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Tuesday, 03 July 2018
It is widely understood that probiotics have a range of health benefits, from gut health to managing anxiety and stress. Now, for the first time ever, researchers in Sweden have shown that probiotics can be used to affect the human skeleton. In a study with a range of elderly women, bone loss was half of those not taking probiotics. This really paves the way to helping prevent fractures in elderly people.
Ninety elderly women averaging 76 years old took either a probiotic or a placebo over a year. Neither the researchers nor the women knew who were taking which as it was selected at random. The women’s bone was studied after a year by scanning the lower legs and comparing it to scans from the previous year of the same area. The women taking probiotics for the year had lost half the bone density as the women on the placebo.
There is a large portion of the population of older people suffering from conditions like osteoporosis and brittle bone disease. "Today there are effective medications administered to treat osteoporosis, but because bone fragility is rarely detected before the first fracture, there is a pressing need for preventive treatments," says Mattias Lorentzon, a chief physician and professor of geriatrics at University of Gothenburg.
This is the very first time that researchers have shown it’s possible to cut age-related bone loss in elderly women if they receive probiotics.
Anna G. Nilsson, Daniel Sundh, Fredrik Bäckhed, Mattias Lorentzon. Lactobacillus reuteri reduces bone loss in older women with low bone mineral density - a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, clinical trial. Journal of Internal Medicine, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/joim.12805