Isolated from human gastric juice
Good for both “stomach” and “intestine”
Lactic acid bacterium LJ88

  • Patented in:
    Japan (JP4457364, JP5075254)
    USA (US9243300)
    South Korea (KR101061143, KR101451188)

Presented by “LAB LJ88 Laboratory”

Posted on media
  • 健康産業新聞
  • 食品と開発

A recently found innovative strain of lactic acid bacterium LJ88

We think that many people take lactic acid bacteria from yogurt and/or fermented milk for benefits to their health. As you may know, these bacteria are considered to be partners to support for our healthy life. But actually, there are many different types of lactic acid bacteria. Although such bacteria that improve the intestinal environment are well known, LJ88 (Lactobacillus johnsonii No.1088) is a newly found one that is also good for the stomach. Here we would like to describe more about its unique properties.

1.LJ88 suppresses hyperacidity, which causes stomachache, heartburn, and heavy stomach feelings
Do you have experiences of “stomachache,” “heartburn,” or “heavy stomach feelings” after overeating and/or suffering from stress? These symptoms might be a sign that the production of your gastric acid is not well controlled.
Not only overproduction but also underproduction of gastric acid is of concern. The production of gastric acid is controlled by a hormone named “gastrin,” which stimulates the secretion of gastric acid in the stomach. LJ88 affects the gastrin-producing cells in the stomach to prevent overproduction of gastric acid. However, LJ88 does not suppress the production of gastric acid more than is necessary.

(Ref.7: 食品と開発 51 (9), 71-73, 2016)
2.Lactic acid bacterium LJ88 combats against Helicobacter pylori
You might notice that Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) has been a topic of discussion on TV programs recently. H. pylori is a crucial cause of stomach cancer, and also it causes stomachache and heavy stomach feelings. Lactic acid bacterium LJ88 can weaken such adverse effects of H. pylori. According to the results of in vitro experiments in which LJ88 and H. pylori were mixed and cultured, LJ88 suppressed the growth of H. pylori.(FEMS Microbiol Lett 364(11), Jun 15, 2017, published online)(New Food Industry 59 (7), 1-8, 2017)

(Ref.3: New Food Industry 59 (7), 1-8, 2017)(Ref.4: FEMS Microbiol Lett 364 (11), fnx102
It was also found that the number of H. pylori that had been infected in the stomach of mice was decreased by the oral administration of LJ88.
(Ref.10: MicrobiologyOpen 4, 465-474, 2015)

How was lactic acid bacterium LJ88 found?

A backstage story of LJ88 research

Lactic acid bacteria could be isolated from the stomach

Probiotics, which are live microorganisms conferring health benefits, are said to improve the microbial environment in the intestines. Representative probiotics are the lactic acid bacteria, but almost all of these bacteria taken orally might be killed in stomach, owing to its strong acidity. To solve this problem, we took up the challenge to find acid-resistant lactic acid bacteria that could survive passage through the stomach to reach the intestines. So we asked ourselves where to look for such bacteria and then asked if they might be found in the stomach. Such a breakthrough idea led to the successful isolation of “lactic acid bacterium LJ88” from the gastric juice of a healthy Japanese individual.

LJ88 returning home to its origin

So we conducted further research, asking “Does LJ88 reach the intestines and bring about benefits only to the intestines?” We Japanese have a traditional thought 似類補類 (Ni-rui Ho-rui, which means “compensation by similar materials”), of 薬膳 (Yaku-zen, which means “medicinal foods”): e.g., eating liver when feeling unwellness in the liver; eating walnuts when the brain doesn’t work well, because of their similar appearance to the brain, etc. According to such a concept, we examined whether stomach-derived LJ88 would have beneficial effects on the stomach itself and found this to be the case. Namely, when we returned the stomach-derived LJ88 back to its home, i.e., the stomach, LJ88 was found to prove beneficial to it.

A unique lactic acid bacterium isolated from the human stomach

LJ88 is effective both living and non-living

Is it necessary for lactic acid bacteria to be living for its effectiveness? Or does it remain effective even when heat-killed? The answer was found to depend on the difference in strains and target effectiveness.  Initially, we had examined the effectiveness of the living form of LJ88, since LJ88 showed strong acid-resistance. However, during the course of our experiments, we found that LJ88 exerted various degrees of effectiveness even in its non-living form.
The latest research revealed the following 3 properties retained by even non-living LJ88
  1. 1. Suppression of overproduction of gastric acid
  2. 2. Inhibition of H. pylori activity
  3. 3. Augmentation of the populations of so-called beneficial intestinal bacteria

LJ88 is also beneficial to the intestines, as expected for lactic acid bacteria

LJ88 improves the intestinal microenvironment, as expected. Orally administered LJ88 (both living and non-living) was found to increase the number of bifidobacteria in the feces of human intestinal microbiota-associated mice. Since bifidobacteria are typical so-called beneficial bacteria that improve the intestinal environment, ingestion of LJ88 in turn results in an improved intestinal environment.

(Ref.8: Prebiotics and Probiotics in Human Nutrition and Health, Rao V and Rao LG eds., InTech, Rijeka, Croatia, p.363-381. (ISBN: 978-953-51-4715-2,2016)

Resent research elucidated that colitis induced by the ingestion of high-fat diet in Clostridium scindens-associated mice was significantly inhibited by co-association of live LJ88.

(Ref.2:腸内細菌の応用と市場, シーエムシー出版, p.36-47, 2018)

Effect of LJ88 on other bacteria is specific

Although we have already mentioned above that LJ88 has anti-H. pylori activity, LJ88 especially in its heat-killed form has specificity about the target bacteria species. Namely, heat-killed LJ88 did not affect the growth of Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteritidis, and Clostridium perfringens in vitro. On the contrary, it stimulated the growth of bifidobacteria both in vitro and in vivo. Therefore anti-H. pylori activity of heat-killed LJ88 is thought to be species specific.

(Effect of heat-killed LJ88 on the growth of E. coli)

(Ref.1: 腸内細菌叢を標的にした医薬品と保健機能食品の開発, 技術情報協会, p.411-420, 2018)
(Effect of heat-killed LJ88 on the growth of Bifidobacteria)

(Ref.1: 腸内細菌叢を標的にした医薬品と保健機能食品の開発, 技術情報協会, p.411-420, 2018)

LJ88 is effective clinically as well

The effect of LJ88 of improving stomach symptoms was also observed in a clinical study with human volunteers. When 1 billion or 10 billion cells of heat-killed LJ88 were orally administered once a day for 6 weeks, the gastroesophageal reflux disease-related symptoms of these individuals were significantly improved. Moreover, in 7 subjects whose gastric symptoms had been improved and not worsened, their blood concentrations of gastrin had significantly decreased.


(Ref.6: Am J Food Sci Health 2, 176-185, 2016) (Ref.5: 食品と開発 52 (4), 65-67, 2017)

LJ88 can be applied to bread and cooked rice

LJ88 is tolerable to heat treatment. When heat-killed LJ88 was added to bread dough or rice and then cooked for 30-40 min at 100°C, the rod-like structure of LJ88 was retained.

Therefore, one can easily take LJ88 after mixing it with foods or beverages, even in the case of difficulty in directly taking powdery lactic-acid bacteria products. Since LJ88 has no specific taste, it does not interfere with the taste of foods.

As LJ88 is effective even after heating, rendering it non-living, this lactic acid bacterium is quite versatile, with applications to many kinds of food.


Q.What kind of lactic acid bacteria is LJ88?
LJ88 (Lactobacillus johnsonii No.1088) is a lactic-acid bacterium isolated from the gastric juice of a healthy Japanese person, and in a collaborative study with a university it was found to suppress the overproduction of gastric acid.
Q.Can healthy people ingest LJ88?
Yes. Since LJ88 was isolated from the stomach of a healthy individual, no such concerns are expected. Moreover, a clinical study to evaluate its safety and efficacy was done without any problems indicated.
Q.What is gastrin?
Gastrin is a hormone that stimulates the production of gastric acid. When foods stimulate the stomach wall, gastrin is secreted from gastrin-producing cells, entering the blood stream and, in turn, stimulating gastric acid production.
Q.What is the outcome of the decreased number of gastrin-producing cells after LJ88 intake?
When LJ88 was orally administered to germ-free mice that displayed hyperacidity, the number of gastrin-producing cells in their stomach decreased, resulting in decreased production of gastric acid.
Q.What kind of effectiveness does LJ88 have in the intestines?
In animal experiments, oral LJ88, given orally in either its living or non-living form, was found to increase the number of bifidobacteria (a typical kind of so-called beneficial bacteria) in the intestines.
Q.From whose stomach was LJ88 isolated?
A healthy Japanese adult male.
Q.Is LJ88 safe?
Since Lactobacillus johnsonii is a probiotic species that has been used for many years, we consider that it can be ingested safely. As safety tests, we have conducted single-dose toxicity tests and mutagenicity tests, with no harmful effects noted.
Q.What kind of effectiveness can be expected from LJ88?
The followings are the main benefits of LJ88:
  • To improve the intestinal environment of individuals suffering from constipation or loose stool.
  • To improve the symptoms of those suffering from hyperacidity and/or heart burn.
  • To prevent recurrence of stomatitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • To support the eradication of H. pylori by triple-therapy.
Q.What is the effectiveness of LJ88 against H. pylori?
H. pylori infection is known as the cause of stomach cancer and ulcer. LJ88 inhibits the activities of H. pylori both in vitro and in vivo with oral administration.
Q.How are the safety concerns regarding continuous intake of LJ88?
We recommend continuous intake of LJ88 to expect better results. No specific adverse events related to LJ88 were observed in a clinical study with healthy volunteers who ingested LJ88 for 6 weeks. However, special attention must be paid to possible allergic reactions against lactic acid bacteria.
Q.Can elderly people expect beneficial effects from LJ88?
Yes. In elderly people, their intestinal environment tends to worsen; and so continuous intake of LJ88 would be good for them, because it improves the intestinal environment by increasing the numbers of so-called beneficial bacteria.


  • 小松靖彦(2018)第11章 第5節 胃食道逆流症関連症状を改善する作用のある乳酸菌LJ88の開発 in 腸内細菌叢を標的にした医薬品と保健機能食品の開発, 技術情報協会, p.411-420.
  • 小松靖彦(2018)第4章 乳酸菌LJ88の胃酸抑制と整腸作用. In 腸内細菌の応用と市場, シーエムシー出版, p.36-47.
  • 小松靖彦(2017)乳酸菌LJ88 (Lactobacillus johnsonii No.1088):胃と 腸のための乳酸菌. New Food Industry 59 (7), 1-8.
  • Aiba Y, Ishikawa H, Tokunaga M, Komatsu Y. (2017) Anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of non-living, heat-killed form of lactobacilli including Lactobacillus johnsonii No.1088. FEMS Microbiol Lett 364(11), Jun 15, published online.
  • 小松靖彦(2017)乳酸菌LJ88殺菌体による胃食道逆流症関連症状の緩和:予備的臨床試験. 食品と開発 52 (4), 65-67.
  • Komatsu Y, Sasaki T, Ohishi M. (2016) Effect of Heat-Killed Lactobacillus johnsonii No. 1088 on Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease-Related Symptoms: A Pilot Clinical Study. Am J Food Sci Health 2, 176-185.
  • 小松靖彦(2016)胃のためのプロバイオティクス、プレバイオティクス、バイオジェニックス. 食品と開発 51 (9), 71-73.
  • Komatsu Y, Aiba Y, Nakano Y, Koga Y. (2016) Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Biogenics for the Stomach. In: Prebiotics and Probiotics in Human Nutrition and Health, Rao V and Rao LG eds., InTech, Rijeka, Croatia, p.363-381. (ISBN: 978-953-51-2476-4)
  • 小松靖彦(2015) 新規乳酸菌 Lactobacillus jonsonii No.1088: 耐酸性、抗菌活性、抗ガストリン活性、 プロバイオティクスシンポジウム ’15(三井プラザホール、東京).
  • Aiba Y, Nakano Y, Koga Y, Takahashi K, Komatsu Y. (2015) A highly acid resistant novel strain of Lactobacillus johnsonii No.1088 has anti-bacterial activity, including that against Helcobacter pylori , and inhibits gastrin-mediated acid production in mice. MicrobiologyOpen 4, 465-474.