Probiotics may be a simple and inexpensive antidote to the bone loss women experience after menopause or when their ovaries are removed, according to a study from Emory University School of Medicine and Georgia State University. The results, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, indicate a non-hormone mechanism of action.
Science has known the immune system is linked with post-menopausal osteoporosis, but the causes have been fuzzy.
In their study, the scientists discovered that in subjects the loss of estrogen increased gut permeability. This causes leakage into the bloodstream. One of the results these researchers observed is that the immune cells in the intestines became inflamed as well and released cytokines that lead to bone breakdown. The administration of probiotics however increased gut integrity and lessened inflammation.
“Our findings highlight the role that intestinal microbes play in modulating gut permeability and inflammation in the context of sex steroid depletion,” says senior author Roberto Pacifici, MD. “We think there are direct implications for the treatment of osteoporosis that should be tested clinically.”
The researchers used Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, found in some yogurts.REFERENCE
Jau-Yi Li, Benoit Chassaing, Abdul Malik Tyagi, Chiara Vaccaro, Tao Luo, Jonathan Adams, Trevor M. Darby, M. Neale Weitzmann, Jennifer G. Mulle, Andrew T. Gewirtz, Rheinallt M. Jones, Roberto Pacifici. Sex steroid deficiency–associated bone loss is microbiota dependent and prevented by probiotics. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2016; DOI: 10.1172/JCI86062