Research- Probiotics


The goal is to educate you on research and developments in the field of probiotics and other natural health matters. The various research outlined below must not be linked to the products sold. This page is dedicated to ongoing developments.



Gut microbiota modulate neurobehavior through changes in brain insulin sensitivity and metabolism

A study published in Molecular Psychiatry (June 2018) stated that "changes in gut microbiota can control brain insulin signalling and metabolite levels, and this leads to altered neurobehaviors." We know that obesity and diabetes in humans are associated with increased rates of anxiety and depression.

To understand the role of the gut microbiome and brain insulin resistance in these disorders, the study evaluated behaviors and insulin action in the brain of mice with diet-induced obesity (DIO) with and without antibiotic treatment. The study found that DIO mice have behaviors reflective of increased anxiety and depression.  To find out more, go to the study


Probiotics for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in children

 This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The primary objective is to assess the efficacy and safety of probiotics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in children. Read more on  Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in children

Diet during pregnancy and infancy and risk of allergic or autoimmune disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

According to a new study published in Feb 2018, taking fish oil supplements and probiotics may help expecting mothers protect their kids from developing food allergies and some skin disorders.

Researchers from Imperial College London reviewed the results of multiple studies to better understand how diet during pregnancy can influence the development of a child’s immune system. The analysis encompassed a wide range of dietary practices, but one of the most striking results was to do with fish oil. The systematic review pooled data from 400 studies involving around 1.5 million people.

According to the study, recently published in the journal PLOS Medicine, fish oil might reduce food sensitivities. The researchers found that mothers who took fish oil supplements starting at about 20 weeks into pregnancy and continuing through the first few months of breastfeeding lowered the risk of their child having an egg allergy in early life—one of the most common types of allergies among children—by about 30 percent.

The Authors of the study state that "Our findings support a relationship between maternal diet and risk of immune-mediated diseases in the child. Maternal probiotic and fish oil supplementation may reduce the risk of eczema and allergic sensitisation to food, respectively."

Excerpts from the published study:

Probiotics Species

According to the authors: "Our finding that probiotic supplements such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus at a dose of 1 to 10 billion colony-forming units per day may reduce the risk of eczema ". There are two specific implications for pregnant women. First, a daily probiotic supplement such as L. rhamnosus, taken from around 36 to 38 weeks gestation through the first 3 to 6 months of lactation, may reduce risk of eczema in the child. Although probiotics are generally considered safe, their pro-inflammatory effects may have potential adverse consequences when used earlier in pregnancy, and serious adverse effects in people with intestinal disorders or immune deficiency have been documented

Fish Oil- May reduce allergies- Egg and Peanut

The authors also state that "Although microbial exposures have long been postulated as influencing risk of allergic disease, a clear mechanism through which probiotics might reduce the risk of eczema is currently lacking. Our finding that fish oil supplementation during pregnancy may reduce allergic sensitisation to the most common food allergens affecting young children, hen’s egg and peanut, is new."

Source: Newsweek (Mar 2018)

             PLOS Medicine


Cancer and bacteria- Colorectal cancer

A scientific research paper published by R Gao et al said that "disruption of the gut microbiota has been confirmed to be related to gastrointestinal diseases such as colorectal cancer, as well as remote organs in many studies. Colorectal cancer is a multi-factorial and multi-stage involved disorder. The role for microorganisms that initiate and facilitate the process of colorectal cancer has become clear." There are still many unknowns according to the study but is well worth the read to get a better understanding.

A review paper in 2016 by Sun and Kato "Gut microbiota, inflammation and colorectal cancer" discuss a number of matters relating to gut bacteria and colorectal cancer. Their introduction in quotes makes this an important subject matter:

"Colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in both males and females in the US and the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths with the estimated new cases of nearly 133,000 and deaths of 50,000 in 2015.1 Worldwide, 1,360,000 new cases and 694,000 deaths per year are estimated. Cancer incidence in the large intestine is also known to be approximately 12-fold higher than that of the small intestine, which has been attributed to several magnitude greater bacterial density in the large intestine (∼1012 cells per ml) compared with that in the small intestine (∼102 cells per ml)."

Effectiveness of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: Updated systematic review with meta-analysis

The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal tract dysfunction with a complicated etiology. Probiotics may influence IBS symptoms.

The researchers searched for literature published between September 2007 and December 2013. The collected data contained24 clinical trials, of which 15 were eligible for meta-analysis and nine were reviewed systematically. All studies were randomized placebo-controlled trials in patients with IBS that investigated the efficacy of probiotics in IBS improvement. A total of 1793 patients were included in the meta-analysis.

The conclusion reached by the researdchers was that probiotics reduce pain and symptom severity scores. The results demonstrate the beneficial effects of probiotics in IBS patients in comparison with placebo.

Authors of study:

Tina Didari, Shilan Mozaffari, Shekoufeh Nikfar, and Mohammad Abdollahi

To read the full study: Effectiveness of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: Updated systematic review with meta-analysis

The Use of Probiotics in Pediatric Gastroenterology: A Review of the Literature and Recommendations by Latin-American Experts

Published online 2015 Mar 24

The stability and composition of intestinal flora play a vital role in human well-being throughout life from as early as birth. Over the past 50 years, several studies have been conducted to evaluate the effect of probiotic administration in pediatric gastroenterology. The authors of this study aimed to provide a recommendation score on probiotic utilization in pediatric gastroenterology, together with a review of current knowledge concerning its benefits, tolerability, and safety.

According to the authors, the purpose of this review was to update scientific evidence and grade of recommendation to develop future guidance in the medical use of probiotics in pediatric patients. Three main objectives were established by the working group:

  1. To develop evidence-based guidelines for probiotic use in pediatric patients through a critical and comprehensive literature review.
  2. To provide a useful tool for probiotic use aimed at general practitioners, paediatricians, and pediatric gastroenterologists.
  3. To contribute to the rational clinical use of probiotics in pediatric diseases, supported by scientific evidence.

Results and Conclusions
The Latin American Expert group consensus recommended the use of the following probiotics for pediatric gastrointestinal conditions: prevention of acute infectious diarrhea (AID): 1b for Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), and L. reuteri; prevention of nosocomial diarrhea: 1 b for B. lactis Bb12, B. bifidum, LGG and Streptococcus thermophiles; treatment of AID: 1a for LGG and S. boulardii, 1b for L. reuteri; prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea: 1b for LGG and S. boulardii; prevention of traveler’s diarrhea: 1b for S. boulardii; prevention of infantile colic: 1a for L. reuteri DSM 17938; treatment of infantile colic: 1b for L. reuteri DSM 17938; prevention of NEC: 1a for B. breve, mixtures of Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus, LGG, L. acidophilus and L. reuteri DSM 17938; induction and maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis: 1b for VSL#3; improving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome: 2c for LGG and VSL#3.

Authors of the study

Sylvia Cruchet, corresponding author Raquel Furnes, Aldo Maruy, Eduardo Hebel, Jorge Palacios, Fernando Medina, Nelson Ramirez, Marina Orsi, Lysette Rondon, Vera Sdepanian, Luis Xóchihua, Manuel Ybarra, and Roberto Arturo Zablah

To read the full study: 

The Use of Probiotics in Pediatric Gastroenterology: A Review of the Literature and Recommendations by Latin-American Experts