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Probiotic intervention has strain-specific anti-inflammatory effects in healthy adults – Source: World Journal of Gastroenterology, April 7, 2008

  [ 54 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By RA Kekkonen, et al. • • May 22, 2008

Aim: To evaluate the effects of three potentially anti-inflammatory probiotic bacteria from three different genera on immune variables in healthy adults in a clinical setting based on previous in vitro characterization of cytokine responses.

Methods: A total of 62 volunteers participated in this randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled parallel group intervention study.

The volunteers were randomized to receive a milk-based drink containing either:

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG),
  • Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis Bb12 (Bb12), or
  • Propionibacterium freudenreichii ssp. shermanii JS (PJS)
  • Or a placebo drink, for 3 weeks.

Venous blood and saliva samples were taken at baseline and on days 1, 7 and 21. Fecal samples were collected at baseline and at the end of intervention.


  • The serum hsCRP expressed as the median AUC0-21 (minus baseline) was 0.018 mg/L in the placebo group, -0.240 mg/L in the LGG group, 0.090 mg/L in the Bb12 group and -0.085 mg/L in the PJS group (P = 0.014). [CRP (C-reactive protein) is an indicator of inflammation, measured by hsCRP (high sensitivity C-reactive protein) testing.]
  • In vitro production of TNF-alpha from in vitro cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was significantly lower in subjects receiving Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG) vs placebo. [TNF-alpha (Tumor necrosis factor-alpha) is a cytokine or ‘signaling protein’ that stimulates systemic inflammation.]
  • IL-2 production from PBMC in the Bifidobacterium animalis (Bb12) group was significantly lower compared with the other groups. [IL-2 (Interleukin 2) is a type of cytokine that makes infection-fighting cells multiply and mature.]

Conclusion: In conclusion, probiotic bacteria have strain-specific anti-inflammatory effects in healthy adults.

Source: World Journal of Gastroenterology, April 7, 2008. PMID , by Kekkonen RA, Lummela N, Karjalainen H, Latvala S, Tynkkynen S, Jarvenpaa S, Kautiainen H, Julkunen I, Vapaatalo H, Korpela R. Institute of Biomedicine, Pharmacology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. [E-mail:]

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