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article imageProbiotic shows reduction in bone loss in older women

By Tim Sandle     Jul 14, 2018 in Science
Researchers have used a probiotic to determine whether there is a reduction in the rate of bone related mineral density loss in older women. The results are encouraging, suggesting further study is worthwhile.
The human gut microbiome is intimately connected with well-being when in balance and with ill-health effects when out of balance, especially in relation to the immune system. Studies have been taking place for several years to assess whether different proportions if beneficial bacteria can promote health in different ways. A new study looks at whether a specific bacterium, taking as a probiotic supplement in sufficiently high numbers, can benefit older women identified as having low bone mineral density.
Using probiotics to treat osteoporosis may reduce the risk of rare but serious side effects associated with long-term bisphosphonate use, such as damage to the jaw bone. However, whether a probiotic can replace more established drugs is a subject requiring more extensive research.
Following in from success in rodents, the new research from the University of Gothenburg, took the form of a year long study of older women. Ninety women, aged between 75 and 80 years old, were recruited for the study, and seventy were in the study set when the experiment ended. Each of the women had been medically identified as having low bone mineral density, which is associated with osteoporosis.
Half of the women were given a probiotic supplement, containing a concentration of Lactobacillus reuteri ATCCPTA 6475 bacteria at a concentration of more than one billion (10 to the power of 10); whereas the remaining half were given a placebo. The supplement was taken daily and the effect in bone mineral density assessed in relation to the shinbone (tibia), with the final results made available a year later.
The experimental results suggest that there is merit in investigating the benefit of the probiotic further through further study, to determine whether such a supplement can improve the lives of older women. The findings are published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, with the study titled “Lactobacillus reuteri reduces bone loss in older women with low bone mineral density – a randomized, placebo‐controlled, double‐blind, clinical trial”.
More about Probiotics, Bone, Osteoporosis, Microbiology
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