Digestive Disease Week

Digestive Disease Week

Source:

Mullish B, et al. Abstract 739. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week; May 21-23, 2021; Virtual.

Disclosures: Mullish reports no relevant financial disclosures.
May 14, 2021
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Probiotics, reduction in upper respiratory tract infection symptoms

Source:

Mullish B, et al. Abstract 739. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week; May 21-23, 2021; Virtual.

Disclosures: Mullish reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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Daily probiotic use correlated with a reduction in upper respiratory tract infection symptoms among overweight individuals, according to a presentation Digestive Disease Week.

“There's been a growing body of evidence supporting the contribution of the gut-lung axis to find the relationship between the gut microbiome and respiratory immune responses,” Benjamin Mullish, MD, clinical lecturer in the division of digestive diseases, Imperial College London, England, said during a press conference prior to DDW. “Previous research in this area show probiotics may reduce upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in healthy adults and children; however, we have little data regarding vulnerable populations such as those who are older, overweight and people with obesity.”

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In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, researchers analyzed 220 overweight or obese individuals (BMI 25-34.9 kg/m2; aged 30-65 years) to investigate the impact of probiotics on weight, BMI and URTI symptoms. They randomly assigned participants to receive either daily Lab4P probiotic or placebo for 6-months; participants self-reported daily symptoms in detailed diaries.

According to study results, participants in the probiotic cohort experienced a 27% lower incidence of URTI symptoms compared with the placebo cohort (IRR = 0.73; 95% CI, 0.63-0.84). Poisson regression yielded interactions for symptoms incidence with age and BMI; among the probiotic cohort, there was a greater reduction in URTI symptoms in older participants ( 45 years) vs. younger participants (IRR = 0.6 vs. IRR = 0.9) and obese participants vs. overweight participants (IRR = 0.57 vs. IRR = 0.78). Researchers also noted between group decreases in body weight (1.3 kg) and BMI (0.045 kg/m2) favoring the probiotic arm.

“We believe this current research is a further piece of evidence that supports and expands upon the idea that the gut microbiome has a complex relationship with our various organ systems and can affect major aspects of our health. Additionally, there may be a more specific role for probiotics in the prevention or reduction of the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections,” Mullish concluded. “Future randomized control trials in this field could help identify the mechanisms related to the observed reduction in respiratory tract infection symptoms and explore the possible impact of probiotics, on the immune system.”