Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 is a microbe originally isolated from human breast milk, suggesting that it is among the microbial species that can propagate long-term in the human body and may be important for infant, as well as lifelong, health. Sourcing from a human suggests that it may be a microbe that has potential for taking up long-term residence, unlike many other bacterial species/strains present in commercial probiotics that persist for only days to weeks.
Protection Against SIBO, and Probable Keystone Species
Whenever we restore a bacterial species/strains with apparent benefits, we have to ask: Could some of us have lost this species/strain with resultant adverse health consequences? Does restoration of this species/strain provide additional health benefits?
L. gasseri is proving to be a multi-functional species with a number of important health benefits, including reduction of waist circumference and abdominal visceral fat with the BNR17 strain. L. gasseri BNR17 has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome(IBS), suggesting a favorable effect on small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, SIBO, since IBS is closely associated and/or may be synonymous with SIBO.
L. gasseri is a likely “keystone” or “foundational” species, i.e., a bacterial species that, by its presence and production of various metabolites, supports the proliferation of other beneficial bacterial species. L. gasseri, for instance, has been shown to support proliferation of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and other species, and also produces as many as 7 different bacteriocins against pathogenic species, properties that likely make it a key species in preventing SIBO or preventing SIBO recurrences. L. gasseri is therefore being added to the Undoctored working list of keystone species that we restore/supplement.
Experiences with other strains of L. gasseri suggest effects that include reduction of blood levels of triglycerides; reduction of serum and urinary oxalate; reduction of painful menstrual cramps; enhanced efficacy with efforts to eradicate H. pylori.
L. gasseri and visceral fat reduction
In a 2013 human clinical trial, 60 billion CFUs (20 billion before meals three times per day) of L gasseri BNR17 taken over 12 weeks vs. placebo demonstrated:
- 1.1 kilogram (2.4 pounds) reduction in body weight
- 2.0 centimeter (0.8 inches) reduction in waist circumference
- 2.8 centimeter (1.3 inches) reduction in hip circumference
but with no change in BMI. (Average BMI around 28 before and after.)
Another study compared low-dose (1 billion CFUs) vs. high-dose (10 billion CFUs) vs. placebo over 12 weeks. Significant changes were experienced with the high-dose regimen including 5 cm (2.3 inches) reduction in waist circumference and 21.4 square centimeters reduction in cross-sectional visceral fat area.
In a separate human clinical trial, another strain of L gasseri, SBT2055, 50 billion CFUs as a fermented dairy product (that also contained Lactobacillus Bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, the microorganisms used to make conventional yogurt) over 12 weeks showed similar effects with:
A reduction of 13.2 square centimeters of total abdominal fat, 5.8 square centimeters of visceral fat
1.1 kilogram (2.4 pounds) reduction in body weight
1.7 centimeter (0.77 inches) reduction in waist circumference
Further analysis suggests that the weight loss/visceral fat reduction effects can occur at lower numbers of bacterial counts, as well, perhaps as low as 100 million CFUs and that stopping the intake of L gasseri caused the benefits to reverse within four weeks.
Notably, neither study demonstrated any change in serum lipids (total and LDL cholesterol, HDL, triglycerides), blood sugar, insulin, liver markers (AST, ALT), or other measures and no adverse effects were reported.
Other observations with L. gasseri BNR17
Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17, 10 billion CFUs per day for 4 weeks (but not lower “doses”), reduced symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (which, you will recall, is likely synonymous with SIBO).
Similar findings were reported in another study with Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17, 10 billion CFUs per day for 8 weeks, resulted in reduced symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In particular, intestinal transit time was dramatically slowed by probiotic from 5.4 hours at week 0 to 19.2 hours after 8 weeks. Bowel flora species became reduced in Proteobacteria (the species of SIBO). Fasting blood sugar was also modestly reduced in non-diabetic participants.
Other observations made with various L. gasseri strains:
- Lactobacillus gasseri LG2055, 100 billion CFUs per day, reduced serum triglycerides (area under the curve) by 40% over 4 weeks.
- Lactobacillus gasseri CP2305, 10 billion CFUs per day over 3 months, reduces anxiety.
- Lactobacillus gasseri CP2305, 130 million CFUs per day for 4 weeks, reduced symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
- Lactobacillus gasseri OLL2716 reduced symptoms of “functional dyspepsia” (bothersome postprandial fullness, early satiety, epigastric pain, and epigastric burning, also suspicious for undiagnosed SIBO) in people testing negative for H. pylori.
- L. gasseri ATCC 33323 and L. acidophilus ATCC 4357 are vigorous metabolizers of oxalate, thereby holding potential to reduce incidence of calcium oxalate kidney stones when administered as probiotic. This effect appears to be shared by all strains of both species.
- Lactobacillus gasseri SF1109 produces a bacteriocin effective against select species of Enterobacteriaceae. Other strains have also been shown to produce several bacteriocins.
- Lactobacillus gasseri OLL2809 reduced menstrual pain in women with endometriosis. (Oddly, a heat-killed tablet form of L. gasseri was used, suggesting that a non-heat-killed component mediated benefit. No bacterial count was therefore made.)
- Lactobacillus gasseri OLL2716, 1 billion CFUs twice per day (as yogurt), increased the efficacy of triple-antibiotic treatment for H. pylori from 75% to 86%.
Making Lactobacillus gasseri yogurt
You could simply take a probiotic capsule to obtain L. gasseri BNR-17. But new insights are emerging from efforts to cultivate higher bacterial counts through our unique methods of yogurt fermentation. Recall that we ferment for prolonged periods, taking the advantage of bacterial doubling over many hours, while also supplying prebiotic fibers that bacteria feed on. The end result is greater bacterial counts to generate more meaningful biological effects.
L gasseri grows at a higher temperature than L reuteri, more towards the range of conventional yogurt species used to ferment dairy. We therefore ferment at 109?, the temperature that maximizes bacterial proliferation of this species/strain. Doubling time is around two hours. Despite the briefer doubling time (compared to the 3 hours of L. reuteri), 24 hours of fermentation yielded a watery end-result; 36 hours yielded a thick end-product.
Unfortunately, the only commercial retailer that makes this available is a Korean company, AceBiome, as a product called BNR Thin. It is pricey, costing around $88 for a container of 30 capsules. However, you will only need one capsule to get started. It is likely that we will be able to source from a U.S. retailer in coming months at lower cost, especially since the manufacturer is located in the U.S.
Source for L. gasseri BNR17
Basic Recipe for L. gasseri Yogurt
- 1 capsule L. gasseri BNR17 (? billion CFUs)
- 1 quart half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons prebiotic fiber (inulin, acacia fiber, raw potato starch)
Ferment for 36 hours at 109. Makes 4 cups
In the 3 batches that I made, the end-result had a unique flavor and had the expected sour flavor of high lactic acid content.