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Video: Scientists Recalled The Possible Dangers Of Taking Probiotics
Scientists recalled the possible dangers of taking probiotics
Scientists have raised concerns that probiotics are not as harmless as they seem, and may interfere with the effect of other drugs. For example, taking them may make cancer treatments less effective.
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Probiotics are very popular and have been shown to be effective in treating certain gastrointestinal conditions (such as irritable bowel syndrome) in some people.
The microbiome is believed to play an essential role in regulating the overall health of an individual. The demand for probiotic supplements is growing rapidly (the global market was valued at $ 36 billion in 2013) as consumers try to fix perceived imbalances in the gut on their own. In particular, cancer patients often take probiotics to mitigate some of the side effects of treatment, especially diarrhea resulting from chemotherapy.
However, scientists have raised concerns that probiotics are not as harmless as they seem, and may interfere with the effect of other drugs. StatNews reports on the results of a preliminary study conducted by the Cancer Center. MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and the M.D. Parker (Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy), San Francisco.
The study was presented in abstracts at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Atlanta, but has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The researchers found that patients with metastatic melanoma who were taking probiotic supplements in parallel were 70% less likely to respond to cancer immunotherapy. The group consisted of just 46 patients, but the results support broader hypotheses that probiotics may in fact disrupt the balance of so-called “good” bacteria in the gut and interfere with the immune response.
“We wanted to convey this to the minds of people: those probiotics that are sold without a prescription are not needed. They may not help you, or they may even harm you,”said Dr. Jennifer Wargo, lead author of the study and assistant professor of surgical oncology at the Tolstoy Cancer Center. M.D. Anderson.
So, probiotic mixtures differ drastically from tablet to tablet; manufacturers cannot keep the same combination of bacterial strains. Some probiotics interfere with the effectiveness of concomitant medications, while others can increase it. There is still too much unknown to make any probiotic completely safe, Pieter Cohen, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, wrote last year in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The study also found that higher fiber intake correlated with richer microbiomes and stronger responses to immunotherapy. Therefore, oncologists recommend that patients increase the amount of fiber in their diet.
The findings are "in full agreement" with the findings of research by the Weizmann Institute of Science led by Eran Elinav, published in Cell in 2018. Probiotic supplementation after a course of antibiotics was found to actually reduce the microbiome diversity of participants.
“I am emphatically, emphatically incomprehensible why the general public is taking probiotics when the medical evidence for the procedure is not really provided,” said Eran Elinav.
To gain more compelling evidence, the research team, in collaboration with Seres Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company, is now expanding its patient population and conducting a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
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