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Lactobacillus plantarum is found in many fermented foods types such as Korean kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles and thus make an ideal probiotic. It was first isolated in the saliva and is part of Firmucutes family. Like others from the lactobacillus genus it can produce lactic acid. It has also been used to reduce the allergenicity of soy. It can produce antimicrobial substances to fend off bad bacteria and other microbes.

Many different therapeutic applications are being studied. It can help maintain the intestinal permeability (1). It has been shown to reduce the growth of gas-producing bacterium in the intestines (2). One interesting study found that it increased hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor, suggesting it might have a positive role in the treatment of depression (3). It has also been shown, along with other bacteria to have a role in treating ulcerative colitis, (4).  It may also have a therapeutic role in the treatment of HIV infection. Lactobacillicus plantarum is able to destroy one of the products of the immune reaction of HIV (IL-1β), reduce inflammation, and help repair the gut lining in a very short period of time (5).




  1. Bested, Alison C; Logan, Alan C; Selhub, Eva M (2013). “Intestinal microbiota, probiotics and mental health: from Metchnikoff to modern advances: Part II – contemporary contextual research”. Gut Pathogens. 5 (1): 3. doi:10.1186/1757-4749-5-3. PMC 3601973Freely accessible. PMID 23497633.
  2. Bixquert Jiménez, M. (2009). “Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with probiotics: An etiopathogenic approach at last?”. Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas. 101 (8): 553–64. doi:10.4321/s1130-01082009000800006. PMID 19785495.
  3. Bested, Alison C; Logan, Alan C; Selhub, Eva M (2013). “Intestinal microbiota, probiotics and mental health: from Metchnikoff to modern advances: part III – convergence toward clinical trials”. Gut Pathogens. 5 (1): 4. doi:10.1186/1757-4749-5-4. PMC 3605358Freely accessible. PMID 23497650.
  4. Ghouri, Yezaz A; Richards, David M; Rahimi, Erik F; Krill, Joseph T; Jelinek, Katherine A; DuPont, Andrew W (9 December 2014). “Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics in inflammatory bowel disease”. Clin Exp Gastroenterol. pp. 473–487. doi:10.2147/CEG.S27530. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  5. Silvestri, Guido; Hirao, Lauren A.; Grishina, Irina; Bourry, Olivier; Hu, William K.; Somrit, Monsicha; Sankaran-Walters, Sumathi; Gaulke, Chris A.; Fenton, Anne N.; Li, Jay A.; Crawford, Robert W.; Chuang, Frank; Tarara, Ross; Marco, Maria L.; Bäumler, Andreas J.; Cheng, Holland; Dandekar, Satya (2014). “Early Mucosal Sensing of SIV Infection by Paneth Cells Induces IL-1β Production and Initiates Gut Epithelial Disruption”. PLoS Pathogens. 10 (8): e1004311. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004311. PMC 4148401Freely accessible. PMID 25166758. Lay summaryMedical Xpress (August 30, 2014).