Learn about the world’s most researched lactic acid bacterium

Discovered in the 1980s, the Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG lactic acid bacterium continues to find new friends around the world. But how was it discovered and what makes it so unique? The history and qualities of the world’s most researched lactic acid bacterium are explained right here!

What is Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG?

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is the world’s most researched lactic acid bacterium. It was discovered in the 1980s and its qualities have since been scrutinised in more than 800 scientific studies globally.

It is also the only known lactic acid bacterium to have specific properties that help it attach to the intestinal wall and stay there.

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How was the Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG lactic acid bacterium discovered?


Lactic acid bacteria have long been used in preserving food. For instance yoghurts, viili fermented milks, cultured buttermilks, and sauerkraut all get their taste from and are preserved by lactic acid bacteria. The bacteria trigger a fermentation reaction that lowers the product’s pH (acid-alkaline balance), which in turn prevents the activity of harmful bacteria and the product does not spoil so easily. Acid preservation further helps retain vitamins. Sauerkraut for example is known for its high vitamin C content.

 

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Lactic acid bacteria also occur naturally in the human body. The majority of bacteria are found in the gut. The normal flora of the gut is as unique as the fingerprint between different individuals.

 

 

 

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Broader interest in using lactic acid bacteria in products arose in the 1980s. Valio’s R&D division began to study how the beneficial qualities of fermented dairy products could be harnessed for other products, too.

 

 

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In 1985, American research professors Sherwood Gorbach and Barry Goldin discovered and isolated in the gut of a healthy human a lactic acid bacterial strain they named Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.

 

 

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In 1985, American research professors Sherwood Gorbach and Barry Goldin discovered and isolated in the gut of a healthy human a lactic acid bacterial strain they named Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.

 

 

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The first Valio Gefilus® product, containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG lactic acid bacterium, was launched at the beginning of 1990, though it took a while for Finnish consumers to discover the products. Their popularity began to grow in 1996 when Valio launched Gefilus® milk. 

Today, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG lactic acid bacterium are used e.g. in cultured buttermilks, juices and yoghurts.

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“The qualities of the Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG lactic acid bacterium have been researched in more than 800 scientific studies around the world.”

How does Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG work?

The extremely enduring Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG survive throughout the digestive tract, in whatever product it’s consumed. Nevertheless it survives best in foods and especially fermented dairy products. You can’t consume too much lactic acid bacteria, so it’s safe to eat products containing them right through the day.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG lactic acid bacterium use their unique property to attach to the intestinal walls.

See products that contain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG lactic acid bacteria ›

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