Wellness Database: Probiotics
Probiotics are micro-organisms that are beneficial for women's health, reducing obesity, improving oral health, and preventing irritable bowel syndrome
Probiotics Reduce Symptoms of Vaginal Infection
Summary: In a study involving 30 subjects, evidence suggests that supplementation with probiotics (UB-01BV) may help to reduce the risk of vaginal infection. Subjects (n=30) were women diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis (BV) presenting white discharge, pH > 4.7, increased discharge, odor, pruritus. Each subject received two capsules of UB-01BV per day, for 7 days. Subjects showed reduction in vaginosis symptoms post-treatment. Researchers conclude that UB-01BV may be able to reduce the effects of vaginal infection.
Probiotics Beneficial in the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis
Summary: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers evaluated the clinical efficacy of supplementation with a probiotic strain (Lactobacillus salivarius LS01) in the treatment of adult patients with atopic dermatitis (AD). Patients (n=38) were treated with probiotics or placebo (maltodextrin) for a period of 16 wks. Parameters were assessed based on change in SCORAD (SCORing Atopic Dermatitis) index, dermatology life quality index (DLQI) improvement, cytokine production by PBMCs and ability to modify fecal microbial flora. Probiotic group showed improvement of both clinical parameters at the end of treatment (T16) compared with the placebo group, along with evidence of a reduction of Th1 cytokines (IL-12+IFNgamma) and Th1/Th2 ratio (IL-12+IFNgamma/IL-4+IL-5) only in placebo-treated patients. A decrease of staphylococci in feces of the probiotic group was also observed at the end of treatment. L. salivarius LS01 was well tolerated and was associated with improvement of clinical manifestation and quality of life. The authors conclude that L. salivarius LS01 may be an important adjunctive therapy in the treatment of adult AD.
Reference: "Effects of Lactobacillus salivarius LS01 (DSM 22775) treatment on adult atopic dermatitis: a randomized placebo-controlled study," Drago L, Lemoli E, et al, Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol, 2011 Oct-Dec; 24(4): 1037-48. (Address: Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Clinical Sciences Luigi Sacco, University of Milan, Italy).
Probiotics May Improve Immune Function
Summary: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study involving 211 subjects (56% female; mean age: 33 years), daily supplementation with probiotics (in a dairy beverage containing 109 colony-forming units of BB-12 or L. casei 431) for a period of 6 weeks was found to be associated with improvements in immune function. Two weeks after the supplementation period, an influenza vaccination was given to subjects. Subjects who received probiotics were found to have significantly greater changes from baseline in vaccine-specific plasma IgG, IgG1, and IgG3, and significantly greater mean fold increases for vaccine-specific secretory IgA in saliva, as compared to subjects in the placebo group. The authors conclude, "Data herein show that supplementation with BB-12(R) or L. casei 431(R) may be an effective means to improve immune function by augmenting systemic and mucosal immune responses to challenge."
Reference: "Evaluation of the immune benefits of two probiotic strains Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis, BB-12(R) and Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei, L. casei 431(R) in an influenza vaccination model: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study," Rizzardini G, Eskesen D, et al, Br J Nutr, 2011 Sept; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Infective Diseases, Luigi Sacco Hospital, Via GB Grassi 74, 20157 Milan, Italy).
Probiotics Reduce Oxidative Stress and Increase Antioxidant Levels
Summary: In a controlled study involving 2 groups of 12 subjects each, daily supplementation with a mixture of 2 probiotic strains (L. rhamnosus IMC 501 and L. paracasei IMC 502; ~ 10(9) cells/day) for a period of 4 weeks was found to increase plasma antioxidant levels, neutralizing reactive oxygen species. The authors conclude, "Athletes and all those exposed to oxidative stress may benefit from the ability of these probiotics to increase antioxidant levels and neutralize the effects of reactive oxygen species."
Probiotics May Reduce Occurrence of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Summary: Probiotics were better than placebos in reducing the occurrence of severe Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI) and antibiotic usage. Using 14 random controlled studies and several databases, two research authors independently analyzed data comparing probiotics with placebos to prevent severe URTI's. Analysis of data collected from 3451 participants with a high level of heterogeneity, spanning several age groups- infants, children, middle aged adults, but excluding the elderly - the data suggests that probiotics are more beneficial than placebos in lowering the rate ratio and episodes of severe URTIs. There were occasions of mild side effects from probiotic use in the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics and placebos were similar when measuring the mean duration of an URTI, but probiotics reduced the rate of episodes and subsequent antibiotic usage. These results suggest probiotics may reduce the occurrence of upper respiratory tract infections.
Reference: "Probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections," Hao Q, Lu Z, et al, Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Sep 7; 9:CD00689. (Address: Department of Geriatrics, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, No. 37, Guo Xue Xiang, Chengdu, Sichuan, China, 610041).
Consumption of Probiotics May Decrease Total and LDL Cholesterol
Summary: A diet rich in probiotics may decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, researchers found, in this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effects of probiotics consumption on blood lipids. Researchers reviewed studies that investigated the efficacy of probiotics on the plasma lipid profile of subjects, and included data from 13 trials, included 485 participants with high, borderline high and normal cholesterol levels. Cases were examined for mean net change in total cholesterol for those treated with probiotics compared to controls: -6.40 mg dl-1, mean net change in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was -4.90 mg dl-1, mean net change in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was -0.11 mg dl-1, and mean net change in triglycerides was -3.95 mg dl-1. Results indicate that a diet rich in probiotics decreases total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentration in plasma of participants with high, borderline high and normal cholesterol levels.
Supplementation With Probiotics May Improve Symptoms of IBS and Diarrhea
Summary: In a randomized, placebo-controlled study involving 67 patients with diarrhea-predominant or mixed-type irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), supplementation with probiotics (Saccharomyces boulardii) at a dose of 2x10 live cells per day for a period of 4 weeks was found to significantly improve all 8 domains of IBS-quality of life scores, as compared to placebo (15.4% vs 7.0%). Frequency of bowel movements and consistency did not significantly change in either group. The authors conclude, "S. boulardii improved IBS-QOL better than placebo but was not superior for individual symptoms in patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS or mixed-type IBS."
Reference: "A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Multicenter Trial of Saccharomyces boulardii in IrritableBowel Syndrome: Effect on Quality of Life," Choi CH, Jo SY, et al, J Clin Gastroenterol, 2011 Feb 4; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Internal Medicine, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea).
Probiotics Beneficial for Children With Atopic Dermatitis
Summary: Probiotics combined with prebiotics may be superior to prebiotics alone in treating childhood atopic dermatitis (AD). In this randomized, double-blind clinical trial, researchers assigned 60 children (2-14 y) with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (SCOREAD > 25) to receive Lactobacillus salivarius with fructo-oligosaccharide (Synbiotic) or fructo-oligosaccharide alone (Prebiotic). Both control and treatment groups received one capsule, twice daily, containing either synbiotic or prebiotic. Indications for AD were measured weeks 0, 4, 8 and 10 (post-treatment). Laboratory results and AD medication use were also monitored. While both groups were similar in terms of demographics, clinical characteristics and severity indications at the start of the trial, by the 8th week the treatment group had a lowered intensity of symptoms relative to the control group and this remained true at 2 weeks post-treatment. Medication use frequency was reduced for the treatment group. By the end of the study, 14 out of 27 subjects in the treatment group were categorized as mild AD as opposed to 8 out of 27 in the control group. These results suggest that probiotics combined with prebiotics may be superior to prebiotics alone in the treatment of children with atopic dermatitis.
Reference: "Lactobacillus salivarius plus fructo-oligosaccharide is superior to fructo-oligosaccharide for treating children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis: a double-blind randomised clinical trial of efficacy and safety," Wu KG, Li TH, Peng HJ, The British Journal of Dermatology, 2011 Sep 6 [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Pediatrics, Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan).
Probiotics Improve IBS
BACKGROUND: Probiotic bacteria exhibit a variety of properties, including immunomodulatory activity, which are unique to a particular strain. Thus, not all species will necessarily have the same therapeutic potential in a particular condition. We have preliminary evidence that Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 may have utility in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to confirm the efficacy of the probiotic bacteria B. infantis 35624 in a large-scale, multicenter, clinical trial of women with IBS. A second objective of the study was to determine the optimal dosage of probiotic for administration in an encapsulated formulation.
METHODS: After a 2-wk baseline, 362 primary care IBS patients, with any bowel habit subtype, were randomized to either placebo or freeze-dried, encapsulated B. infantis at a dose of 1 x 10(6), 1 x 10(8), or 1 x 10(10), cfu/mL for 4 wk. IBS symptoms were monitored daily and scored on to a 6-point Likert scale with the primary outcome variable being abdominal pain or discomfort. A composite symptom score, the subject's global assessment of IBS symptom relief, and measures of quality of life (using the IBS-QOL instrument) were also recorded.
RESULTS: B. infantis 35624 at a dose of 1 x 10(8) cfu was significantly superior to placebo and all other bifidobacterium doses for the primary efficacy variable of abdominal pain as well as the composite score and scores for bloating, bowel dysfunction, incomplete evacuation, straining, and the passage of gas at the end of the 4-wk study. The improvement in global symptom assessment exceeded placebo by more than 20% (p < 0.02). Two other doses of probiotic (1 x 10(6) and 1 x 10(10)) were not significantly different from placebo; of these, the 1 x 10(10) dose was associated with significant formulation problems. No significant adverse events were recorded.
CONCLUSIONS: B. infantis 35624 is a probiotic that specifically relieves many of the symptoms of IBS. At a dosage level of 1 x 10(8) cfu, it can be delivered by a capsule making it stable, convenient to administer, and amenable to widespread use. The lack of benefits observed with the other dosage levels of the probiotic highlight the need for clinical data in the final dosage form and dose of probiotic before these products should be used in practice.
Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jul;101(7):1581-90. Efficacy of an encapsulated probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 in women with irritable bowel syndrome.
Probiotics Reduce Diarrhea From Antibiotics
In a comprehensive, systemic review article and meta-analysis of studies investigating the effects of probiotic supplementation on antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD), probiotic supplementation was associated with a statistically significant relative risk reduction in antibiotic-associated diarrhea (44% reduction) and CDAD (71%). The authors conclude, "Healthcare spending, morbidity, and mortality can potentially be reduced considerably by reducing the occurrence of ADD and CDAD by administering prophylaxis with probiotics concurrently with antibiotics."
"Probiotics for prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile-associated disease in hospitalized adults-A meta-analysis," Avadhani A, Miley H, J Am Acad Nurse Pract, 2011 June; 23(6): 269-74. (Address: Department of Adult ICU-5G, Saint PetersUniversity Hospital, Kendall Park New Brunswick, NJ, USA).
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