Probiotic Supplementation Shown to Stimulate Anti Inflammatory Activity in Gut
It has widely been believed that probiotic supplementation changes the composition of the gut microbiota in adults. A recent study suggests that supplementation of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG ATCC 53103 (LGG) might not directly change gut microbiota, but instead help stimulate the anti-inflammatory activities of the microbes that are already present.
Participants in the study included 12 people between the ages of 65 and 80 who were given 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of LGG twice daily over the course of 28 days. At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted that the overall community composition of the participants’ gut microbiota was stable, with no statistically significant differences. However, they did find that LGG supplementation changed the transcriptional response of the gut microbiota that was already present in the participants.
They noted increases in the expression of the genes that are involved with flagellar motility, chemotaxis, and adhesion from Bifidobacterium. They also saw increased expression of Roseburia and Eubacterium, which are butyrate producers. Butyrates are important as food for the cells lining the colon.
These changes were no longer evident 28 days after the end of the probiotic consumption. This suggests that the effects of LGG are only present when a person is actively taking the supplement.
Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine conducted the study. It was published on April 15, 2015, in mBio.
While probiotics are most commonly associated with improving digestion and gut health, they have also been shown to have other health benefits, including strengthening the immune system and reducing the risk of chronic disease.
Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods, such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. You may also consider taking a high quality supplement, as was done in this study, but make sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.