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Probiotic Supplements Beneficial in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Beneficial effects seen on Disease Activity Score of 28 joints, insulin levels, HOMA-B, hs-CRP

THURSDAY, May 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Probiotic supplementation seems beneficial for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published online May 2 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Batol Zamani, from Kashan University of Medical Sciences in Iran, and colleagues randomized 60 patients (aged 25 to 70 years) with RA in a 1:1 ratio to receive probiotic capsules or placebo for eight weeks. The probiotic capsule contained three viable, freeze-dried strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. Related markers were quantified in fasting blood samples taken at the beginning and end of the study.

The researchers found that probiotic supplementation correlated with improved Disease Activity Score of 28 joints (DAS-28) compared with placebo (P = 0.01) after eight weeks of intervention. Compared with placebo, probiotic supplementation was also associated with a significant decrease in serum insulin levels (P = 0.03), homeostatic model assessment-B cell function (HOMA-B; P = 0.03), and serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) concentrations (P < 0.001). Borderline statistically significant improvements were seen in total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels with probiotics versus placebo (P = 0.09 and 0.07, respectively).

“Overall, the results of this study indicated that taking probiotic supplements for eight weeks among patients with RA had beneficial effects on DAS-28, insulin levels, HOMA-B, and hs-CRP levels,” the authors write.

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