Probiotics for Brain Health, Kids, and Respiratory Infections - Dr. Michael Ruscio, DNM, DC

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Probiotics for Brain Health, Kids, and Respiratory Infections

Hear the data on how PCOS, heavy metal toxicity, Parkinson’s disease, and more respond to probiotics

Dive deep into the data to hear how polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), heavy metal toxicity, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), antibiotic-assisted diarrhea, Parkinson’s disease, and other health conditions respond to multi-strain and soil-based probiotics.

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➕ Dr. Ruscio’s Notes

Which Conditions the New Probiotic Studies Cover

 

Ulcerative Colitis

A study aimed to evaluate the effect of probiotic supplementation for patients with mild-to-moderately active ulcerative colitis (UC), 

The parameters:

  • 24 mild-to-moderate UC patients were randomized to placebo or lacto/bifido probiotics (10 billion CFU/day).

The results:

  • Compared to placebo, the probiotic group led to: 
    • Reduced UC severity score (1.3 points vs 3.4 points) 
      • <2 = clinical remission 
    • Reduced C-reactive protein 
    • Reduced stool frequency 
    • Improved anemia

 

Acute Gastroenteritis in Kids

A meta-analysis explored the efficacy and safety of Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii) for treating acute gastroenteritis in children aged under five.

The parameters:

  • The meta-analysis included 10 studies featuring 1,282 children with acute gastroenteritis, randomized to control or S. boulardii.

The results:

  • Compared to placebo, S. boulardii led to: 
    • 48% reduced risk of diarrhea lasting more than 3 days after starting treatment
    • 30% reduced risk of diarrhea lasting more than 1 day after starting treatment
    • Reduced duration of diarrhea (-20 hours) 
    • Reduced hospital stay (-0.9 days) 

 

Aspirin-Related Small Intestinal Mucosal Injury

A study investigates the effects of Lactobacillus complex capsule treatment on the aspirin-related small intestinal mucosal injury.

The parameters:

  • 53 patients with aspirin-induced small intestinal mucosal injury were  randomized to aspirin only or aspirin and probiotics (lactobacillus species and enterococcus faecium).

The results:

  • After 2 months, probiotic supplementation led to improved:
    • Mucosal injury scores 
    • Small intestinal ulcers

 

Parkinson’s Disease

A systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the effects of probiotics on Parkinson’s disease.

The parameters:

  • There were a total of 8 studies on Parkinson’s disease patients.
    • 4 out of 8 of these studies were on Parkinson’s disease patients with constipation.

The results:

  • Treatment with probiotics led to: 
    • Improved bowel movement frequency
    • Improved stool consistency 
    • Reduced hs-CRP 

 

Cognitive Function in the Elderly Population

A systematic review and meta-analysis explores the connection between probiotic supplementation and cognitive function.

The parameters:

  • There were a total of 10 studies reviewed.

The results:

  • In elderly participants, probiotics led to:
    • No improvement in cognitive function
    • No significant increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) 
    • Increased glutathione 

 

Pediatric Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

A systematic review and meta-analysis provides a summary of the current literature about the efficacy of probiotics in pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

The parameters:

  • The study included four randomized controlled trials with 238 pediatric patients with NAFLD.

The results:

  • Probiotic supplementation led to improvements in: 
    • ALT
    • AST
    • Triglycerides and total cholesterol
    • Fat accumulation in the liver, based on ultrasound

 

Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

A study looks at the effectiveness and safety of probiotics in the prevention of acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). 

The parameters:

  • The study included 23 randomized controlled trials with 6,950 participants randomized to placebo or probiotics (Lactobacillus).

The results:

  • Probiotics led to: 
    • 33% reduced number of people diagnosed with URTI
    • Reduced duration of URTI
    • 42% less antibiotics required for acute URTI 

A study evaluated the effect of probiotic Bacillus clausii UBBC-07 on symptom management of URTIs in children

The parameters:

  • 90 children were randomized to placebo or soil-based probiotic.

The results:

  • After 6 months, soil-based probiotics reduced upper respiratory tract infection:
    • Frequency
    • Duration
    • Severity

A study aimed to demonstrate that nasal-spraying probiotics are effective at treating acute respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection symptoms. 

The parameters:

  • 86 children (4 months–5 years old) hospitalized with RSV infection were randomized to placebo nasal spray or Bacillus probiotic nasal spray.

The results:

  • After 6 days of treatment, probiotic nasal spray led to: 
    • Quicker resolution of runny nose, difficulty breathing, chest depression, and abnormal lung sounds. 
    • Reduced RSV nasopharyngeal load by 630x. 
    • Greater clearance of nasal co-infections like strep pneumoniae and haemophilus influenzae

 

Glycemic Status and Glucose Metabolism

A meta-analysis investigated the effects of supplementation with probiotics on glycemic markers. 

The parameters:

  • 48 randomized controlled trials were incorporated in the meta-analysis.

The results:

  • Probiotics led to: 
    • Insulin resistance
    • Insulin
    • Fasting glucose
    • A1c 

A meta-analysis further analyzed the effects of probiotic supplementation on glucose metabolism in pregnant women without diabetes. 

The parameters:

  • 12 randomized controlled trials featured 2, 213 pregnant women without diabetes.

The results:

  • Probiotics led to: 
    • 38% lower risk of developing gestational diabetes
    • Lower fasting glucose
    • Lower insulin
    • Lower insulin resistance
    • No change in oral glucose tolerance test

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

A study aimed to confirm the efficacy of probiotics in the management of gastrointestinal symptoms in IBS-C. 

The parameters:

  • 456 participants with IBS-C were randomized to placebo or probiotic (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).

The results:

  • After 2 months, probiotic supplementation led to: 
    • Improved quality of life
    • Increased number of participants with improved abdominal pain 
    • No difference in bowel movement frequency or consistency

A meta-analysis aimed to determine if probiotic or drug interventions are effective for treating IBS. 

The parameters:

  • 32 randomized controlled trials on patients with IBS were randomized to either:
    • Placebo vs probiotics (e.g. lacto/bifido, saccharomyces boulardii) 
    • Placebo vs medications (e.g.mesalazine, eluxadoline, rifaximin)

The results:

  • Both medications and probiotics led to: 
    • Reduced persistence of IBS symptoms
    • Improved abdominal pain 

 

Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea

A study explored the question of, “What is the efficacy of a multispecies probiotic in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children?”

The parameters:

  • 350 children recently (within 24 hours) prescribed antibiotics were randomized to placebo or probiotic (Lacto/bifido blend).

The results:

  • Compared to placebo, probiotics reduced the risk of diarrhea by 35%. 

 

Heavy Metal Toxicity

A study analyzed the effectiveness of probiotics in detoxifying heavy metals. 

The parameters:

  • 152 participants with known heavy metal exposure (copper and nickel) were randomized to placebo yogurt or probiotic yogurt.

The results:

  • After 3 months, probiotic supplementation led to a greater reduction in blood levels of copper and nickel. 

 

Adult Atopic Dermatitis

A meta-analysis looked at the role of probiotics in the treatment of adult atopic dermatitis. 

The parameters:

  • 6 randomized controlled trials featured 241 patients with eczema to either placebo or probiotics.

The results:

  • Probiotics led to:
    • Improved objective eczema score 
    • Improved quality of life 
    • No change in subjective symptoms

 

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

A study analyzed the anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant effects of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus G in patients with CAD. 

The parameters:

  • 96 patients with coronary artery disease and depression were randomized to:
    • Placebo
    • Only probiotics
    • Only inulin
    • Probiotics and inulin

The results:

  • After 2 months, probiotics and inulin led to greater improvements in: 
    • Depression scores 
    • Anxiety scores 
    • hs-CRP
    • Lipopolysaccharide
    • TNF-α 

 

Iron Levels 

A study investigated the relationship between elevated serum iron and heat-killed Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris H61. 

The parameters:

  • 29 healthy women (18-25 years old) with normal iron status were randomized to placebo or heat-killed probiotic.

The results:

  • After 1 month, despite no change in iron intake, the killed probiotic group experienced improved: 
    • Serum iron
    • Ferritin 
    • Transferrin saturation

 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

A study looked at the efficacy of multi-strain probiotics along with dietary and lifestyle modifications on PCOS. 

The parameters:

  • 104 PCOS patients, all treated with dietary and exercise modifications, were randomized to placebo or synbiotics (probiotic and prebiotic).

The results:

  • After 6 months, the addition of synbiotics to lifestyle treatment led to: 
    • Increased number of participants with menstrual regularity
    • Reduced total testosterone 
    • Improved waist circumference 
    • Better quality of life

 

Critical Illness 

A meta-analysis aimed to determine the safety and efficacy of probiotics or synbiotics on morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients.

The parameters:

  • The meta-analysis included 65 randomized controlled trials featuring 8,483 critically ill children and adults.

The results:

  • Probiotics led to: 
    • 28% reduced risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia 
    • 30% reduced risk of health-care-associated pneumonia
    • Shorter ICU stay (-1.4 days) 
    • Shorter hospital stay (-2.2 days) 
    • Shorter duration of mechanical ventilation (-2.5 days) 
    • No impact on mortality

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