Can Probiotics Cure Autoimmune Diseases?

Posted by Eric Lancaster on

The benefits of probiotics are plentiful and many people incorporate them into their diet as an add-on. However, few people realize that these micro-organisms may be the key to decreasing the severity of symptoms related to autoimmune diseases. If you have been diagnosed with celiac, type 1 diabetes or lyme disease, there is good reason to believe that including these beneficial bacteria (link) into your treatment plan will provide significant health benefits.

The Journal of Leukocyte Biology published a study in May 2010 that concentrated on the link between celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which gluten attacks villi in the small intestine, and probiotics. This study replicated the environment of a celiac patient’s intestine which included certain types of harmful gram negative bacteria. A bifidobacteria probiotic was introduced and immediately had a strong anti-inflammatory effect. The findings of this study supports previous speculation that probiotics can offer significant benefits against celiac disease by decreasing serum CRP levels and the bacteria-induced production of proinflammatory cytokines, while simultaneously up-regulating the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines. By decreasing the inflammatory effect of celiac probiotics may be able to restrict the primary symptoms of the disease, which are severe stomach problems, fatigue and vitamin deficiencies.

Similar research has been found in regards to Type 1 diabetes and the use of probiotics. Diabetics’ cells are starved of nutrition and consequently starved for energy production. Probiotic bacteria found in supplements such as PRO-EM 1 help your body absorb nutrients and reduce constant stress on the immune system. Probiotics may also help prevent and treat yeast infections which high blood sugars resulting from diabetes often trigger.

Treatment for lyme disease typically involves long term use of antibiotics which often kill the good bacteria in the gut. A study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University recommends that physicians prescribe probiotics as part of the core treatment of lyme disease. Not only do probiotics re-establish the intestinal tract’s beneficial microflora, they also up-regulate the immune system so that it can successfully fight lyme disease pathogen. The lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, is a potent pathogen that burrows deep into body tissues until it re-emerges weeks or months later. An up-regulated immune system from a probiotic cleanse may be of significant benefit during the latency period.

There may not be enough concrete research to deem probiotics a cure for celiac, type 1 diabetes or lyme disease yet. However, the scientific findings above illustrate the importance of incorporating these beneficial bacteria into your core treatment plan. Even if you have not been diagnosed with celiac, type 1 diabetes or lyme disease, probiotics are still extremely beneficial to your health and may decrease the likelihood that autoimmune disease symptoms will develop in your future.

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