Could Probiotics Restore Microbiome Imbalance Linked to Auto-Immune Disorder?

Probiotics and ImmuneA new study finds that probiotics may aid in restoring imbalances in gut bacterial in patients with the auto-immune disorder systemic sclerosis.  Systemic sclerosis affects connective tissue in the body.  It is not a common condition, but results in the skin thickening and becoming hard.  Occasionally this condition creates problems with blood vessels and internal organs.

17 adults with systemic sclerosis from UCLA, 17 adults with systemic sclerosis from Oslo University Hospital and 17 healthy adults participated in this trial.  Stool specimens were used to determine the amount and types of bacteria present.  Participants with systemic sclerosis had significantly lower amounts of gut bacteria believed to protect against inflammation like Bacteroides.  Additionally the participants with systemic sclerosis were found to have higher amounts of bacteria, like Fusobacterium, which actually promote inflammation when compared to those without this auto-immune disorder.

Researchers believe that probiotics are helpful in restoring the bacterial balance in the gut in individuals suffering from systemic sclerosis and play a role in improving these patients quality of life.

Further testing is planned using larger patient groups.



Omega 3 Oil May Stop the Onset of Lupus

Omega-3's may help prevent lupusA new mouse study has found consuming Omega-3 Fatty Acids may stop a lupus episode and possibly the trigger of other autoimmune conditions.  The research specifically looked at lung and kidney lesions caused by lupus, an autoimmune condition.  96% of these lung lesions were halted with supplementation of DHA.

Female mice who were already genetically predisposed to lupus took part in this preclinical study.  The mice were fed diets that contained 0%, .4%, 1.2% or 2.4% DHA.  After 2 weeks of this protocol the mice were then exposed weekly to 1 mg of crystalline silica (cSIO2), also known as quartz which is a know trigger of the autoimmune response in the lungs and kidneys. This lasted for 4 weeks.   The mice were given their diet containing the DHA for an additional 12 weeks.

The mice were assessed for markers of autoimmunity and inflammation in the kidneys, lungs and blood.  Certain antibodies (CD45R+) found in the lung were reduced in accordance with the amount of DHA consumed.  A 96% reduction was seen in the group receiving the highest amount of DHA (2.4%).  Immune cell (CD3+) numbers in the lung were also reduced with an 83% reduction seen in the mice receiving the 2.4% DHA in their diet.

Researchers believe the DHA may be changing the method in which macrophages, healthy cells, responded to the silica in the lungs and might actually be changing the response of the immune system.

Further studies are warranted.