Lactobacillus casei for healing those gastrointestinal complaints

Lactobacillus casei is a lactic acid bacteria with a number of strains having been proven to be probiotic.

It is found naturally in both the human intestine and the mouth.

L casei is resistant to both gastric acid and bile and is able to survive the journey through the gastrointestinal tract.1 Like most probiotics it does not take up permanent residence in the intestines but can be found for around 10 days after being taken.

It targets the gastrointestinal tract for its good work and although much of the science around the various studies is complex to understand, it has proven in a number of scientific trials to have a beneficial effect4.

These good effects are almost always strain specific but it is a safe bet that all Lactobacillus casei are helpful to some extent or other.

Strain DN-114001 has been show to control diarrhea 2

A number of strains of L casei have an anti-inflammatory effect on the gut so can be helpful with IBS and IBD. 3

It is helpful against antibiotic associated diarrhea.5

Immune support.6


Lactobacillus casei supplements

If the strain of Lactobacillus casei is known it shown in brackets after the name of the supplement. Not all strains of the same bacteria do the same thing.

If only the total amount of cfu (colony forming units) is shown then you really have no idea of how many Lactobacillus casei bacteria you are getting. In some of the multi strain probiotics it might be a very small amount.

Unfortunately, labeling of probiotics still has quite a way to go. I contact manufacturers and ask but many still claim this is "sensitive" information. Baloney!

Iflora Multi-Probiotic a multi strain capsule, 16 billion cfu total, contains a non-gas forming prebiotic, great reviews on acid reflux, gas, bloating and cramp due to food allergies, and yeast infections

Nutri-Health Flora Source Multi-Probiotic Capsules a multi strain capsule, 16 billion cfu total, great reviews for long standing IBS, diverticulitis and diarrhea.

Garden of Life Primal Defense HSO Probiotics multi strain, expensive but good reviews.

Jarro-Dophilus EPS (R0215) a multi probiotic capsule 5 billion in total, 680 million casei

Jarrow-Dophilus + FOS (R0215) a multi probiotic capsule 3.4 billion in total, 680 million casei

KE-99 Lacto

Nature's Secret Ultimate Probiotic a multi strain capsule, 4 billion total

Nature's Sunshine Bidophilus Flora Force multi strain capsule, 4 billion total, 1 billion casei

Nature's Way Primadophilus Optima (108) a 14 strain multi, 35 billion total

VSL 3 capsules for ulcerative colitis - 60 ea a multi probiotic capsule, 112.5 billion cfu total, very pricey but researched more than most and effective, good reviews on small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, ulcerative colitis and gastrointestinal problems


What foods is it in?

The Science

Family: Lactobacillaceae

Genus: Lactobacillus

Species: L. casei

Facultatively heterofermentative (which means it ferments some sugars to lactic acid, and other sugars to both lactic acid and acetic acid)

Grows over a wide range of temperature and pH.

L casei is found in milk and many commercially produced yogurts and fermented drinks. Also found in naturally fermented cheeses where it is often one the most numerous of the non-starter bacteria present. Other foods it is in are green olives and cucumber pickles so long as they are naturally fermented. (The modern method of preserving in vinegar destroys these worthwhile bacteria.)

Actimel (DN-114001)

DanActive (DN-114001)

Yakult a fermented drink (Shirota)

Yogourmet yogurt starter Casei Bifidus Acidophilus Probiotic Yogurt Starter

Lifeway Yogurt

Lifeway Kefir

Stonyfield Farm Yogurt

If you are wishing to increase your intake of this particular Lactobacillus then the important point is to ensure that the food is NOT heat treated and IS fermented by natural methods.


Strains of L casei

Lactobacillus casei DN-114001 in DanActive, Actimel

L casei Shirota in Yakult

KE-99 in KE-99 Lacto in tablets or capsules

CRL 431

R0215 in Jarrow Dophilus


1. Zakia Djouzi, Claude Andrieux, Marie-Christine Degivry, Christine Bouley, and Odette Szylit. The Association of Yogurt Starters with Lactobacillus casei DN 114.001 in Fermented Milk Alters the Composition and Metabolism of Intestinal Microflora in Germ-Free Rats and in Human Flora-Associated Rats. The Journal of Nutrition Vol. 127 No. 11 November 1997, pp. 2260-2266.

2. Bengmark, S. Gut microbial ecology in critical illness: is there a role for prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics? Curr Opin Crit Care. 2002;8:145?151.

3. Lee JM, Hwang KT, Jun WJ, Park CS, Lee MY. Antiinflammatory Effect of Lactic Acid Bacteria: Inhibition of Cyclooxygenase-2 by Suppressing Nuclear Factor-kappaB in Raw264.7 Macrophage Cells. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2008 Oct;18(10):1683-8.

4. Delcenserie V, Martel D, Lamoureux M, Amiot J, Boutin Y, Roy D. Immunomodulatory effects of probiotics in the intestinal tract. Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2008;10(1-2):37-54.

5 Hickson M, D'Souza AL, Muthu N, Rogers TR, Want S, Rajkumar C, Bulpitt CJ. Use of probiotic Lactobacillus preparation to prevent diarrhoea associated with antibiotics: randomised double blind placebo controlled trial. BMJ. 2007 Jul 14;335(7610):80.

6 Takeda K, Okumura K. Effects of a fermented milk drink containing Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota on the human NK-cell activity. J Nutr. 2007 Mar;137(3 Suppl 2):791S-3S.