Lupus: Probiotics could help to reduce kidney inflammation

A “friendly” bacteria found in yogurt, kefir, and many other dairy products could help to reduce kidney inflammation in women with lupus, a new study suggests.

Researchers have found that adding Lactobacillus to the diets of mice with lupus-induced kidney inflammation – also known as lupus nephritis – led to improvements in kidney function and increased their survival, but only in female mice.

Lactobacillus are a type of “good” bacteria that reside in the digestive, urinary, and genital systems. These bacteria are also present in yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods, as well as dietary supplements.

While further studies are needed to confirm the possible benefits of Lactobacillus, the researchers believe that their findings indicate that women with lupus and kidney inflammation may benefit from taking probiotics.

Study co-author Xin Luo, from the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, and colleagues recently reported their results in the journal Microbiome.

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