A recent study by the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) looks at the potential benefits and risks of indiscriminate use of probiotics by consumers with asthma.
Asthma is an important public health problem in Brazil and throughout the world. Different disease phenotypes can be influenced by the interaction between the environment, the intestinal microbiota, and the genetics of the host. In order to reduce the effects of disease, various strategies to modify the composition of the microorganisms are being investigated, such as supplementation with probiotics, which are food products containing live microorganisms whose intake can lead to health benefits.
“Our data showed that using the same probiotic caused different changes in the gut microbiota, which are related to the host gut microbiome, but that these changes may not always have positive effects on health, and adverse effects may occur,” explains Caroline Marcantonio. Ferreira, the professor and researcher at Unifesp’s Institute of Environmental, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences who conducted the study, gives an interview with Unifesp’s press office.
The research was published in an article in the scientific journal microbiome Did you have FAPESP support for projects?made of Short-chain fatty acids produced by probiotic bacteria in the prevention and treatment of allergic airway inflammation? NS?Probiotics as a therapeutic tool in the skin, lung and gut axis?.
The scientists investigated whether the diversity of gut microbiota and host genetic factors influence the effects of oral administration of an acetate-producing probiotic, Bifidobacterium longum 51Ain experimental allergic airway inflammation induced by albumin ovale in two strains of mice.
For this purpose, two strains of mice were used, A/J and C57BL/6. A/J mice are more likely to develop allergic responses compared to C57BL/6. Furthermore, the A/J mouse has a less diverse microbiota compared to C57BL/6. .
The research also reveals, through the embryo implantation experiment, that the microbial composition was closely related to the allergic airway inflammation phenotype.
“Therefore, the indiscriminate use of probiotics should be reconsidered, as the effects of these products depend on host parameters, such as the resident gut microbiome,” Ferreira adds.
* With information from Matthews Campos, from the UNICEF press office.
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