Evidence Based

17 Proven Health Benefits of Lactobacillus helveticus

Written by Biljana Novkovic, PhD | Last updated:

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L. helveticus

L. helveticus makes the cheese taste great. It also confers a multitude of health benefits. It improves mood and cognitive functions, lowers blood pressure, boosts immunity and is beneficial for bone health.

What is Lactobacillus helveticus?

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 [1]. L. helveticus is increasingly recognized as an important health-promoting probiotic [1].

Health Benefits of L. helveticus

1) Combats Anxiety

L. helveticus improves anxiety-like behavior in rats with neuroinflammation [2].

L. helveticus prevents the negative effect of a Western-style diet on anxiety-like behavior and memory in mice [3].

L. helveticus combined with Bifidobacterium longum decreases anxiety-like behavior in rats and humans [4].

2) Combats Depression

When healthy volunteers took L. helveticus, together with Bifidobacterium longum, psychological stress levels, including depression, were decreased in subjects who took the probiotics regularly [5].

L. helveticus improved depression in rats [6].

3) May Improve Cognitive Function

L. helveticus restores cognitive function in rats with neuroinflammation [2].

L. helveticus improves stress-induced cognitive dysfunction in rats [6].

An L. helveticus-fermented milk product significantly improves scopolamine-induced cognitive impairments, and object recognition memory in mice [7].

4) Can Improve Sleep

L. helveticus-fermented milk significantly improved sleep efficiency in healthy elderly people [8].

5) Lowers Blood Pressure

L. helveticus produces angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory peptides that can prevent or control high blood pressure [9].

L. helveticus fermented milk has a BP-lowering effect in hypertensive subjects [10, 11].

Daily ingestion of the tablets containing powdered fermented milk with L. helveticus in subjects with high-normal blood pressure or mild hypertension reduces elevated blood pressure without any adverse effects [12].

Long-term treatment with L. helveticus-fermented milk reduces arterial stiffness in hypertensive subjects [13].

6) Boosts Immunity

Milk fermented with L. helveticus can enhance specific and non-specific immunity [14].

L. helveticus supplementation significantly shortened the duration and decreased the number of symptoms of upper respiratory tract illness in athletes, and increased their sense of vigor [15].

L. helveticus containing cheese exhibits immunoregulatory actions, including an increase in regulatory T cell population and a reduction in proinflammatory cytokines in mice [16].

L. helveticus has the ability to inhibit different pathogenic microorganism and has beneficial effects on the intestine, the vaginal mucosa, or the pharyngeal epithelium [17].

Milk fermented by L. helveticus protects against Salmonella infection in mice [18].

7) Is an Antioxidant

L. helveticus has antioxidant properties [19].

8) May Reduce Inflammation

L. helveticus is protective against colitis in mice and increases anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) [20].

L. helveticus alleviates colitis in mice [21].

9) May Alleviate Arthritis

L. helveticus strongly alleviated symptoms of arthritis in mice [21].

10) Is Beneficial for the GI Tract

L. helveticus can positively affect the host microbiota composition.

In mice, the administration of L. helveticus increased the levels of total Lactobacilli and decreased total enterobacteria and sulfur-reducing clostridia [22].

Administration of L. helveticus to healthy human subjects resulted in a significant increase in butyrate, beneficial for gut homeostasis [17].

11) Combats Food Allergens

L. helveticus alone or in combination with S. thermophiles effectively reduces the antigenicity of α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin, the major allergens in cow’s milk [23].

L. helveticus can significantly degrade the major allergens in propolis, including esters of caffeic acid [24].

12) Increases Calcium

L. helveticus increased blood calcium levels in elderly volunteers [25], and postmenopausal women [26].

13) May Prevent Bone Loss

L. helveticus fermented milk whey contains bioactive components that increase bone formation [27].

L. helveticus-fermented milk prevented bone loss by decreasing bone turnover and increasing the bone mineral density in rats [28, 29].

14) May Alleviate Dermatitis

Oral intake of L. helveticus-fermented milk whey lowered water loss, reduced dermatitis area size, and ameliorated the moisture content in mice [30].

15) May Combat Candida

L. helveticus shifts vaginal microflora and inhibits vulvovaginal candidiasis in mice [31].

16) Inactivates HACs

L. helveticus has a high ability to inactivate heterocyclic aromatic amines (HACs), the most abundant mutagens in fried red meat [17].

17) Combats Cancer

L. helveticus inhibit the proliferation of human gastric cancer cells [32], human colon cancer cells [33, 34], and liver carcinoma cells [35].

L. helveticus inhibits the development of fibrosarcoma in mice [36].

L. helveticus delays the development of breast tumors in mice [36].



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.

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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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