L. paracasei boosts the immune system, balances the GI microbiota, ameliorates allergic symptoms and decreases skin sensitivity. And these are only some of the L. paracasei many health benefits.
What is Lactobacillus paracasei?
Lactobacillus paracasei is a gram-positive lactic acid bacterium, commonly used in dairy products and probiotics. Both L. paracasei and its fermented products are effective immunomodulators, they alleviate allergies, prevent gastric mucosal lesions and inhibit fat tissue accumulation .
Health Benefits of L. paracasei
1) Boosts Immunity
Dietary supplementation with cow’s milk or rice fermented with L. paracasei prevents common infectious disease (CIDs) in children attending daycare .
L. paracasei increases E. coli infection survival in mice .
Both L. paracasei and its supernatant enhance innate immunity through the activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling .
L. paracasei Differentially Modulates Inflammation
L. paracasei significantly increases the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and stimulates the innate immune system in human enterocytes and dendritic cells (DCs) .
2) Beneficial in Allergies
A significant reduction of nasal symptoms and improved quality of life were achieved in patients with Japanese cedar pollinosis, who received L. paracasei when pollen scattering was low. However, the effects were limited during the peak period .
L. paracasei administration to mothers during gestation/lactation protects against airway inflammation in offspring in mice .
L. paracasei Alleviates Allergic Rhinitis
Subjects with a medical history of allergic rhinitis to grass pollen that received L. paracasei -fermented milk had lower nasal congestion and nasal itching .
In children with perennial allergic rhinitis, L. paracasei improved symptoms of sneezing, itchy nose, and swollen eyes .
L. paracasei improves the quality of life of subjects with persistent allergic rhinitis who are being treated with an oral H1-antihistamine. In this study, nasal symptoms had not changed, but ocular symptoms had consistently improved .
Heat-killed L. paracasei can effectively improve the overall quality of life for patients with allergic rhinitis induced by house dust mite in human subjects .
3) Antibacterial Properties
A bacteriocin produced by L. paracasei inhibits P. gingivalis associated with periodontal disease .
4) Beneficial for Dental Health
However, L. paracasei was not found efficient in 9-year-old children .
L. paracasei, even if heat-killed, inhibits S. mutans and decreases caries lesions in rats .
5) Beneficial for the GI Tract
L. paracasei Improves Intestinal Microflora
L. paracasei further increases acetic acid and butyric acid, while it decreases ammonia .
L. paracasei Strengthens the Intestinal Barrier
L. paracasei modulates intestinal digestion, absorption of nutrients, energy metabolism, lipid synthesis and intestinal protective functions in mice .
Fermented milk with L. paracasei promotes intestinal epithelial cell growth and intestinal epithelial integrity to strengthen the intestinal barrier against chemical and inflammatory stimuli-induced damage .
L. paracasei therapy prevents antibiotic induced visceral hypersensitivity and restores normal gut permeability in rats .
L. paracasei is Beneficial in Diverticular Disease
L. paracasei, in association with a high-fiber diet, is effective in reducing abdominal bloating and prolonged abdominal pain in patients with symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease .
L. paracasei Ameliorates Diarrhea
L. paracasei Relieves Constipation
L. paracasei Ameliorates GI Inflamamation
L. paracasei prevents intestinal inflammation in mice with colitis .
Oral supplementation of L. paracasei reduced the clinical progression of necrotizing enterocolitis in infants .
L. paracasei May Alleviate IBS
L. paracasei supplementation prevents bowel symptom onset in patients on long-term proton pump inhibitors .
6) May Improve Liver Function
L. paracasei lowers liver fat deposition and serum ALT level in mice with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) .
L. paracasei reduces total blood and liver cholesterol in rats and decreases liver damage due to alcohol intake .
L. paracasei symbiotic (containing arabinogalactan, fructooligosaccharides) lessens NAFLD progression in rats, lowers inflammatory markers, and reduces the severity of liver injury and insulin resistance .
7) May Ameliorate Insulin Resistance
L. paracasei symbiotic improves many aspects of insulin resistance, such as fasting response, hormonal homeostasis, and glycemic control in rats .
8) Combats Obesity
Water extract of L. paracasei reduces body weight in obese rats. It decreases the formation of lipid plaques in the aorta, reduces fat cell size and inhibits fat absorption, thereby reducing fat production (lipogenesis) .
In another study, long-term ingestion of L. paracasei reduced body weight and abdominal fat weight in rats .
L. paracasei decreased body fat in mice .
L. paracasei decreases triacylglycerol in human subjects .
L. paracasei decreases energy/food intake in both human and animal subjects .
9) Great for the Skin
L. paracasei contributes to the reinforcement of skin barrier function, inhibits water loss, decreases skin sensitivity and modulates the skin immune system leading to the preservation of skin homeostasis .
L. paracasei decreases skin sensitivity and increases barrier function recovery (water retention) in women .
L. paracasei Improves Atopic Dermatitis
Heat-killed L. paracasei improved atopic dermatitis (AD) in adult patients .
10) May Combat Toxins
L. paracasei reduced the adverse effects of Zearalenone (ZEN), an estrogenic toxin produced by numerous Fusarium fungi species in pre- or post-harvest cereals in mice .
11) May Prevent Urogenital Infections
L. paracasei prevents urogenital infections by inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus in mice .
12) Combats Cancer
Both viable and nonviable L. paracasei exert the same antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects on gastric and colorectal cancer cells in the laboratory .
L. paracasei significantly inhibits colon cancer cell proliferation .
- Depending on the experimental setting, L. paracasei has different effects on cytokines.
- It both elevates and suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α [36, 37, 38, 4, 65], decreases [38, 44] or increases IL-1β [4, 65], and inhibits  or elevates IFN-γ [4, 65].
- L. paracasei mostly induces IL-12 [10, 66, 4, 9] [in some studies decreases: 12, 44], and increases the proportion of NK cells , while reducing the Th-2 response [48, 67].
- L. paracasei mostly increases IL-10 [37, 4, 65, 68] [ a study where IL-10 is decreased: 12].
- L. paracasei decreases TGF-β1[12, 48], and increases TGF-β2 .
- L. paracasei increases IL-8 , decreases IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 [4, 16, 20, 49]. and both decreases and increases IL-6 [44, 12].
- L. paracasei increases IgA [65, 68], and decreases IgG4  and IgE .
- L. paracasei stimulates iNOS and NO .
- L. paracasei increases RANTES, IP-10  and ANGPTL4 .
- L. paracasei lowers PPAR-γ [49, 53].
- It decreases MIP-1α , CCL-20 , PTGS2 , COX-2, PGE2 , TLR-4, NOX-4, MCP-1, PPAR-δ , CCAAT/ C/EBPβ, C/EBPα and HR-LPL .
- L. paracasei increases CD4+ T cell and B cell proliferation  and upregulates the CD4+CD25+Foxp3+Treg cell responses .
- It reduces neutrophil infiltration  and attenuates eosinophil influx in the lungs [67, 16, 20].
- L. paracasei increases the expression of almost all TLR signaling genes .
However, the use of probiotics should be avoided in patients with organ failure, immunocompromised status, and dysfunctional gut barrier mechanisms, where L. paracasei can cause infection .
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