Not everyone has a large population of Lactobacillus plantarum in their gastrointestinal tract, in fact, studies show that only one quarter of Americans eating a typical "western" diet are colonized with it. This figure rises to almost two-thirds of American Seventh-Day Adventists, a group that eat little or no meat. Studies show that the folk that are populated with Lactobacillus plantarum have between 107 to 109 bacteria per gram of feces.2
Tu Zen is probably the most popular of the supplements with good reason. Until recently it has been hard to get in some countries. Contains 10 billion cfu of the fabulous 299v strain. Very new to US Amazon so no reviews yet but anyone with gastro problems has undoubtedly heard all about it. If you haven't check out this page and Natural Remedies for IBS so that you can make an informed decision because unfortunately they don't tell you a thing about it on Amazon!
Tu Zen is my pick for getting a great strain of L plantarum in a probiotic.
Allergy Research Group L Plantarum/Rhamnosus/Salivarius - 100 Capsulesis a supplement that contains 10 billion cfu of L plantarum as well as 4 billion L salivarius and 3 billion L rhamnosus.
For Canadians this multiprobiotic contains Lactobacillus plantarum.
It is only over the last half century that we have turned to pickling vegetables with vinegar. Before then we used natural fermentation or salted foods or put them in a brine solution, all methods which allow Lactobacillus plantarum to survive and thereby be ingested.
There are some experts who believe that as we have moved away from the traditional methods of preservation, so we have lost that daily input of good bacteria - leading to the abundance of gastrointestinal problems that so many experience.1
Foods rich in Lactobacillus plantarum are usually fermented vegetables and grains.
For an extensive list of the various strains found in foods from a diverse range of cultures, see lower on the page.
Certainly when you see the health problems that probiotics such as Lactobacillus plantarum help with, that seems likely. Many people with IBS are finding the 299v strain of Lactobacillus plantarum very helpful.
If you like to learn how to make fermented foods then check out Sandor Katz Fermentation Workshops - 2010
L plantarum 299v
The 299v strain is the powerhouse of the L plantarum family and has been researched much more extensively than other strains. It is also referred to as DSM 9843.
The fact that Lp229v originated from the human intestine goes a long way to explain just why it does us so much good.
Remember, L299v is sensitive to several of the commonly used antibiotics (ampicillin, erythromycin, clindamycin, and trimethoprim/sulphamethoxaxol.)
In human trials, Lp299v has been shown to:
- adhere to the cells that line the colon forming a defensive barrier2
- one study has shown that 299v helped with antibiotic associated diarrhea.3
- decrease abdominal bloating in patients with irritable bowel disease4
- improve mucosal status - When people take Lp299v, the numbers of Lactobacilli in the intestinal mucosa tends to increase while conversely the number of Gram-negative anaerobes, Enterobacteriaceae, and sulfite-reducing clostridia tends to decrease7 (although one study did NOT show the increase in IgA observed in the intestinal mucosa shown in animal studies.5)
- reduce mucosal inflammation - When 299v adheres to the mucosal membrane of the gut, the numbers of Gram-negative bacteria (which always contain endotoxins and even a small number cause an extreme inflammatory reaction) reduces substantially.6
- redirects the eosinophil function towards an antimicrobial one6
- increases the concentration of carboxylic acids in feces6
- decreases fibrinogen (a protein that helps with blood clotting) concentrations in the blood6
In animal studies Lp299v has been shown to
- decrease translocation8
- improve mucosal status8
- improve liver status9
- improve the immunologic status of the mucosa10
- reduce mucosal inflammation8
This strain is another of the lactic acid bacteria that laughs at gastric acid juice. It can and does readily survive the trip through your stomach.11
Lp299v is available in a number of different forms
- capsules - TuZen Probiotic, Probex (Metagenics), LactoFlamX (Metagenics), Zenflo, Bion Transit, Quest.
- sachets - Zenbis (Smart Intermed), Bion Transit
- fruitjuice, organic - GoodBelly Probiotic Fruit Drink
- fruitjuice and oatmeal gruel - ProViva
One study tested for bacterial levels 11 days after taking 299v for ten days and found levels of the probiotic were still high.7
A normal dose rate is around the 10 billion (109)bacteria or colony forming units (CFU) a day.
L plantarum 299
This strain is similar to Lp299v and is another that is a natural inhabitant of the healthy human gut. Also referred to as DSM 6595.
Less well known strains of L plantarum found in vegetables and grains
These are simply various strains that have been studied for a multitude of reasons. A diet rich in fermented vegetables will give you many different strains of Lactobacillus plantarum.
Let me give you an example: sour Mifen is a traditional fermented rice noodle dish from China - now when 14 samples from local factories were analyzed they discovered a total of 170 different lactic acid bacteria and 96 yeasts. Lactobacillus plantarum was one of the two predominant species in the fermented noodles. This is what eating real food can give you as opposed to taking a supplement. This is what our ancestors ate.
A supplement is great when you want a specific strain for a specific health problem. An example of this is the 299v strain for irritable bowel syndrome or VSL3 (which contains L plantarum) for inflammatory bowel disease treatment.
The following info has all been sourced from PubMed scientific studies
Strains 97, 98, 101, 107, 120, 125, 44, and 53, CNRZ 1889, NCIMB 12120, have all been found in Nigerian ogi (a fermented maize or sorghum porridge.)
Strain ATCC 14917 - sauerkraut (fermented cabbage.)
Strain 79 - pito (traditional Nigerian alcoholic drink.)
Strain KLAB21 - kimchi (fermented vegetables), Korea
Strain FM5 - fufu, Nigeria (fermented cassava)
Strains A1, A4, A6 and A7, 57.2 - cassava, Congo
Strain A12 and 38AA - cassava, Colombia
Strain DKO 22T - Sour cassava, Nigeria
Strain SF2A35B - Sour cassava, South America
Strain DK 19 - White maize, Nigeria
Strain CNRZ 1890 - baba (fermented millet), Nigeria
Strain DK 9 - fermented cucumber, Nigeria
Strain DK 36 - Tapioca, Nigeria
Less well known strains of L plantarum found in dairy produce
Strain CNRZ 1220 - Cheese, Egypt
Strain CNRZ 1246 - Domiati cheese, Egypt
Strain LAB R1M3 and MS26 - Monte Veronese cheese, Italy
Strain LMG 18035 - Milk, Egypt
Strain ZW20 - Cheese, Switzerland
Strain 817 - Cheese, Italy
Strains IS-10506 and IS-20506 - Dadih (traditional fermented milk), Indonesia
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1. Broekaert Ilse J, Walker W Allan. Probiotics and Chronic Disease. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology:Volume 40(3)March 2006pp 270-274. 2.
2. Ingegerd Adlerberth, Siv Ahrne´, Marie-Louise Johansson, Go¨ran Molin, Lars Å Hanson, Agnes E Wold. A Mannose-Specific Adherence Mechanism in Lactobacillus plantarum Conferring Binding to the Human Colonic Cell Line HT-29. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, July 1996, p. 2244?2251.
3. Wullt M, Johansson Hagslätt ML, Odenholt I, Berggren A. Lactobacillus plantarum 299v enhances the concentrations of fecal short-chain fatty acids in patients with recurrent clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea. Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Sep;52(9):2082-6. Epub 2007 Apr 10.
4. Nobaek S, Johansson ML, Molin G, et al. Alteration of intestinal microflora is associated with reduction in abdominal bloating and pain in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Am J Gastroenterol. 2000;95:1231-1238.
5. Woodcock NP, McNaught CE, Morgan DR, Gregg KL, MacFie J. An investigation into the effect of a probiotic on gut immune function in surgical patients. Clin Nutr. 2004 Oct;23(5):1069-73.
6. MOLIN Göran. Probiotics in foods not containing milk or milk constituents, with special reference to Lactobacillus plantarum 299v. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. International Symposium on Probiotics and Prebiotics, Kiel , ALLEMAGNE (11/06/1998) 2001, vol. 73, no 2, SUP (136 p.) (51 ref.), pp. 380S-385S
7. Johansson ML, Molin G, Jeppsson B, Nobaek S, Ahrné S, Bengmark S. Administration of different Lactobacillus strains in fermented oatmeal soup: in vivo colonisation of human intestinal mucosa and effect on the indigenous flora. Appl Environ Microbiol 1993;59:15?20.
8. Mao Y, Yu J, Ljung A, Molin G, Jeppsson B. Intestinal immune response to oral administration of Lactobacillus reuteri R2LC, Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 9843, pectin and oatbase on methotrexate-induced enterocolitis in rats. Microb Ecol Health Dis 1996;9:261?70.
9. Kasravi FB, Adawi D, Molin G, Bengmark S, Jeppsson B. Effect of oral supplementation of lactobacilli on bacterial translocation in acute liver injury induced by D-galactosamine. J Hepatol 1997;26:417?24.
10. Mao Y, Nobaek S, Kasravi B, et al. The effect of Lactobacillus strains and oat fiber on methotrexate-induced enterocolitis in rats. Gastroentereology 1996;111:334?44.
11. Goossens D, Jonkers D, Russel M, Thijs A, van den Bogaard A, Stobberingh E, Stockbrügger R. Survival of the probiotic, L. plantarum 299v and its effects on the faecal bacterial flora, with and without gastric acid inhibition. Dig Liver Dis. 2005 Jan;37(1):44-50.
A true probiotic will always have the strain specified.
So the wording on the label will be the bacteria name, eg Lactobacillus plantarum, followed by the strain, eg 299v.
It's those few letters or numbers at the end that make all the difference.
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