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Battling diarrhea with … yeast

Lycee Fruit

Recently-published meta-analysis shows that the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii has “clear beneficial effects” on children with acute diarrhea. Pooling of 22 studies showed that duration and amount of diarrhea was significantly reduced in children who took the supplement.
Interesting back story to the discovery of Saccharomyces boulardii: The yeast is found on the skin of lychee fruits. French scientist Henri Boulard discovered Saccharomyces boulardii in the 1920s after noticing that natives of Southeast Asia were chewing on the skin of lychee fruits in an attempt to control the symptoms or cholera.

You can purchase Saccharomyces boulardii from Amazon without a prescription.

Saccharomyces boulardii is related to another yeast – Saccharomyces cerevisiae – which is found on the skin of grapes and plums and is used in brewing beer and baking. Antibodies to Saccharomyces cerevisiae are often seen in patients who have inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, suggesting that Saccharomyces cerevisiae may play a role in bowel inflammation.

Then I begin wondering whether the link between beer and “beer belly” may be related to more than just the alcohol and the extra calories in the beer.


  1. Often I have wondered yeast was overlooked when it comes to Celiac Dx.

  2. You might enjoy this story about WWI Germans in the desert, diarrhea and camel poop.

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