L. johnsonii is a probiotic that is especially good for fighting H. pylori infections. Learn about its other health benefits & safety.

What is Lactobacillus johnsonii?

Lactobacillus johnsonii is a lactic acid bacterium that resides in the human gastrointestinal tract where it aids in polysaccharide and protein digestion and also generates a variety of nutrients, including vitamins and short-chain fatty acids. L. johnsonii also plays a role in the fermentation and preservation of various food items.

Health Benefits of L. johnsonii

1) Combats H. pylori

Fermented milk containing L. johnsonii co-administered with antibiotics was shown to have a favorable effect on H. pylori gastritis [1].

L. johnsonii inhibits H. pylori colonization in children [2, 3]. and in asymptomatic volunteers [4].

During the early infection stages, administration of L. johnsonii can attenuate H. pylori-induced gastritis in mice [5].

Both live and heat-killed L. johnsonii inhibit the growth of H. pylori in mice, where they also suppress gastric acid secretion [6].

2) Improves Gut Microbiota

Fermented milk with L. johnsonii increased total Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli and decreased lecithinase-positive Clostridium in women [7].

L. johnsonii intake increased the populations of C. histolyticum, Lactobacilli, and Bifidobacteria, and decreased those of F. prausnitzii in healthy volunteers [8].

3) May Improve Diabetes

L. johnsonii inhibited hyperglycemia reduced the elevation of blood glucose and glucagon levels in diabetic rats [9].

L. johnsonii delays or inhibits the onset of type 1 diabetes in diabetes-prone rats [10, 11].

L. johnsonii inhibits insulin resistance in mice [12].

4) May Lower Blood Pressure

L. johnsonii lowers blood pressure in rats [13].

5) May Be Beneficial in Liver Disease

L. johnsonii protects mice with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) from liver steatosis and liver cell death [12].

6) Boosts Immunity

Fermented milk containing L. johnsonii suppressed infections in the elderly [14].

L. johnsonii helps recover nutritional status and systemic immune responses in aged mice [15].

L. johnsonii inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori, Escherichia coli, Salmonella Typhimurium, and Clostridium difficile in laboratory experiments [6].

7) Improves Allergies

The addition of L. johnsonii to levocetirizine improved perennial allergic rhinitis in children [16]

8) Protects the Skin

L. johnsonii significantly inhibited the development of UVA-induced skin lesions in clinical studies [17].

L. johnsonii suppresses exacerbation of dermatitis and scratching and reduces epidermal hyperplasia and infiltration of inflammatory cells in mice [18].

L. johnsonii administered in the weaning period inhibits atopic dermatitis-like lesions in mice after maturation, by modulating or accelerating the gut immune response [19].

9) May be Beneficial in Urogenital Infections

L. johnsonii inhibits G. vaginalis-induced vaginosis in mice [20].


  • Decreases IL-1β, IL-6 [20], IL-4 [21] and IL-8 [5].
  • Increases IL-10 [20].
  • Increases Th17 [11].
  • Increases COX2 [10, 20] and claudin [10].
  • Decreases TNFα [20, 12, 14], C-reactive protein [12] and iNOS [10, 20].
  • Inhibits NF-κB [20].
  • Decreases GPX1, GR, CAT [10], ACACA, FAS, and PPAR-γ [12].
  • Both increases [21] and decreases [10] IFN-γ.
  • Increases blood Hb, serum albumin [14], and blood phagocytic activity [14].
  • Increases IgA [22] and IgG [15] and decreases IgE [21].
  • Increases CD8(+) T cells [15].
  • Lowers CD86 [23].


Probiotics are generally considered safe but should be avoided in patients with organ failure, immunocompromised status, and dysfunctional gut barrier mechanisms.


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About the Author

Biljana Novkovic - PHD (ECOLOGICAL GENETICS) - Writer at Selfhacked

Dr. Biljana Novkovic, PhD

PhD (Ecological Genetics)

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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