L. helveticus makes cheese taste great. It also confers a multitude of health benefits. The most promising results have come from studies on blood pressure, while other clinical trials have observed benefits to mental health, sleep, immunity, and more.
Lactobacillus helveticus is a lactic acid bacterium, traditionally used in the manufacture of Swiss-type cheeses and long-ripened Italian cheeses such as Emmental, Gruyere, Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano .
More recently, L. helveticus has become increasingly recognized as an important health-promoting probiotic .
L. helveticus probiotic supplements have not been approved by the FDA for medical use and generally lack solid clinical research. Regulations set manufacturing standards for them but don’t guarantee that they’re safe or effective. Speak with your doctor before supplementing.
In 40 subjects with high-normal blood pressure or mild hypertension, daily ingestion of tablets containing powdered fermented milk with L. helveticus reduced blood pressure without any adverse effects .
Long-term treatment with L. helveticus-fermented milk reduced arterial stiffness in 89 hypertensive subjects .
L. helveticus produces angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory peptides that may prevent or control high blood pressure .
The following purported benefits are only supported by limited, low-quality clinical studies. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of L. helveticus for any of the below-listed uses. Remember to speak with a doctor before taking L. helveticus probiotics, and never use them in place of something your doctor recommends or prescribes.
L. helveticus also improved depression in rats .
In a study of 39 athletes, L. helveticus supplementation significantly shortened the duration and decreased the number of symptoms of upper respiratory tract illness and increased their sense of vigor .
L. helveticus containing cheese exhibits immunoregulatory actions, including an increase in regulatory T cell population and a reduction in proinflammatory cytokines in mice .
L. helveticus has the ability to inhibit different pathogenic microorganisms and has beneficial effects on the intestine, vaginal mucosa, and pharyngeal epithelium .
Milk fermented by L. helveticus protects against Salmonella infection in mice .
Milk fermented with L. helveticus may enhance specific and nonspecific immunity .
L. helveticus may positively affect the host microbiota composition. Administration of L. helveticus to 3 healthy human subjects resulted in a significant increase in butyrate, beneficial for gut homeostasis [15, 12].
In mice, the administration of L. helveticus increased the levels of total Lactobacilli and decreased total enterobacteria and sulfur-reducing clostridia .
No clinical evidence supports the use of L. helveticus for any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. However, the studies listed below should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.
L. helveticus prevents the negative effect of a Western-style diet on anxiety-like behavior and memory in mice .
L. helveticus combined with Bifidobacterium longum decreases anxiety-like behavior in rats and humans .
L. helveticus restores cognitive function in rats with neuroinflammation .
An L. helveticus-fermented milk product significantly improves scopolamine-induced cognitive impairments, and object recognition memory in mice .
L. helveticus alleviates colitis in mice .
L. helveticus strongly alleviated symptoms of arthritis in mice .
L. helveticus alone or in combination with S. thermophiles reduced the antigenicity of α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin, the major allergens in cow’s milk .
L. helveticus fermented milk whey contains bioactive components that may promote bone formation .
Oral intake of L. helveticus-fermented milk whey lowered water loss, reduced dermatitis area size, and ameliorated the moisture content in mice .
L. helveticus shifts vaginal microflora and inhibits vulvovaginal candidiasis in mice .
L. helveticus has a high ability to inactivate heterocyclic aromatic amines (HACs), the most abundant mutagens in charred red meat .
L. helveticus inhibited the development of fibrosarcoma in mice .
L. helveticus delayed the development of breast tumors in mice .
The relevance of these studies to human cancer is unknown.
In cell and animal studies, researchers have observed that L. helveticus:
- Decreased IL-6 [36, 37], IL-1β [11, 31] and TNF-α .
- Inhibited inflammatory enzymes COX-2 and iNOS .
- Reduced the activation of NF-κB [38, 31].
- Increased IL-10 [31, 37] and IL-4 .
L. helveticus is considered generally safe. However, probiotics should be avoided in immunocompromised individuals, people with organ failure, and dysfunctional gut barrier, where they may cause infection.
To avoid adverse effects and unexpected interactions, talk to your doctor before starting L. helveticus probiotics.