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Probiotics offer little in terms of GI symptoms in systemic sclerosis

06 Jun 2019

Treatment with probiotics falls short of improving gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), a study has shown.

The study randomized 73 SSc patients with a moderate–severe total score on the University of California Los Angeles Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium Gastrointestinal Tract 2.0 (UCLA GIT 2.0) instrument to receive a daily dose of probiotics (Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus acidophillus and Bifidobacterium lactis, 109 colony-forming units per capsule; n=37) or placebo (n=36) for 8 weeks.

After 8 weeks of treatment, the primary outcome of change in UCLA GIT 2.0 total score did not significantly differ between the two treatment groups.

However, probiotics treatment produced a significant decrease in the proportion of Th17 cells compared with placebo (p=0.003). There was no between-group difference observed in the proportion of Th1, Th2 and regulatory T cells or in the Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ-DI) score.

Although probiotics did not improve GI symptoms in SSc patients, the improvement in Th17 cell levels suggests that the treatment exerts an immunomodulatory effect on SSc, researchers pointed out.

SSc is a multisystem connective tissue disorder of unknown aetiology, and the GI tract is affected in the vast majority (90 percent) of patients. Gut involvement—with symptoms ranging from gastro-oesophageal reflux to faecal incontinence—is the leading cause of morbidity and the third most common cause of mortality in patients with SSc. [Rheumatology 2019;49:1770-1775]

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Most Read Articles
Elaine Soliven, 4 days ago

Switching from efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (EFV/FTC/TDF) to the new bictegravir/ emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (BIC/FTC/TAF) regimen maintained high rates of virological suppression in adults who are living with HIV*, according to a study presented at AIDS 2020.

3 days ago
Among individuals with abdominal obesity, drinking beverages with artificial sweeteners (ASBs) or no sugar (USBs) instead of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) helps lose body weight, a study has found. However, USBs have a more favourable effect on sweet taste preference compared with ASBs.
Stephen Padilla, 5 days ago
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) containing either long-acting injectable cabotegravir (CAB) or tenofovir/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) is safe and effective for transgender women (TGW) and cisgender men who have sex with men (MSM), but CAB results in a much lower HIV incidence compared to TDF/FTC, results of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 083 have shown.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 4 days ago
Monthly prophylaxis with the fixed-dose combination of naphthoquine-azithromycin (NQAZ) is well tolerated and confers significant protection against infection with Plasmodium parasites among individuals residing in malaria-endemic areas in Southeast Asia, as shown in the results of a phase III trial.