What the study revealed
The pilot study included 13 healthy control volunteers and 9 MS patients.
The study required three hospital visits where neurological exams and blood and stool samples were taken. After an initial visit, the participants then took Visbiome for two months, then another round of tests was performed. The participants stopped taking the probiotics, and after three months, another round of tests was conducted.
The team isolated the participants’ DNA, then sent it off for sequencing.
The researchers said that as the probiotics were consumed, the guts changed to look more like the healthy controls.
“It is possible to change the composition of the microbes of an MS patient,” Tankou told Healthline. “Thereby suggesting that it is possible to change the gut.”
The probiotics were taken orally. Although the pills can be destroyed by stomach acid, they were effective, and the team was “pleasantly surprised” to see the shift from an MS gut to a healthier one.
The study begged a further question: What happens to the immune system in the periphery? Specifically, what’s happening in the brain?
Upon administering this probiotic, the immune profile compared to the original showed less activation. This means that Visbiome has anti-inflammatory properties outside the gut.
Tankou said the results were “very exciting news.”
“Individuals with high level of Lactobacillus in the gut had fewer pro-inflammatory cells in the blood,” she explained.
MS guts have a tendency for abundance of pro-inflammatory bacteria. This study showed a reduction in this abundance.