Spore-based probiotic supplementation may reduce symptoms of ‘leaky gut syndrome’

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/TLFurrer
© iStock/TLFurrer

Related tags Inflammation Probiotic

Supplements containing a combination of spore-based probiotics may counter the chronic immune activation and inflammation associated with “leaky gut”, says a new study.

Thirty days of supplementation with the commercially available Just Thrive Probiotic & Antioxidant​ produced a 42% reduction in endotoxin levels, which are a measure of the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract. Metabolic endotoxemia is also known as leaky gut, which is an undesirable situation when toxic bacterial components can pass from the gut lumen into the blood.

Metabolic endotoxemia is increasingly recognized as a driver of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cognitive decline, and immune dysfunctions. It is characterized by dramatically elevated levels of LPS, a toxin, after a meal, along with elevated triglycerides, poor insulin response and markers of inflammation.

“The key findings of the present study demonstrate that 30-day of spore-based probiotic supplementation resulted in a blunting of dietary endotoxin, triglycerides, and potentially systemic inflammation,” ​wrote the authors, led by Brian McFarlin, PhD, from the University of North Texas, in the PubMed listed World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology​.

“To our knowledge, the present study is the first to report that a short-term spore-based probiotic intervention altered dietary endotoxemia in human subjects, although the effect has been widely reported in mice.”

While the researchers could not directly measure the permeability of the gut in this human study they stated that, “it is reasonable to speculate that the underlying cause of the observed reductions in post-prandial endotoxemia may be due to changes in the gut microbiome, gut permeability, or a combination of the two”​.

Leaky gut

Kiran Krishnan, a microbiologist and chief science officer at Just Thrive Probiotic, commented: “Without stopping the daily endotoxic response to consuming foods and the significant inflammation that follows, treating immune dysfunctions, cognitive dysfunction, and chronic gastrointestinal problems is an endless battle​.

“We set out to create a product that could be a foundational part of everyone’s daily wellness regimen, and this pursuit has led to redefining what a probiotic is and what it can do for the overall health.

“We looked beyond the conventional views on how to formulate a probiotic product, and leaned on the latest science on the microbiome and clues from nature to provide us with guidance on formulating a revolutionary product,” ​he added.

The study was funded by Microbiome Labs, LLC​. The product is also available in the practitioner channel under the brand name MegaSporeBiotic. 

Study details

The researchers recruited 28 men and women to participate in their clinical trial. Despite appearing to be healthy, all of the participants had endotoxin concentrations that increased by at least 5-fold from pre-meal levels five hours after a meal. These “responders” were randomly assigned to receive either placebo (rice flour) or a supplement containing 4 billion cfus of Bacillus indicus​ (HU36), B. subtilis​ (HU58), B. coagulans​, B. licheniformis​, and B. clausii ​for 30 days.

Results showed that the probiotic was associated with a 42% reduction in endotoxin levels, a 24% reduction in triglyceride levels, while endotoxin levels increased by 36% in the placebo group and triglycerides fell by 5%.

“Further, we found that several of our exploratory biomarkers [of inflammation and immune activation] were either significantly reduced (IL-12p70, IL-1beta, and ghrelin) or trended toward reduction (IL-6, IL-8, and MCP-1) with spore-based probiotic supplementation,” ​wrote the researchers. “It is reasonable to speculate that the spore-based probiotic supplement may have exerted its effect by altering the gut microbial profile, altering intestinal permeability, or a combination of the two effects.”

“Future research is needed to determine if a longer course of treatment with a spore-based probiotic results in additional health improvements,” ​they concluded.

Source: World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology
2017; 8(3): 117-126, doi: 10.4291/wjgp.v8.i3.117
“Oral spore-based probiotic supplementation was associated with reduced incidence of post-prandial dietary endotoxin, triglycerides, and disease risk biomarkers”
Authors: B.K. McFarlin, et al. 

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