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Probiotics Improve Inflammation-Associated Sickness Behavior by Altering Communication between the Peripheral Immune System and the Brain
A review of
D’Mello, C., Ronaghan, N., Zaheer, R., Dicay, M., Le, T., MacNaughton, W. K., Surrette, M. G., & Swain, M. G. (2015). Probiotics Improve Inflammation-Associated Sickness Behavior by Altering Communication between the Peripheral Immune System and the Brain. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(30), 10821–10830. https://doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.0575-15.2015
By Dr. Erik Waldeland
Summarized Review Conclusions
Patients with systemic inflammatory diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic liver disease) commonly develop debilitating symptoms that arise from changes in brain function. This can have a significant impact on how our patients heal and the way their bodies perceive pain. There is evidence that the gut microbiome and brain function are deeply connected, so this study examined the effects probiotic intake may have in decreasing those inflammatory related symptoms. The findings from the study allow for the potential development of therapeutic interventions targeted at the gut microbiome to treat inflammation-associated sickness behaviors in patients with systemic inflammatory diseases.
“This research shows that probiotics, when eaten, can improve the abnormal behaviors (including social withdrawal and immobility) that are commonly associated with inflammation. Probiotics are able to cause this effect within the body by changing how the immune system signals the brain to alter brain function
“The beneficial effect of probiotic consumption on behavior and brain function is now becoming increasingly appreciated in a variety of inflammatory diseases. Specifically, probiotic administration improves QOL in patients with irritable
bowel syndrome (O’Mahony et al., 2005) and was associated with significant improvements in cognitive function”
“Changes in cross-talk among the intestinal epithelium, the intestinal immune system, and gut microbes has increasingly been recognized for its capacity to modulate systemic immunity”
Introduction to the Research
Systemic inflammation is one of the major causes of many of chronic disease in our country today. Not only are there severe negative long-term issues that can result, but in the short-term inflammation also causes pain, stiffness, and tightness that we all feel at some point. The introduction of good bacteria to our gut (probiotics) aims to balance out our gut microbiome to decrease that inflammation.
Mice (all on C57BL/6 genetic background, males, 6–8 weeks old) were used for all studies (The Jackson Laboratory) and were maintained in a pathogen-free facility. All procedures conformed to guidelines established by Canadian Council on Animal Care. For these experiments, we used the well characterized model of liver inflammation due to bile duct ligation (BDL) as described previously; sham ligated mice served as controls. This model is associated with elevated circulating cytokine levels (e.g., TNF-α, IL-6) and the reproducible development of sickness behaviors. Systemic anticytokine treatment (e.g., anti-TNF-α) in this model improves sickness behaviors, mimicking findings from clinical settings in patients with inflammatory diseases (Strand et al., 2012). All experiments were performed 10 d after surgery.
This research shows that probiotics, when eaten, can improve the abnormal behaviors that are commonly associated with inflammation. Probiotics are able to cause this effect within the body by changing how the immune system signals the brain to alter brain function. These findings support our current treatment recommendations of encouraging probiotic supplementation with our patients in order to decrease inflammation to provide the body a better environment to heal and repair.
As always with these reviews, these are my takeaways from the article and I encourage you to read the article in its entirety. The references used in this article by the authors of this article are listed here.
We love to help our patients in McKinney stay healthy. We are here to relieve back pain, neck pain and headaches while also teaching about how our diet and stress effects our over all health. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as the chiropractic adjustment and getting the proper nutrients to stay healthy. Our Doctors, near the corner of Eldorado Pkwy. and Stonebridge Rd., want to help you stay healthy and out of pain!