What is Saccharomyces boulardii?
Simply stated, Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii) is a strain of yeast that was isolated from the superfoods, mangosteen and lychee fruit, in 1923 by the French scientist, Henri Boulard (hence the name). Since it is a yeast, it is also a kind of fungus.
Now, a few words on what it is not. S. boulardii is NOT the exact same strain as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is commonly called baker’s and brewer’s yeast, nor is it Saccharomyces exiguous, which is the wild yeast found naturally in vegetables, fruits and grains and is the source of sourdough starters.
To safely make it into a probiotic, S. boulardii is typically freeze-dried to keep it chemically stable. This process is known as lyophilization or lyo (for short). Thus, probiotics are often labeled “Saccharomyces boulardii lyo”.
To review, probiotics are beneficial substances, such as bacteria, yeast or fungus, which help improve the health and function of your intestinal tract.