Review on news about Probiotics

This is a periodic review of news stories dealing with probiotics — all aspects — that happened in the last few months:

  • Why one probiotic strain may be a drug (FDA regulated and requiring a prescription) and another in the same family is a unregulated supplement [explanation]
  • “our results suggest that high altitude may contribute to shaping human gut microbiota.”[2015]
  • “the decreased relative abundance of the Mucor genus in obese subjects was reversible upon weight loss. Collectively, these findings suggest that manipulation of gut mycobiome communities might be a novel target in the treatment of obesity.” [Nature]
  • “In 2000, a flood in the Canadian town of Walkerton contaminated the town’s drinking water with pathogens such as Escherichia coli and Campylobacter jejuni. About 2,300 people suffered from severe gastrointestinal infection, and many of them developed chronic irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as a direct result.During an eight-year study1 of Walkerton residents, led by gastroenterologist Stephen Collins at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, researchers noticed that psychological issues such as depression and anxiety seemed to be a risk factor for persistent IBS.” [Nature]
  • Yakult has joined fellow probiotic giant Danone in winning health claims for its probiotic yoghurt drinks in Switzerland.http://www.dairyreporter.com/Regulation-Safety/Yakult-wins-Swiss-probiotic-health-claim, namely “Yakult contributes to the normal functioning of the intestine by improving stool consistency and reducing transit time”

  • “contrasting effects of the same spice (turmeric), illustrate the importance of understanding the interaction between diet, microbes and specific functions of members of the human gut microbiota…The researchers also found that returning to the home diet at the end of the simulated journey[of diet from elsewhere in the world] did not restore transit times to their pre-travel baselines, suggesting long-term effects of temporary diet changes.” [2015]
  • “individuals could be uniquely identified by the combination of bacteria in the air surrounding them.” [The Scientist]
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors Alter Specific Taxa in the Human Gastrointestinal Microbiome:
  • Ibsium (strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae) claim that “helps to reduce abdominal pain and discomfort associated with IBS” has been a been approved by Canada (i.e. sufficient studies to support claim) [2015]
  • certain probiotic strains (bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Streptococcus thermophilus) may increase iron uptake and storage [2015]
  • “this study goes farther to show that feeding different types of fat result in very different composition of gut microbiota,” [The Scientist]
  • Keeping Gut Bacteria in Balance Could Help Delay Age-related Diseases

  • “New research enables “tailored” diet advice – based on our personal gut microbiome – for persons who want to lose weight and reduce the risk of disease. Systems biologists at Chalmers University of Technology have for the first time successfully identified in detail how some of our most common intestinal bacteria interact during metabolism.The researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have developed a mathematical calculation platform that makes it possible to predict how different patients will respond to a modified diet, depending on how their gut microbiome is composed.[2015] [2015]

  • “We used a variety of antibiotic perturbations to generate a diverse array of gut microbiota structures, which were then challenged with C. difficile spores. Across these treatments we observed that C. difficile resistance was never attributable to a single organism, but rather it was the result of multiple microbiota members interacting in a context-dependent manner… Together, these results indicate that individual bacterial populations do not drive colonization resistance to C. difficile. Rather, multiple diverse assemblages act in concert to mediate colonization resistance [ASM]

  • Consumption of Lactobacillus reuteri probiotics may boost insulin release in healthy people, says a new study [2015]

  • Researchers identify signature of microbiomes associated with schizophrenia[2015]

  • T cells activated in the microbe-dense gut can spark an autoimmune eye disease, [The Scientist]

  • The normal smell of human faeces is largely due to indole, one of the major metabolites. Recent studies indicate that this foul-smelling substance is also of utmost importance for our healthToday, it is considered possible that alterations of the microbiome (‘dysbiosis’) may be a major cause not only of irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome but also a number of other common diseases such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, and allergic and autoimmune diseases (3, 4). Indole is an example of a microbe-generated signal substance that has positive effects on its host as well as the microbiome, and normal-smelling faeces may be an underestimated health indicator. [2015]

  • Fifteen of the products tested during the study, presented during Digestive Disease Week (DDW) in Washington, D.C., May 17to19, were labeled gluten-free. Of those labeled gluten-free, six contained gluten in amounts permissible by FDA. [2015]

  • The oral and gut microbiomes are perturbed in rheumatoid arthritis and partly normalized after treatment [Nature]

  • Microbial cocktails join fecal transplants in IBD treatment trials [Nature] The cocktail contains some 50 species. [Company]

  • show how bacterial biofilms found in the gut can provoke the onset of lupus in lupus-prone mice [NeuroScientistNews]

  • A high-fat diet may affect the bacterial populations in the gut and detrimentally affect satiety signaling to the brain, says a new study using lab rats [2015]

  • The probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG ATCC 53103 may not change the host’s gut microbiota but may stimulate anti-inflammatory activities of microbes already resident, says a new study [2015]