Probiotic bacteria, defined as living microorganisms that have beneficial effects on human health, have mostly been studied in the prevention and treatment of different gastrointestinal diseases and allergies. Probiotic products, however, are usually consumed by the general, healthy population but not much is known what kind of effects they have on the immune system in healthy adults. It is not clear how probiotics exert their health effects, but one of the most probable action mechanisms is the modulation of immune responses via the gut's mucosal immune system.
The study, performed by the groups of Dr Korpela, Professor Vapaatalo and Professor Julkunen, will be published on April 7, 2008, in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
This study investigated the immunomodulatory effects of probiotics bacteria in healthy adults. It was found that probiotics have an anti-inflammatory potential seen as a decrease in serum CRP levels and as a reduction in bacteria-induced production of proinflammatory cytokines in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Understanding of the specific immunomodulatory effects of probiotics may help in designing future probiotics for targeted purposes. As the effects in the present study were investigated in healthy adults, the real impact of probiotics on inflammatory variables warrants further evaluation during inflammatory processes and in individuals suffering from various types of inflammatory or autoimmune diseases.
This research was carried out in collaboration with University of Helsinki (Finland), Valio Research Centre (Finland), and the National Public Health Institute (Finland). Part of the study was funded by the Academy of Finland.
Reference: Kekkonen RA, Lummela N, Karjalainen H, Latvala S, Tynkkynen S, Järvenpää S, Kautiainen H, Julkunen I, Vapaatalo H, Korpela R. Probiotic intervention has strain-specific anti-inflammatory effects in healthy adults. World J Gastroenterol 2008; 14(13): 2029-2036
About World Journal of Gastroenterology
World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection. It provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by The WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. The WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812. It was founded with the title China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.
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