Probiotics May Be Able to Help People with MS

Researchers say certain probiotics can improve the gut bacteria in people with multiple sclerosis.


Your gut holds the clues.For many years, experts considered gut microbes vital for one thing. But the past 10 years have shown that the gut does more than digest food. It plays an integral role in the immune system.There are two kinds of gut microbes. Those that are pro anti-inflammatory and those that provoke the immune system, causing inflammation.

When the bacteria are out of balance, it can “lead to excessive activation of the immune system, which leads to disease,” Dr. Stephanie Tankou, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School, told Healthline.

Tankou and her Harvard associates just published a small study showing that probiotics can make a difference in the health of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Previous studies have shown the connection between gut bacteria and MS disease severity. Tankou and another team in an earlier study were able to isolate bacteria in people with MS.

When compared with a healthy gut, MS guts show a difference.

While the gut will have beneficial bacteria, it may also have an excess of pro-inflammatory bacteria. Specifically, an MS gut may have increases in Methanobrevibacter and Akkermansia as well as decreases in Butyricimonas.

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