Thirty Years of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG: A Review

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2019 Mar;53 Suppl 1:S1-S41. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001170.


Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) was the first strain belonging to the genus Lactobacillus to be patented in 1989 thanks to its ability to survive and to proliferate at gastric acid pH and in medium containing bile, and to adhere to enterocytes. Furthermore LGG is able to produces both a biofilm that can mechanically protect the mucosa, and different soluble factors beneficial to the gut by enhancing intestinal crypt survival, diminishing apoptosis of the intestinal epithelium, and preserving cytoskeletal integrity. Moreover LGG thanks to its lectin-like protein 1 and 2 inhibits some pathogens such as Salmonella species. Finally LGG is able to promote type 1 immune-responsiveness by reducing the expression of several activation and inflammation markers on monocytes and by increasing the production of interleukin-10, interleukin-12 and tumor necrosis factor-α in macrophages. A large number of research data on Lactobacillus GG is the basis for the use of this probiotic for human health. In this review we have considered predominantly randomized controlled trials, meta-analysis, Cochrane Review, guide lines of Scientific Societies and anyway studies whose results were evaluated by means of relative risk, odds ratio, weighted mean difference 95% confidence interval. The effectiveness of LGG in gastrointestinal infections and diarrhea, antibiotic and Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, respiratory tract infections, allergy, cardiovascular diseases, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, cystic fibrosis, cancer, elderly end sport were analyzed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Bacterial Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Clostridioides difficile
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / prevention & control
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Diarrhea / therapy*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Dysbiosis / complications
  • Dysbiosis / therapy*
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / therapy*
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / complications
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / therapy
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus / physiology*
  • Liver Diseases / etiology
  • Liver Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Probiotics / pharmacology
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / therapy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cytokines