Probiotics are touted as good for the gut. They may be trouble for the immune system

Posted 12 April 2019

By Meghana Keshavan

StatNews April 2, 2019

Probiotics are wildly popular. After all, the microbial cocktails are available over the counter and have been shown to be helpful in the treatment of gastrointestinal illnesses for some people.

But some scientists worry probiotics aren’t as innocuous as they seem – and might be affecting the way other medicines work in the body.

The latest cautionary note comes in the form of a preliminary study released Tuesday, in which researchers found that melanoma patients were 70 percent less likely to respond to cancer immunotherapy if they were also taking probiotic supplements. The study group was small – just 46 patients – but the findings support broader suggestions that probiotics might actually upset the balance of so-called “good” bacteria in the gut and interfere with the immune response.

The research was conducted by MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Read the rest

New Study: Probiotics Are Mostly Useless And Can Actually Hurt You

Posted 16 October 2018

Probiotics are living micro-organisms that are taken by millions of people to boost their microbiome or to restore their gut ecosystem after a dose of antibiotics. Yet questions remain about whether they actually work.

To find out what really goes on in the gut when people ingest probiotics, immunologist Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and colleagues, sampled the microbiome of healthy volunteers directly using endoscopies and colonoscopies.

Most other microbiome research relies on faecal samples as a proxy for gut microbes. They then fed 15 of the volunteers either a commercially available probiotic supplement or a placebo.

The outcome was striking. For a start, the microbes found in faeces were not representative of those that had colonised the gut.

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People love probiotics, but do they really help?

Posted 22 May 2017

[quote]“The field resembles the Wild West,” says Claire Fraser, director of the Institute of Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Although there are some intriguing results pointing to the beneficial effects of probiotics, Fraser says, there needs to be additional studies before scientists can translate that information into clinical recommendations.[/quote]
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Probiotic goods a ‘waste of money’ for healthy adults, research suggests

Posted 11 May 2016

From The Guardian

Fans of probiotic drinks and foods may be wasting their money, according to a review of current research into the supplements that suggests they may be of no benefit to healthy adults.

A Danish team looked at the results of seven trials of the products – often sold as milk-based drinks, biscuits, sachets, or capsules – and found no evidence they changed the composition of faecal bacteria in healthy adults.

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