Patients with MS may benefit from taking probiotics

Research by scientists in Iran has found that patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience an improvement in symptoms when supplementing with probiotics.

The randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial aimed to evaluate the effects of probiotic intake on disability, mental health and metabolic condition in subjects with MS. During the 12-week study, 60 patients with MS were randomly allocated either a probiotic capsule containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus fermentum or a placebo.

The severity of MS was measured using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), and it was found that those participants taking the probiotic capsule saw improved EDSS ratings in addition to improved depression, anxiety and stress values.

Positive changes in levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein – a marker for inflammation – plasma nitric oxide metabolites and malondialdehyde – a marker for oxidative stress – were also apparent.

“Our study demonstrated that the use of probiotic capsule for 12 weeks among subjects with MS had favourable effects on EDSS, parameters of mental health, inflammatory factors, markers of insulin resistance,” concluded the researchers.

The new study is published online in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition.