Probiotic blend (multi-strain)
Probiotics are extremely healthy live bacterial microorganisms, which bring numerous benefits to their consumers. Most of the health effects of probiotics are referring to their impact on the intestinal tract. This is because probiotics provide well balanced composition of good intestinal bacteria, which enables proper digestion, and prevents from infections and diseases caused by pathogens. Thus, probiotics are mostly recommended to people with digestion issues or some form of intestinal disease. Still, probiotics may be used in prophylaxis or when taking antibiotics in order to ensure optimal gastrointestinal health.
Gastrointestinal inflammation (colitis)
It is believed that inflammatory disease of intestines origins from intestinal dysbiosis (disturbed composition of intestinal commensal bacteria). Thus, it is believed that probiotics may help in prevention of inflammatory bowel diseases. One study investigated impact of adding probiotics to anti-inflammatory agent on ulcerative colitis activity. Sixty patients with ulcerative colitis were included and allocated to receive either anti-inflammatory drug alone or combination of probiotics and anti-inflammatory drug. The intervention was long term, i.e. 2 years long, and clinical response was evaluated by disease activity score. As results indicated combination of probiotics and anti-inflammatory drug was more efficient in reducing symptoms and improving clinical condition, in comparison with the anti-inflammatory drug alone. This study clearly indicated that probiotics should be considered as adjunct therapy in treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.1
Helicobacter pylori is one of the major factors contributing to the peptic ulcer and gastritis. It is assumed that probiotics may help in eradication of infection by Helicobacter pylori and minimizing gastrointestinal side effects. In one study, sixty children with Helicobacter pylori infection were enrolled and allocated to receive either probiotics or placebo in addition to standard pharmacological therapy. As results demonstrated, the rate of Helicobacter eradication was significantly higher in probiotic group in comparison with the placebo. In addition, probiotics reduced gastrointestinal side effects, including nausea and diarrhea. This study showed that probiotics may be used as adjunct therapy in treatment of Helicobacter infections, and thus, reduce the incidence of gastric ulcers.2
- Palumbo VD, Romeo M, Marino Gammazza A, et al. The long-term effects of probiotics in the therapy of ulcerative colitis: A clinical study. Biomed Pap Med Fac Univ Palacky Olomouc Czech Repub. 2016;160(3):372-377.
- Ahmad K, Fatemeh F, Mehri N, Maryam S. Probiotics for the treatment of pediatric helicobacter pylori infection: a randomized double blind clinical trial. Iran J Pediatr. 2013;23(1):79-84.
Resistance to infections
Probiotic strains are believed to increase resistance to infections. Thu, one placebo controlled human study investigated impact of probiotic blend on the resistance against Escherichia coli induced infections. Sixty male subjects were enrolled and allocated to recieve either probiotic blend or placebo for 2 weeks. After intervention period, participants were challenged orally with the enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. Before and after the challenge participants collected 24h fecal samples. As a result, probiotics significantly decreased the percentage of fecal dry weight, but no other benefits were observed.1
Probiotics prophylaxis is believed to help in reducing antibiotic- and Clostridium difficile- induced diarrhea. Thus, one study provided hospitalized patients (treated with antibiotics) with either probiotics or placebo, and tracked the effects on diarrhea incidence. Probiotics (or placebo) intake started within 36h of initial antibiotic dose, and lasted for 5 days after the last antibiotic administration. Patients were also followed for additional 3 weeks. As results suggested, treatment with antibiotics significantly reduced the incidence of antibiotic induced and, in particular, Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea in hospitalized patients. Also, gastrointestinal symptoms were less pronounced in treatment vs. placebo group. This study provided important findings, especially considering Clostridium difficile as common cause of infections in hospitalized patients, with serious consequences.
- Ten Bruggencate SJ, Girard SA, Floris-Vollenbroek EG, Bhardwaj R, Tompkins TA. The effect of a multi-strain probiotic on the resistance toward Escherichia coli challenge in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind intervention study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015;69(3):385-391.
- Gao XW, Mubasher M, Fang CY, Reifer C, Miller LE. Dose-response efficacy of a proprietary probiotic formula of Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285 and Lactobacillus casei LBC80R for antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea prophylaxis in adult patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 2010;105(7):1636-41.
Other health benefits
Besides providing optimal health of gastrointestinal tract, probiotics can bring other benefits as well. This includes effects on cognitive function and metabolic status in subjects with Alzheimer disease, as one study indicated. Namely, this study included 60 patients with Alzheimer disease and assigned them to receive either mixture of probiotics or placebo for 12 weeks. At the end of intervention, patients treated with probiotics experienced significant improvements in cognitive function (measured as mental state score) in comparison with the placebo group. In addition, probiotics significantly influenced insulin sensitivity, level of blood lipids and markers of lipid peroxidation, suggesting beneficial effects on metabolic status of treated patients.1 Another study included patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder and allocated them to receive either probiotics or placebo for 8 weeks. As results indicated, probiotics reduced depression scores in comparison with the placebo. In addition, probiotics increased levels of blood antioxidant glutathione and regulated insulin levels and insulin resistance. This study demonstrated both clinical and metabolic response to probiotics in patients with depression disorder.2
- Akbari E, Asemi Z, Daneshvar Kakhaki R, et al. Effect of Probiotic Supplementation on Cognitive Function and Metabolic Status in Alzheimer's Disease: A Randomized, Double-Blind and Controlled Trial. Front Aging Neurosci. 2016;8:256.
- Akkasheh G, Kashani-Poor Z, Tajabadi-Ebrahimi M, et al. Clinical and metabolic response to probiotic administration in patients with major depressive disorder: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition. 2016;32(3):315-320.