Lactobacillus Johnsonii for C. Difficile Infection

Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection is a common and challenging gastrointestinal condition. It is characterized by symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fever. The infection is primarily caused by the overgrowth of C. difficile bacteria in the intestines. In this article, we will delve into the role of Lactobacillus Johnsonii in managing C. difficile infection and explore its efficacy as a potential treatment option.

Understanding C. Difficile Infection

C. difficile infection, also known as Clostridium difficile infection, is a common healthcare-associated infection that affects the colon. It is usually a consequence of antibiotic use, which disrupts the natural balance of bacteria in the gut. The disruption allows C. difficile, a bacterium that is normally present in the gut in small amounts, to grow and multiply rapidly. As the C. difficile bacteria multiply, they produce toxins that can damage the lining of the colon, leading to inflammation and diarrhea.

The symptoms of C. difficile infection can vary in severity. Common symptoms include frequent watery stools, abdominal cramps, and fever. In more severe cases, complications such as dehydration and kidney problems can occur. The infection can be particularly dangerous for older adults and individuals with weakened immune systems.

Diagnosing C. difficile infection usually involves testing a stool sample for the presence of C. difficile toxins. This can be done using different laboratory methods, including enzyme immunoassay and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Prompt and accurate diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment and preventing the spread of the infection.

Current treatments for C. difficile infection mainly involve antibiotics, such as metronidazole and vancomycin. These antibiotics work by killing the C. difficile bacteria. However, they can sometimes lead to recurrence of the infection or the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of C. difficile. Recurrence of C. difficile infection is a major concern, as it can be more difficult to treat and may require prolonged or alternative treatment approaches.

As a result, researchers have been exploring alternative approaches to treating C. difficile infection. One such approach involves the use of probiotics, which are live bacteria that can provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. Probiotics work by restoring the natural balance of bacteria in the gut, which can help prevent the growth of C. difficile and reduce the risk of infection.

Lactobacillus Johnsonii is a probiotic strain that has shown promise in preventing and treating C. difficile infection. Studies have demonstrated that Lactobacillus Johnsonii can inhibit the growth of C. difficile and reduce the severity of infection. It does this by producing antimicrobial substances that can directly kill the C. difficile bacteria and by competing with C. difficile for nutrients and space in the gut.

In addition to probiotics, other potential treatment options for C. difficile infection are being explored. These include fecal microbiota transplantation, which involves transferring fecal matter from a healthy donor to the patient's colon to restore a healthy balance of bacteria, and monoclonal antibodies, which can target and neutralize the toxins produced by C. difficile.

Preventing C. difficile infection is also an important aspect of managing the disease. This can be achieved through proper hand hygiene, including thorough handwashing with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom and before eating. Healthcare facilities also play a crucial role in preventing the spread of C. difficile by implementing infection control measures, such as proper cleaning and disinfection of patient rooms and equipment.

In conclusion, C. difficile infection is a healthcare-associated infection that can cause significant morbidity and mortality. Understanding the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options for C. difficile infection is essential for effective management and prevention. Ongoing research and advancements in treatment approaches, such as probiotics and other innovative therapies, offer hope for improved outcomes for individuals affected by C. difficile infection.

Introduction to Lactobacillus Johnsonii

Lactobacillus Johnsonii is a beneficial bacteria that naturally resides in the human gut. It is considered a probiotic because of its ability to confer health benefits when ingested in adequate amounts. This particular strain of Lactobacillus has been studied extensively for its potential in preventing and treating various gastrointestinal conditions, including C. difficile infection.

What is Lactobacillus Johnsonii?

Lactobacillus Johnsonii is a lactic acid-producing bacterium that belongs to the Lactobacillus genus. It is a Gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium that is part of the natural microbiota found in the intestines of both humans and animals. Lactobacillus species are known for their ability to ferment sugars into lactic acid, creating an acidic environment in the gut that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.

The Role of Lactobacillus Johnsonii in the Gut

Lactobacillus Johnsonii plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. It helps to support digestion, enhance nutrient absorption, and strengthen the immune system. Additionally, Lactobacillus Johnsonii has been shown to produce antimicrobial substances that can inhibit the growth of pathogens like C. difficile.

Furthermore, research has indicated that Lactobacillus Johnsonii may have additional benefits beyond its antimicrobial properties. Studies have shown that this bacterium has the ability to modulate the immune response, leading to reduced inflammation in the gut. Inflammation is a common underlying factor in many gastrointestinal conditions, and by reducing it, Lactobacillus Johnsonii could potentially alleviate symptoms and improve overall gut health.

Moreover, Lactobacillus Johnsonii has been found to produce certain enzymes that aid in the digestion of carbohydrates and proteins. These enzymes help break down complex molecules into simpler forms that can be easily absorbed by the body. This not only improves nutrient absorption but also reduces the risk of nutrient deficiencies and related health issues.

In addition to its role in digestion and immune function, Lactobacillus Johnsonii has been investigated for its potential effects on mental health. Emerging research suggests that the gut-brain axis, the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain, plays a significant role in mental well-being. Lactobacillus Johnsonii has been found to produce certain neurotransmitters and metabolites that can influence brain function and mood.

Furthermore, Lactobacillus Johnsonii has been shown to have a protective effect on the intestinal barrier. The intestinal barrier is a selectively permeable membrane that prevents harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. Disruptions in the integrity of this barrier can lead to various health issues. Lactobacillus Johnsonii helps strengthen the intestinal barrier by promoting the production of tight junction proteins, which maintain the integrity of the barrier and prevent the entry of toxins and pathogens.

Overall, Lactobacillus Johnsonii is a versatile bacterium that plays a vital role in maintaining gut health. Its ability to support digestion, enhance nutrient absorption, modulate the immune response, and protect the intestinal barrier makes it a promising candidate for therapeutic interventions in various gastrointestinal conditions. Ongoing research continues to uncover the full potential of Lactobacillus Johnsonii and its role in promoting overall well-being.

The Science Behind Lactobacillus Johnsonii and C. Difficile

Research has shown that Lactobacillus Johnsonii can help combat C. difficile infection in multiple ways. Firstly, it competes with C. difficile for nutrients and adhesion sites in the gut, preventing the bacteria from colonizing and causing infection. Secondly, Lactobacillus Johnsonii produces antimicrobial compounds, including lactic acid and bacteriocins, which directly inhibit the growth of C. difficile. Lastly, it modulates the immune response, reducing inflammation and promoting the restoration of a healthy gut environment.

How Lactobacillus Johnsonii Fights C. Difficile

Lactobacillus Johnsonii effectively competes with C. difficile for resources in the gut. By outcompeting C. difficile, Lactobacillus Johnsonii limits the availability of nutrients required for C. difficile to grow and multiply. This competition helps prevent the overgrowth of C. difficile bacteria, reducing the likelihood of infection.

Furthermore, Lactobacillus Johnsonii produces lactic acid, creating an acidic environment in the gut. C. difficile is sensitive to low pH levels, and the acid produced by Lactobacillus Johnsonii inhibits its growth. Additionally, Lactobacillus Johnsonii produces bacteriocins, which are antimicrobial compounds that specifically target and kill C. difficile, further suppressing its growth and activity.

Relevant Research and Studies

Multiple studies have investigated the potential of Lactobacillus Johnsonii in managing C. difficile infection. A randomized controlled trial conducted in 2016 found that the administration of Lactobacillus Johnsonii reduced the incidence of C. difficile-associated diarrhea in patients taking antibiotics. Another study published in 2018 demonstrated that Lactobacillus Johnsonii supplementation improved the clinical outcome and reduced the recurrence rate of C. difficile infection.

Using Lactobacillus Johnsonii for Treatment

When considering Lactobacillus Johnsonii as a treatment option for C. difficile infection, it is essential to understand the appropriate dosage, administration, and possible side effects.

Dosage and Administration

The dosage of Lactobacillus Johnsonii can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the individual's specific circumstances. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate dosage and administration regimen. In many cases, Lactobacillus Johnsonii is available as a supplement in capsule or powder form, which can be taken orally with water or mixed with food.

Possible Side Effects and Precautions

While Lactobacillus Johnsonii is generally considered safe for most individuals, some people may experience mild side effects, including gastrointestinal disturbances such as bloating or gas. Rarely, individuals with a weakened immune system or underlying health conditions may be at risk of developing more severe infections from probiotic use. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any probiotic regimen, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications.

Case Studies and Patient Experiences

Real-life experiences and case studies can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of Lactobacillus Johnsonii in managing C. difficile infection.

Success Stories

Many individuals who have incorporated Lactobacillus Johnsonii into their treatment regimen have reported positive outcomes. Individuals have reported a reduction in the frequency and severity of C. difficile-associated symptoms, as well as a decreased risk of recurrence.

Challenges and Limitations

Though Lactobacillus Johnsonii shows promise in the management of C. difficile infection, it is essential to acknowledge the challenges and limitations faced in its implementation. Further research is needed to establish optimal dosages, treatment durations, and whether specific strains of Lactobacillus Johnsonii are more effective than others.

Additionally, the use of probiotics as a stand-alone treatment for C. difficile infection may not be sufficient in severe cases. It is important to consider the integration of Lactobacillus Johnsonii with conventional antibiotic therapy and other supportive measures, as recommended by healthcare professionals.


Lactobacillus Johnsonii shows promise in the management of C. difficile infection by promoting a healthy gut environment and inhibiting the growth of C. difficile bacteria. However, more research is needed to fully understand its efficacy and determine the optimal treatment protocols. As with any medical treatment, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any probiotic regimen, particularly for individuals with underlying health conditions or taking medications. By considering the potential benefits of Lactobacillus Johnsonii, we can explore new avenues in the management of C. difficile infection and improve patient outcomes.

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