Multispecies probiotic supplementation favorably affects vascular function and reduces arterial Stiffness in obese postmenopausal women: A 12-week placebo-controlled and randomized clinical study

Endothelial dysfunction is closely related to inflammation, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Any source of low-level, systemic inflammation, such as visceral obesity, could increase intestinal permeability. Bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) can enter into circulation and trigger the production of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) while also decreasing total antioxidant status. These events contribute to inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. These mechanisms suggest that supporting a healthier intestinal biome might also support healthier endothelial function.   

The multispecies probiotic Eccologic® Barrier was previously shown to improve intestinal barrier function and cardiometabolic parameters in obese postmenopausal women. Researchers then sought to evaluate whether Eccologic® Barrier would also benefit functional and biochemical parameters of endothelial and vascular function in the same population. 

Methods

A total of 71 obese and postmenopausal women completed a 12-week, placebo-controlled trial. The women were randomized to one of 3 groups: high-dose probiotic* (1 x 1010 colony-forming units (CFUs) per day), low-dose probiotic (2.5 x 109 CFUs per day), or placebo. The probiotic powder was taken once before breakfast and once before going to bed. 

Probiotics may beneficially affect endothelial and vascular function in obese postmenopausal women.

Results

Several parameters significantly improved from baseline to 12-weeks in the high-dose probiotic group: VEGF, PWA, PWV, TNF-alpha and TM. In the low-dose probiotic group, PWA SP and PWA decreased at 12-weeks. 

PWV is considered to be the most precise way to non-invasively estimate arterial stiffness, with high PWV values correlating with increased arterial stiffness and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. In this study, the high-dose probiotic group demonstrated a significant decrease in PWV from baseline to 12 weeks, but no similar trend was observed in the low-dose or placebo groups. 

TM is one of the most sensitive and specific markers of endothelial damage, correlated with endothelial cell injury and early atherosclerosis. The finding that high-dose probiotic supplementation decreased serum levels of TM shows, for the first time, that probiotics might beneficially modulate coagulation in obese postmenopausal women. 

Conclusions

These results suggest that probiotics may beneficially affect the functional and biochemical parameters of endothelial and vascular function in obese postmenopausal women. The role of probiotics in cardiovascular prevention deserves further research. 

*The probiotic contained Bifidobacterium bifidum W23, Bifidobacterium lactis W51, Bifidobacterium lactis W52, Lactobacillus acidophilus W37, Lactobacillus brevis W63, Lactobacillus casei W56, Lactobacillus salivarius W24, Lactobacillus lactis W19, and Lactococcus lactis W58. 

Szulińska, M., Łoniewski, I., Skrypnik, K., Sobieska, M., Korybalska, K., Suliburska, J., & Bogdański, P. (2018). Multispecies probiotic supplementation favorably affects vascular function and reduces arterial stiffness in obese postmenopausal women-A 12-week placebo-controlled and randomized clinical study. Nutrients, 10(11). 

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