Introduction: Saccharomyces boulardii is a well-known probiotic worldwide, and there are numerous studies including experimental and clinical trials in children and adults by the use of S. boulardii.
Areas covered: The objective of the present report is to provide an update on the evidence for the efficacy of S. boulardii CNCM I-745 in different clinical conditions. Saccharomyces boulardii is one of the best-studied probiotics in acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and is shown to be safe and to reduce the duration of diarrhea and hospitalization by about 1 day. Saccharomyces boulardii is one of the recommended probiotics for AGE in children by European Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases and European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN). Saccharomyces boulardii is also a recommended probiotic for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD), and a recent study showed promising results for the treatment of AAD in children. There is insufficient evidence to recommend the long-term use of S. boulardii in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Although some clinical studies showed positive effects of S. boulardii on inflammation, there is no clinical evidence that S. boulardii is useful in inflammatory bowel disease. Saccharomyces boulardii could be used in patients needing Helicobacter pylori eradication because the S. boulardii improves compliance, decreases the side effects and moderately increases the eradication rate. There are new promising results (improving feeding tolerance, shorten the course of hyperbilirubinemia), but we do still not recommend the routine use of S. boulardii in newborns.
Expert opinion: Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 is a good example for the statement that each probiotic needs to be taxonomically characterized and its efficacy and safety should be documented individually in different clinical settings.
Keywords: Saccharomyces boulardii; Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745; antibiotic-associated diarrhea; diarrhea; probiotics.