Lactobacillus plantarum C88: Probiotic with Antioxidant Capabilities


Lactobacillus plantarum is a member of the genus Lactobacillus, commonly found in many fermented food products.  More specifically, Lactobacillus plantarum is found in the following foods:

  • brined olives
  • cheeses
  • fermented sausage
  • Korean kimchi
  • Nigerian Ogi
  • pickles
  • sauerkraut
  • sourdough
  • stockfish

Lactobacillus plantarum has demonstrated therapeutic value in the maintenance of health.  The following studies have been researched regarding lactobacillus plantarum:

  • Helps maintain intestinal permeability  1
  • Ability to suppress the growth of gas producing bacterium in the intestines and may have benefit in some patients who suffer from IBS  2
  • Lactobacillus plantarum C29 has been shown to increase brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)  3

Antioxidant Activities

Lactobacillus plantarum, particularly Lactobacillus plantarum C88, has shown potent antioxidant activities. 

Two independent published studies investigated the in vitro scavenging activity against free radicals of Lactobacillus plantarum C88:

The first study from June 2012 used Lactobacillus plantarum C88 and the investigators showed that it had the highest hydroxyl radical and DPPH scavenging activities, with inhibition rates of 44.31% and 53.05%, respectively.

Resistance of intact cells to hydrogen peroxide was also found in all strains. “L. plantarum C88 was the most resistant strain against hydrogen peroxide. When L. plantarum C88 was administered to senescent mice suffering oxidative stress induced by d-galactose, the serum superoxide dismutase activity, the glutathione peroxidase activity and the total antioxidant capacity in liver increased significantly, while the level of malondialdehyde in liver decreased significantly.”  4    

The second study from November 2012 evaluated the antioxidant activity of a neutral exopolysaccharide (EPS), designated LPC-1, that was isolated from the culture of Lactobacillus plantarum C88. 

The antioxidant activity of LPC-1 was evaluated with the in vitro scavenging abilities on hydroxyl and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals.

The results indicated that LPC-1 had good scavenging ability on hydroxyl radicals.

Furthermore, the protective effect of LPC-1 on H2O2-induced Caco-2 cells oxidative injury was investigated.

As results, LPC-1:

  • Inhibited the formation of malondialdehyde (MDA)
  • Raised the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD)
  • Raised the total antioxidant capacities (T-AOC)

These results demonstrate that the EPS from Lactobacillus plantarum C88 has antioxidant effects that may involve:

  • Scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  • Up-regulation of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant activities
  • Reduction of lipid peroxidation  5 

A third study which appeared May 2015, demonstrated the potential antioxidant properties when combining Panax ginseng polysaccharides and Lactobacillus plantarum C88.  This combination was found to possess significant DPPH, ABTS and superoxide anion radicals scavenging activities, and acidic polysaccharides showed better antioxidant activity than neutral polysaccharides.

Furthermore, the study evaluated the antioxidant effect of acidic Panax ginseng polysaccharide combined with Lactobacillus plantarum C88 strain in natural ageing mice in vivo. Acidic Panax ginseng polysaccharide and Lactobacillus plantarum C88 together inhibited the formation of malondialdehyde (MDA) and increased the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), catalase (CAT) and total antioxidant capacities (T-AOC) in a dose-dependent manner.  6

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