Multiple Sclerosis and Probiotics: Correlation Found between Human Gut Bacteria Composition and MS
Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated inflammatory disease in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
Early MS symptoms include weakness, tingling, numbness, and blurred vision. Other signs are muscle stiffness, thinking problems, and urinary problems. The cause of this disorder is not completely understood, and both genetic and environmental factors appear to play important roles in susceptibility to the disease.
Benefits of Probiotics for Multiple Sclerosis
There is a relation between gut bacteria and MS susceptibility. There is emerging evidence of a role for gut microbiota on the CNS immunity. It is plausible that the gut commensal flora could be an important element in the susceptibility to MS.
Promising Research Results for Multiple Sclerosis Probiotics Treatment
Studies in MS patients looking at the gut microbiome recently demonstrated the first instance of human gut colonization by Clostridium perfringens type B in a patient with her first relapse of MS .
Other research presented evidence for an increase in archaea (Methanobrevibacter) concentration in MS patients compared with controls. They also noted a reduction in Butyricimonas and Lachnospiraceae concentrations in MS patients compared with healthy controls .
In an exploratory study of fecal samples from 15 subjects (seven MS patients and eight healthy controls) a decrease in Faecalibacterium abundance in MS patients compared with controls was demonstrated .
Multiple Sclerosis Probiotics Treatment
Thus, the composition of gut microbiota is highly associated to the susceptibility of an individual to acquire MS disease. Future studies are needed to be performed to identify the good bacteria that when administered as a probiotics will help to treat MS disease.
The MS Microbiome Consortium (MSMC), an academic multi-disciplinary collaborative effort concentrates the findings of researchers around the globe to elucidate the role of the gut microbiota in MS.
What is the human microbiome?
The human intestine harbors nearly 100 trillion bacteria, known as microbiome, that are essential for health. Within the gut there is a spatial distribution of different bacterial species, with microbial diversity increasing from the stomach to the colon.
The number of bacteria and their genetic material outnumbers the human body’s somatic cell number and genome by a factor of 10 and 100, respectively. These organisms make critical contributions to metabolism by helping to break down complex polysaccharides that are ingested as part of the diet and they are critical to the normal development of the immune system.
How can gut bacteria be related to MS?
The microbiome plays a fundamental role on the induction, training, and function of the human immune system. This immune system-microbiota cooperation allows a protective response from pathogens and the maintenance of tolerance to the friendly microbiome.
However, diverse factors alter the microbiota diversity required to establish balanced immune responses. These changes in the microbiome ultimately result in effects on the immune system that are associated to autoimmune and inflammatory disorders such as MS.
Ongoing studies are performed in order to identify the beneficial and harmful bacterial populations related to human health and disease. This information will allow modifying the gut microbiome through the consumption of the adequate probiotics in a favorable manner.
Research Resources: Multiple Sclerosis Probiotics Treatment
1. Rumah KR, Linden J, Fischetti VA, Vartanian T. Isolation of Clostridium perfringens type B in an individual at first clinical presentation of multiple sclerosis provides clues for environmental triggers of the disease. PLoS One. 2013;8:e76359.
2. Jhangi S, Gandhi R, Glanz B, Cook S, Nejad P, Ward D, et al. Increased Archaea species and changes with therapy in gut microbiome of multiple sclerosis subjects (S24. 001). Neurology. 2014;82(10 Suppl):S24.001.
3. Mowry EM, Waubant E, Chehoud C, DeSantis T, Kuczynski J, Warrington J. Gut bacterial populations in multiple sclerosis and in health (P05.106). Neurology. 2012;78(Meet Abstr 1):P05.106.