Lactobacillus rhamnosus (Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus)
Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a species of probiotic bacteria. In this article you will find the answers to the following questions about L. rhamnosus.
What is Lactobacillus rhamnosus?
Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a bacterial species belonging to the Lactobacillus genus that was originally considered to be a subspecies of Lactobacillus casei; however, further genetic research determined that Lactobacillus rhamnosus was a separate species. Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria typically exist in the human digestive system, but Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains are also known to colonise in the vaginal environment. The bacteria from this species are often found in chains, and are gram positive, anaerobic and rod shaped. Other strains from the species are found in fermented foods such as yoghurt and other dairy products, especially semi-hard cheeses.
As of April 2020 L. rhamnosus has been officially reclassified to Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus (Zheng J et al., 2020).
What are the benefits of Lactobacillus rhamnosus?
Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been the focus of many research projects with some strains showing to be particularly beneficial for supporting female intimate health conditions. These certain strains of L. rhamnosus support vaginal health in the following ways:
- Colonising in the vaginal tract – Colonising primarily in the vaginal tract rather than the intestines, therefore supporting vaginal health (DeAlberti D et al., 2015).
- Attachment to the vaginal mucosa – By adhering to the urethra, certain strains of L. rhamnosus will displace and prevent the adhesion of pathogens to the vaginal lining which protects against infections such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) (Reid et al., 1995, Ewid et al., 2002).
You can read more about this in our article on our sister site, Probiotics Learning Lab: Probiotics and bacterial vaginosis
Lactobacillus rhamnosus also supports digestive and immune health in the following ways:
- Production of antimicrobial substances – This helps to alleviate diarrhoea that can be associated with travel or antibiotic use (Vanderhoof J.A. et al., 1999).
- Reduction of inflammatory signalling in the intestines - Reducing the frequency of IBS and IBD related abdominal pain. (Lin et al., 2009).
- Modulation of the immune system – By increasing the action of T-lymphocytes and the action of anti-inflammatory cytokines. (Schultz M. et al., 2003).
You can find more information on how probiotics can aid immune function in this article on the Probiotics Learning Lab: Could live cultures help allergies?
Which probiotics contain Lactobacillus rhamnosus?
Numerous probiotics contain L. rhamnosus, but one of the most researched strains is Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG® . This strain has been involved in over 800 studies worldwide and found to be beneficial for both adults and children, particularly for IBS, eczema, allergies and supporting the immune system.
You can read more about the research and outcomes on its strain page entry on the Probiotic Database: Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG®
Key Takeaways for Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Certain strains of Lactobacillus rhamnosus colonise in the vaginal tract, supporting genito-urinary health, including protecting against infections like BV.
- Other strains support digestive health and have been shown to reduce abdominal pain associated with IBS and IBD.
- One of the world’s most researched strains is Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG® which has been shown to have numerous health benefits.
There are many other species in the Lactobacillus genus – read about these in the Probiotics Database
Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains: Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG®, Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1® and Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11.
For more insights and professional updates on probiotics, please visit the Probiotic Professionals pages.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103) and its Probiotic Use. MicrobeWiki [ONLINE] Available at:
https://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Lactobacillus_rhamnosus_GG_(ATCC_53103)_and_its_Probiotic_Use. [Accessed 8 June 2017].
Lee Y. and Salminen S., (2009), Handbook of Probiotic and Prebiotics. 2nd edition, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Lin PW, Myers LES, Ray L, et al. Lactobacillus rhamnosus blocks inflammatory signaling in vivo via reactive oxygen species generation. Free Radic Biol Med. 2009;47(8):1205-1211. doi:10.1016/J.FREERADBIOMED.2009.07.033
Reid G., (1999), ‘The scientific basis for probiotic strains of Lactobacillus’. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 65(9):3763-3766.
Zheng J, Wittouck S. et al., (2020) 'A taxonmonic note on the genus Lactobacillus: Description of 23 novel genera, emended description of the genus Lactobacillus Beijerinck 1901, and union of Lactobacillaceae and Leuconostocaceae'. Int.J.Syst.Evol.Microbiol, 70(4): 2782-2858. DOI: 10.1099/ijsem.0.004107
Information on this species was gathered by Joanna Scott-Lutyens BA (hons), DipION, Nutritional Therapist; and Kerry Beeson, BSc (Nut.Med) Nutritional Therapist.