Lactobacillus GG

background

Lactobacillus GG (LGG) is a bacterium that naturally lives in the human gastrointestinal tract. LGG was named after its co-discoverers, Gorbach and Goldin. The scientific name for LGG is Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
LGG is a probiotic. Probiotics are sometime referred to as "friendly germs." These bacteria and yeast occur naturally in the human gastrointestinal tract, where they help maintain a healthy gut and aid in digestion. LGG is most commonly recommended to treat or prevent diarrhea. It is often prescribed during antibiotic treatment to restore "good" gut microbes killed by the antibiotic.
There is good evidence for the use of LGG in the prevention of diarrhea or acute infections in children. There is also good evidence for its use to treat or prevent other types of diarrhea, such as that associated with antibiotic therapy. However, LGG does not appear to be effective for prevention of atopic dermatitis or in maintaining remission of the inflammatory bowel disorder Crohn's disease.
The reported effects of LGG in clinical trials are based on studies using live and freeze-dried LGG, usually suspended in a liquid, such as a rehydration drink, milk, or water. LGG can also be obtained from some dairy products, including yogurt.

Related Terms

Actimel®, ATCC 53103, fresh poi, GG, L. casei, L. casei DN114001, L. GG, LAB, lactic acid bacteria, lactic acid-producing bacteria, Lactobacillus casei 37, Lactobacillus casei 4646, Lactobacillus casei DN-114001, Lactobacillus casei strain GG, Lactobacillus casei subsp. rhamnosus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus 12L, Lactobacillus rhamnosus 19070-2, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus strain GG, LGG, poi, probiotic, sour poi.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
 
Diarrhea (acute infections) (Grade: B)
Good evidence supports the use of
Diarrhea (antibiotic-associated in children) (Grade: B)
Good evidence supports the use of LGG to prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children. Future studies are needed to determine the timing of LGG therapy that will deliver maximum effectiveness.
Diarrhea prevention (children) (Grade: B)
Good evidence supports the use of daily LGG to prevent diarrhea in children. Further research is needed to determine the dose and timing that will generate the best results.
Abdominal pain (Grade: C)
The results of studies investigating the effect of LGG on abdominal pain have been mixed. Further research is required to understand which patients with abdominal pain may be helped by LGG.
Allergy (Grade: C)
Preliminary research suggests that consumption of a fermented milk product containing LGG may decrease nasal congestion in patients with allergy to Japanese cedar pollen. Further research on the effect of LGG alone is required before conclusions can be made.
Constipation (Grade: C)
Available research suggests that a combination of LGG and lactulose lack benefit for treatment of constipation in children. Further research on the effect of LGG alone is necessary before conclusions can be drawn.
Cystic fibrosis (Grade: C)
Preliminary evidence suggests that LGG may reduce periods of temporary worsening of lung function and hospital admission in children with cystic fibrosis. Further well-designed study is required before conclusions can be made.
Dental cavities (Grade: C)
Preliminary evidence suggests that LGG may help prevent dental cavities. However, further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
Diarrhea (chemotherapy-related) (Grade: C)
Preliminary research suggests that LGG may help prevent diarrhea associated with chemotherapy. Further study is needed.
Diarrhea (Clostridium difficile) (Grade: C)
The use of LGG in recurrent or relapsing diarrhea caused by the bacterium
Diarrhea (HIV-related) (Grade: C)
Limited study suggests that LGG is well tolerated in HIV-infected patients. Further trials are needed to determine if LGG is also effective in the treatment of HIV-associated diarrhea.
Diarrhea (persistent) (Grade: C)
Preliminary research suggests that LGG may aid in the treatment of persistent diarrhea. Further study is needed before a conclusion can be made.
Diarrhea in adults (travelers' diarrhea) (Grade: C)
Available research suggests that LGG may help prevent travelers' diarrhea in adults. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
Infant development / neonatal care (Grade: C)
Preliminary evidence suggests that LGG may lack effect on gastrointestinal symptoms in the newborn but may increase infant growth. Further research is required before conclusions can be made.
Infection prevention (Grade: C)
Probiotics, including LGG, may help in reducing the amount of disease-causing bacteria that reside in the nasal cavity in healthy children. This, in turn, may reduce the incidence of respiratory infections. However, research findings are mixed. Additional studies are needed to determine if LGG is a safe and effective agent for infection prevention.
Rectal complaints (bleeding in infants) (Grade: C)
Preliminary research suggests that LGG has a lack of effect on rectal bleeding in breastfed infants of mothers who have reduced their intake of cow's milk. Further well-designed study is required before conclusions can be made in this area.
Urinary tract infection (Grade: C)
Preliminary evidence does not support the use of oral LGG to prevent recurrence of urinary tract infection. Further research is needed in this area.
Vaginitis (Grade: C)
Early data support the use of LGG in the treatment of vaginitis. Further research into this use of LGG is needed before conclusions can be made.
Atopic dermatitis (Grade: D)
Preliminary evidence is inconclusive regarding the effects of prenatal maternal use of LGG, followed by supplementation in infants, on the development of atopic dermatitis. LGG appears to have a lack of effect on symptoms in children already showing evidence of atopic dermatitis. Additional research is needed.
Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis) (Grade: D)
Scientific evidence to support the use of LGG to maintain remission of Crohn's disease is lacking. Further research is required.