Probiotic combination shifts intestinal microbiota toward a healthier (and younger) profile: Study

By Stephen DANIELLS

- Last updated on GMT

Image © iStockPhoto / spawns
Image © iStockPhoto / spawns

Related tags: Bacteria, Gut flora

Supplements containing Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and Bifidobacterium longum MM2 may shift the microbiota of elderly adults to those of healthier and younger people, says a new study.

Three weeks of supplementation with the three strains (which are the three strains used in Bayer’s Phillips Colon Health product) also produced a less inflammatory cytokine profile, according to findings published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Researchers from the University of Florida report that a higher percentage of participants taking experienced increases in fecal bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria, compared with placebo, while E. coli levels decreased.

“The probiotic maintained CD4+ lymphocytes and produced a less inflammatory cytokine profile possibly due to the changes in the microbial communities, which more closely resembled those reported in healthy younger populations,” ​they wrote.

Study details

Led by Dr Bobbi Langkamp-Henken, Professor in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at the University of Florida, the researchers recruited 32 people with an average age of 70 to participate in their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either the probiotic or placebo twice per day for three weeks, followed by a five week ‘washout period’ and then crossing over to the other group for a further three weeks.

Phillips probiotic caps
The three strains are used in Bayer’s Phillips Colon Health product

Results showed that a higher percentage of participants during the probiotic phase had an increase in fecal bifidobacteria (48% vs 30%) and lactic acid bacteria (55% vs 43%), compared with placebo.

In addition, the probiotic intervention was association with a higher prevalence of several bacterial groups matching Faeacalibactierium prausnitzii​, which has been inversely associated with inflammatory gastrointestinal disease.

Looking at measures of immunity and inflammation, the researchers noted that the percentage of circulating CD4+ lymphocytes remained constant during probiotic supplementation, but did decrease during the placebo intervention. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) concentrations were also found to increase with probiotic supplementation but no significant changes were observed during the placebo phase.

The study was funded by Wakunaga of America Co. Ltd..

Source: Journal of the American College of Nutrition
Volume 34, Number 6, Pages: 459-469. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2014.983249
​Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, ​Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and ​Bifidobacterium longum MM-2 Ingestion Induces a Less Inflammatory Cytokine Profile and a Potentially Beneficial Shift in Gut Microbiota in Older Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study”
Authors: S.J. Spaiser, et al​. 

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