Short term individualized probiotic therapy may help treat gout, related kidney diseases: Study
A gout is a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals around the joints. The body produces uric acid as it breaks down purines—a compound found in many foods. Studies have linked gout with chronic inflammation and obesity, two conditions that contribute to metabolic syndrome. Probiotics are already widely used to help reduce inflammation; beneficial bacteria can help to modulate immune responses.They may improve poor sugar and uric acid metabolism that contribute to the development of gout.
New research suggests that an individualized probiotic therapy regimen may improve symptoms of gout, gout-related kidney disease and other signs of metabolic syndrome. The study was presented at the American Physiological Society (APS) Aldosterone and ENaC in Health and Disease: The Kidney and Beyond Conference in Estes Park, Colo.
“Gout is a dangerous and underdiagnosed disease. However, the definition of metabolic syndrome does not include gout, [although it is] a severe and common metabolic disorder leading to kidney failure,” said Rostyslav Bubnov, PhD, of the Zabolotny Institute of Microbiology and Virology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and first author of the study. Bubnov’s research team studied the effects of probiotic therapy on adults with obesity, gout and gout-related kidney disease. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that replenish “good” bacteria in the digestive tract. Yoghurt, fermented foods and certain dietary supplements contain probiotics. Past research suggests that probiotics decrease inflammation in the body and improve poor sugar and uric acid metabolism that contribute to the development of gout, Bubnov explained.
The type of probiotics prescribed was personalized to each volunteer based on his or her symptoms. The researchers administered the standard minimum recommended dosage for probiotics (100 million colony-forming units). After 10 days of probiotic therapy, the volunteers’ health improved. They experienced:
- lower blood pressure,
- weight loss,
- reduced abdominal fat and waist circumference,
- decreased lesion size and scar tissue on the kidneys,
- decreased tophi size, and
- normal uric acid and creatinine levels in the blood.
“Short-term individualized probiotic therapy is effective to treat signs of [metabolic syndrome] and hyperuricemia and can successfully restore function and structure of [the] damaged kidney in gout,” the researchers wrote. People with gout may be able to achieve the same results by eating yogurt or taking an over-the-counter probiotic supplement, Bubnov explained, but the effectiveness is likely to be higher with a personalized approach.