The human body is a complex machine that requires balance to function properly. One part of the body that is crucial to maintaining balance is the gut microbiota. This refers to the millions of tiny living organisms that live in our intestines and help us digest food and fight off harmful bacteria.
In some people with a condition called lupus, this balance of gut microbiota is disrupted, which can lead to inflammation throughout the body. In a clinical trial, scientists investigated whether taking synbiotics, which are supplements that contain both probiotics and prebiotics, could restore this balance and reduce inflammation in lupus patients.
The trial was conducted with a group of adult patients who had been diagnosed with lupus. Half of the patients were randomly assigned to take synbiotics, while the other half received a placebo. Before and after the 60-day study, the researchers measured various markers of inflammation, including hs-CRP, IL-6, and IL-17, as well as the patients' gut microbiota.
The results showed that the patients who took the synbiotics had lower levels of inflammation than those who took the placebo. Specifically, their levels of hs-CRP, a marker of inflammation, did not increase significantly, while those in the placebo group did. Additionally, the synbiotic group had a significant decrease in IL-6, another marker of inflammation, while there was no change in the placebo group.
The synbiotics also had an impact on the gut microbiota of the patients. They increased the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes, which are two types of bacteria that are important for gut health. They also increased the metabolism of butyrate, which is a type of fatty acid that is produced by gut bacteria and has anti-inflammatory effects. On the other hand, they decreased the metabolism of amino sugar and nucleotide sugar, which are two types of compounds that can cause inflammation.
Overall, the patients who took the synbiotics had an improvement in their lupus symptoms, as measured by the SLE disease activity index 2K score. This score takes into account various symptoms of lupus, including fatigue, joint pain, and skin rash, and the patients in the synbiotic group had a significant improvement in their score compared to the placebo group.
These findings suggest that synbiotic supplements may be a promising therapy for people with lupus, as they can restore the balance of gut microbiota and reduce inflammation throughout the body. However, it's important to note that this was a small study and more research is needed to confirm these results. If you have lupus or any other medical condition, always talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements or treatments.