Evidence Based

How L. brevis Can Improve Your Health

Written by Biljana Novkovic, PhD | Last updated:

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L. brevis

L. brevis has many beneficial effects. It improves dental health, boosts immunity, helps with IBS and degrades various toxins. It also may improve sleep and allergies.

What is Lactobacillus brevis?

Lactobacillus brevis is a plant-derived lactic acid bacterium isolated from ‘Suguki’, a traditional Japanese pickle produced in Kyoto [1].

L. brevis can be found in fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and pickles, and in human gut microbiota.

Health Benefits of L. brevis

1) Improves Dental Health

L. brevis improves pH, significantly reduces salivary Streptococcus mutans and bleeding on probing in high caries risk schoolchildren [2].

L. brevis has anti-inflammatory effects and can bring about the total disappearance or amelioration of clinical symptoms in patients with periodontitis [3].

L. brevis exerts anti-inflammatory properties by preventing nitric oxide synthesis and may delay gingivitis development in humans [4].

L. brevis inhibits periodontal inflammation, significantly decreases bone loss and lowers the count of anaerobic bacteria in mice with periodontitis [5].

2) Boosts Immunity

L. brevis reduces the incidence of influenza in elementary schoolchildren. The improvement is especially pronounced in unvaccinated individuals [1].

Oral administration of live, but not heat-killed, L. brevis significantly increased IFN-α production in humans. The intake tended to be most beneficial in subjects with initially low levels of IFN-α production [6].

L. brevis alleviates influenza virus infection symptoms in mice [7].

L. brevis enhances cytotoxic activity of mouse splenocytes [8].

L. brevis exhibits antiviral activity towards herpes virus (HSV-2) and inhibits HSV-2 multiplication [9].

3) May be Beneficial in Allergy

L. brevis induces Th1 cytokines, inhibits Th2 cytokines, reduces anti-allergen antibodies and suppresses systemic anaphylaxis in mice [10].

L. brevis inhibits IgE production and histamine secretion in allergic mice by shifting the Th1/Th2 balance toward Th1 dominance [11].

Oral administration of L. brevis significantly inhibited IgE production, swelling, and the development of atopic dermatitis in mice [12].

4) May Improve Sleep

In volunteers with insomnia, L. brevis showed a mildly beneficial effect on sleep in subjects with insomnia [13].

Daily voluntary wheel-running and sleep rhythmicity become intensified in mice when heat-killed L. brevis is added to the diet [14].

5) Is Beneficial for the GI Tract

L. brevis Improves Constipation

Heat-killed L. brevis improved intestinal function in women with constipation and promoted the growth of Bifidobacteria [15].

Marked enhancement of NK-cell activity and improved bowel symptoms were observed in female students with constipation, who consumed pickles containing dead L. brevis cells [16].

L. brevis Improves Oral Mucositis

Oral mucositis is one of the most common, debilitating complication of cancer treatments, particularly chemotherapy and radiation. L. brevis reduced the incidence and severity of anticancer therapy-induced oral mucositis and improved the tolerance to chemo-radiotherapy, and anticancer treatment completion [17].

L. brevis may be Beneficial in IBD

Heat-killed L. brevis reduces intestinal impairments and improves the survival rate in mice with lethal colitis [18].

L. brevis improves ulcerative colitis in mice by lowering pro-inflammatory cytokines [19, 20].

Polyphosphate (polyP), an active molecule derived from L. brevis, improves inflammation and fibrosis in mice with chronic colitis [21].

L. brevis Improves IBS

L. brevis improves the quality of life, reduces diarrhea and abdominal pain and increases Bifidobacteria in patients with IBS [22].

6) Combats H. pylori Infection

L. brevis treatment decreases H. pylori colonization in dyspeptic H. pylori patients and reduces polyamine biosynthesis [23].

7) May Lower Cholesterol

L. brevis reduced cholesterol in rats and decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels [24].

8) May Inhibit Fat Production

L. brevis inhibits fat cell production cellular triglyceride accumulation and GPDH activity [25].

9) May Enhance Appetite

L. brevis enhances appetite in mice [26].

10) May be Beneficial in Diabetes

L. brevis decreases glucose levels in diabetic rats [27].

L. brevis supplementation was associated with increased insulin levels in healthy rats [27].

11) May be Beneficial for the Liver

Oral administration of L. brevis ameliorated ethanol-induced liver injury and the fatty liver in mice. It significantly inhibited ALT and AST increase and decreased TG and total cholesterol in the liver [28].

12) May Treat Skin Issues

L. brevis increases blood flow and decreases transepidermal water loss in rats, and could be a useful substance in the treatment/prevention of skin problems, specifically chapped or dry skin [29].

13) Counters MSG

Capsules containing L. brevis reduce monosodium glutamate (MGS) levels and MSG symptom complex in humans [30].

L. brevis inhibits the absorption of MSG from the intestine into the blood in mice [31].

14) May Degrade Pesticides

Organophosphorus hydrolase (OpdB) of L. brevis is able to degrade organophosphorus pesticides [32].

15) May Combat Cancer

An antitumor molecule derived from L. brevis inhibits colon adenocarcinoma cell viability and the growth of these cells in mice [33].


  • Can improve the Th1/Th2 balance toward Th1 dominance [12].
  • Can polarize M1 macrophages to M2-like macrophages [20].
  • Increases IgA [7] and inhibits IgE [12].
  • Beneficially affects various physiological processes via the serotonin 5-HT3 receptor [34, 29].
  • Decreases TNF-α [25, 19, 21, 20, 18, 28, 5].
  • Increase IFN- α [6, 7], and can both increase [11] and decrease IFN-γ [3].
  • Decreases IL-1β [19, 21, 20, 18, 5], IL-4 [11], IL-6 [25, 19, 20, 5], and IL-17A [5].
  • Increases IL-10 [20, 12].
  • Can both decrease [18] and increase IL-12 [11].
  • Can both decreases [21] and increase TGF-β [12].
  • Increases adiponectin [25].
  • Decreases iNOS[19, 20], NO, PGE2 [19], COX2[19, 20], MPO, FOXP3, TLR4 [19], PGE2, MMP [3], PPAR-γ, CEBP-α, aP2, LPL, LXR– α, leptin, GPDH [25], IRAK1, AKT, NF-κB [20], SREBP-1, and SREBP-2 [28].
  • Increases HSPs and p38 MAPK [18].


L. brevis is safe for human consumption [35].

Probiotics should be avoided in patients with organ failure, immunocompromised status, and dysfunctional gut barrier mechanisms, where they may cause infections.

L. brevis can produce biogenic amines like tyramine and putrescine [36, 37].

Buy L. brevis

These products contain L. brevis:

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About the Author

Biljana Novkovic

Biljana received her PhD from Hokkaido University.
Before joining SelfHacked, she was a research scientist with extensive field and laboratory experience. She spent 4 years reviewing the scientific literature on supplements, lab tests and other areas of health sciences. She is passionate about releasing the most accurate science & health information available on topics, and she's meticulous when writing and reviewing articles to make sure the science is sound. She believes that SelfHacked has the best science that is also layperson-friendly on the web.

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