saccharomyces boulardii (SB)
What Is It?
General Interaction

What Is It?

This microorganism helps to maintain a normal balance of friendly bacteria in the intestines, and belongs to a group of supplements referred to as "probiotics." Other well-known probiotics include the Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in yogurt.

Technically a yeast, saccharomyces boulardii (SB) is sold in supplement form and is widely used in Europe for preventing and treating various digestive disorders and other illnesses. It is particularly popular for controlling diarrhea associated with antibiotic use and the consumption of unfamiliar foods while traveling. It's also recommended for diarrhea related to the inflammatory bowel condition known as Crohn's disease.

In addition, SB may be useful for people undergoing treatment for Candida overgrowth syndrome (COS). This is a controversial condition that many nutritionally oriented doctors contend is given little attention by conventional physicians. The ailment is believed to be caused by the overabundance of the yeast Candida albicans in the gastrointestinal tract.

Excessive Candida, the theory holds, attach themselves to the wall of the intestines, producing powerful toxins that are ultimately absorbed into the bloodstream. Resulting symptoms include bloating, gas, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, depression, and recurrent vaginal yeast infections.

Although it is not known exactly how saccharomyces boulardii works, three theories prevail. One is that SB is simply more efficient than Candida and other unwanted organisms when competing for space in the intestines, making it valuable for preventing as well as treating COS. Another is that SB interferes with the binding of Candida and other infectious organisms to cells in the intestines. Some sources also claim that SB increases the amount of immune proteins that fight intestinal invaders.

A standard dosage of saccharomyces boulardii for Candida overgrowth syndrome is a capsue containing 5 Billion viable organisms twice a day between meals.the weight ( in milligrams) is not as important as the assayed amount of organisms that are delivered to your gut to do the work! The supplement is sometimes prescribed along with antibiotics (such as clindamycin and amoxicillin) to maintain a healthy balance of friendly and nonfriendly organisms in the intestines.

General Interaction

Certain antifungal medications may, in addition to fighting the offending fungus, eliminate SB as well. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the pills that you are taking, including this dietary supplement.

Alcohol can inactivate SB, so stick to nonalcoholic beverages while taking this supplement.


Few adverse reactions are associated with SB. People who are allergic to yeast should certainly avoid it, or itching and facial swelling could result.

Date Published: 04/19/2005
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