Chapter 24 : Synbiotics in Human Medicine

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Thirty years have passed since researchers reported that patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) had a significantly different microbiota from that of healthy individuals. The strains with the greatest capacity to induce interleukin-12 (IL-12) seem to be the most effective probiotics to up-regulate major histocompatibility complex class II and B7-2 (CD86), indicative of immune cell maturation. The five most effective strains demonstrating potent inhibition against were subsp. paracasei (two strains) and (three strains). Unfortunately, few studies have closely examined potentially synergistic effects of simultaneous administration of synbiotics containing lactic acid bacteria (LAB) (or other probiotics) and prebiotics. Several studies have been performed with probiotics including one trial with synbiotics. Alterations in microbial composition (increased amounts of anaerobic bacteria and suppression of pathogenic microbes) and increased fecal content of shortchain fatty acids (SCFAs) (from an average of 27.8 to 65.09 μmol/g of wet feces) were described in the synbiotics-treated group. Different species of LAB, doses of synbiotics, and combinations of antibiotics and synbiotics may yield a wider spectrum of beneficial effects in different disorders. A synbiotic formulation containing ATCC 4962, FOS, inulin, and mannitol was administered to hypercholesterolemic pigs on high- and low-fat diets. The aims of this study included assessments of effects of synbiotics on plasma lipid profiles and erythrocyte membrane properties. Further scientific investigations are necessary in order to understand the unique interactions between the host-associated microbiota, diet, medical interventions with synbiotics, and aggregate effects on disease susceptibility, treatment, and prevention.

Citation: Bengmark S. 2008. Synbiotics in Human Medicine, p 307-321. In Versalovic J, Wilson M (ed), Therapeutic Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815462.ch24

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Upper Gastrointestinal Tract
Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II
Lower Gastrointestinal Tract
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Table 1

Pathogens isolated from acute pancreatitis patients receiving synbiotic treatment or fiber-only treatment

Citation: Bengmark S. 2008. Synbiotics in Human Medicine, p 307-321. In Versalovic J, Wilson M (ed), Therapeutic Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815462.ch24
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Table 2

Pathogens isolated from polytrauma patients receiving synbiotic treatment or fiber-only treatment

Citation: Bengmark S. 2008. Synbiotics in Human Medicine, p 307-321. In Versalovic J, Wilson M (ed), Therapeutic Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815462.ch24
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Table 3

Pathogens recovered from synbiotic-treated patients versus patients receiving only fiber and undergoing surgery for abdominal cancer

Citation: Bengmark S. 2008. Synbiotics in Human Medicine, p 307-321. In Versalovic J, Wilson M (ed), Therapeutic Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815462.ch24
Generic image for table
Table 4

Pathogens isolated from patients treated with synbiotics versus patients receiving only fiber and undergoing pancreatectomy

Citation: Bengmark S. 2008. Synbiotics in Human Medicine, p 307-321. In Versalovic J, Wilson M (ed), Therapeutic Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815462.ch24
Generic image for table
Table 5

Pathogens isolated from patients treated with synbiotics versus patients receiving only fiber and undergoing liver transplantation

Citation: Bengmark S. 2008. Synbiotics in Human Medicine, p 307-321. In Versalovic J, Wilson M (ed), Therapeutic Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815462.ch24

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