Researchers provided participants with a personalized probiotic cocktail based on their symptoms. They found that it lowered uric acid levels and restored kidney health. It also led to weight loss and improved blood pressure levels.
The researchers presented their findings at the American Physiological Society's Aldosterone and ENaC in Health and Disease: The Kidney and Beyond Conference, which was held in Colorado last October 2019.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for the body. Healthy foods that contain probiotics include yogurt and fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi.
According to the study's first author, Rostyslav Bubnov, previous studies have demonstrated that probiotics can reduce inflammation and improve poor glucose and uric acid metabolism. These factors are known contributors to the development of gout.
Gout is a form of arthritis caused by hyperuricemia, or excess uric acid in the blood. The body produces uric acid when it breaks down purine, a compound commonly found in alcoholic beverages, animal meats and seafood. Uric acid crystals can build up in the joints and under the skin, causing intense pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.
Gout increases a person's risk of kidney stones as uric acid crystals can also accumulate in the urinary tract. Kidney stones may cause kidney damage, which ultimately leads to kidney disease if left untreated.
Previous studies have also linked gout to obesity and chronic inflammation, two conditions that contribute to metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of risk factors that increase a person's risk of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. These risk factors include high blood sugar, increased blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels and excess body fat around the waist.
“Gout is a dangerous and underdiagnosed disease. However, the definition of metabolic syndrome does not include gout,” said Bubnov.
Bubnov's team examined the effect of probiotics therapy on obese adults with gout and gout-related kidney disease. They gave the participants a probiotic cocktail that's tailored to address their symptoms.
After 10 days of daily probiotics therapy, the participants experienced the following improvements:
Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that individualized probiotic therapy is an effective strategy for treating signs of metabolic syndrome and gout. They also believe that it can successfully restore function and structure to kidneys that have been damaged by gout. (Related: Probiotics are also good for your liver.)
For people with gout, Bubnov recommends consuming probiotic foods like yogurt or taking probiotic supplements to improve their condition. He noted, however, that probiotics therapy will be more effective if it's personalized.
Studies suggest that consuming probiotics helps reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is another form of arthritis that can affect more than just the joints. RA can also damage the tissues that line the lungs, heart, eyes and other organs.
In a study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, patients with RA took either a probiotic supplement or a placebo every day. After eight weeks, those who took probiotic supplements experienced significant improvements compared to those who took a placebo.
The researchers also saw a significant decrease in blood insulin and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels among the participants who took probiotic supplements. High blood insulin levels are linked to Type 2 diabetes, while high CRP levels are a sign of inflammation.
Probiotics are known for their beneficial effects on gut health and immune function. But researchers are continuing to uncover more benefits of these live microorganisms that warrant their inclusion in the human diet. For more stories about the benefits of probiotics, visit Digestion.news.