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Probiotics Signal Host Immune Cells

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by kolowesi, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. kolowesi

    kolowesi Senior Member

    Central Texas
    (I copied this to the Gut section - Cort :))

    This is from the latest Swanson newsletter:

    Lee Swanson Research Update
    Could Probiotics Protect Us From Gut Parasites?
    September 2009

    The gut-health benefits of probiotics may also extend to preventing and eradicating parasitic infections, according to early data from researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern.

    Scientists studying Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis, found that bacteria present in the human gut help stimulate the body's defense mechanisms.

    "While this is very early data, our results suggest that looking at the bacteria present in each patient's gut could help physicians understand their susceptibility to infectious diseases," said Dr. Felix Yarovinski from the University of Texas Southwestern. "It also suggests the possibility of developing novel probiotic strategies for treating parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis and cryptosporidiosis, a related disease caused by the parasite Cryptosporidum."

    The UT Southwestern researchers published their findings in Cell Host & Microbe.

    Dr. Yarovinsky said that probiotics may occupy space in the intestine and thus reduce or prevent potentially pathogenic bacteria attaching to the intestinal wall.

    "In our work we revealed a novel feature of the beneficial relationship between commensal microorganisms and the host immune system," he said. "We found that gut commensal bacteria function as a molecular adjuvant, providing toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent immunostimulatory signals to dendritic cells, which are the active mechanism of defense."

    The researchers used mice that had an inactivated form of a specific immune protein, called toll-like receptor 11 (TLR-11), which plays a role in controlling the animals' immune response to the parasite. While TLR-11 is normally active in mice, humans do not have an active form of the receptor. It has therefore remained unclear quite how the human body "senses" T gondii.

    Despite a lack of normal defense mechanisms, the researchers noted that the animals’ immune systems did react to T gondii infection.

    The researchers found that the commensal—or good—bacteria in the gut activated the immune systems, thereby inducing various inflammatory responses against the invading pathogen. "This seems to be the first example of direct pathogen recognition in vivo where activation of the immune system depends on indirect rather than direct sensing of a pathogen," said Dr. Yarovinsky.

    And the potential benefits of the gut microflora appear to outweigh the benefits of having a full-functioning TLR-11, said Dr. Yarovinsky. In mice the receptor appears to do more harm than good.

    TLR-11-deficient mice were able to mobilize enough signaling proteins, with the help of their commensal bacteria, to defeat the parasite, while mice with the receptor activated too many signaling proteins and developed severe inflammation in their small intestines.

    Cell Host & Microbe 6(2):187-196, 2009
  2. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Really interesting stuff:

    I never thought of gut problems in regard to susceptibility to infectious diseases in general.

    From what I've read it is problems with the walls of the intestines that are so significant with leaky gut syndrome; bacterial toxins leak through the walls and trigger an immune reaction (fatigue, fluey feelings, etc.).

    This is really interesting:

    because if I remember correctly Ampligen works on the toll-like receptors. I think these are part of the innate or early immune response (?) - which Dr. Peterson and all believe is key in ME/CFS.

    One problem in ME/CFS is inadequate activation of the early immune response.

    That article had alot of interesting stuff in it! :D
  3. kolowesi

    kolowesi Senior Member

    Central Texas
    probiotics signaling dendrites

    Thanks for putting it in the right place, Cort.

    I wonder which probiotics they used. That might be important when they get to human testing.

    Probiotics plus non-functional receptors is better than functional receptors?? Need to test probiotics plus functional receptors, right? Maybe even better.

    Or am I overthinking.

    Thanks for your comments, Cort, you really have a lot stored in your cranium.

  4. cfs since 1998

    cfs since 1998

    It seems that probiotics can have systemic immune modulating and antiviral effects. The following is some information I posted on my personal blog a few weeks ago:

    The first was a placebo controlled study that examined infants with eczema. Probiotics were found also to increase interferon and increase the Th1/Th2 ratio, which is important because, among CFS doctors and researchers, there seems to be a consensus that patients with CFS have and overactive Th2 side of the immune system, thus a low Th1/Th2 ratio. (

    In another placebo controlled study, participants had a larger immune antibody response to a polio vaccine when given probiotics beforehand. The conclusion was that the probiotics "induce an immunologic response that may provide enhanced systemic protection of cells from virus infections by increasing production of virus neutralizing antibodies." (

    The most interesting article I found, and the one that relates the closest to CFS, is a study in which probiotics were used to treat "fatigued athletes." It was not placebo controlled, but did confirm certain findings of the earlier study. The fatigued athletes were found to have had abnormally low interferon levels and manifestations of Epstein-Barr reactivation, with viral shedding in the saliva. After treatment for 30 days the interferon increased to normal and EBV reactivation decreased. (, full text is available free).
  5. andreamarie

    andreamarie Senior Member

    RE probiotics: I did a lot of research on them when I wrote copy for the Crohn's & Colitis foundation. The problem with them is most don't make it to the small intestine because they can't survive stomach acid. When I started seeing my CFS doc (who no longer specializes in it) she told me she takes Culterelle because it is good for the immune system in general. She studied under one of the infectious disease docs who developed it. She's a conventional doc who's very interested in alternative medicine. I figured if she took it I would (she does have a form of arthritis.) I checked it out with my gastro and he told me it used to be a scrip but is now OTC. I get it from I credit it with helping me recover from a serious g.i. infection called Clostridium difficile, which I had two years ago.
  6. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

    Near St Louis, MO
    I'll have to hunt Culterelle down. Everything I've tried so far with probiotics in it has made me so nauseated that I can't take it.
  7. Solon

    Solon Guest

    Problem with probiotics is that the gut of immunosuppressed people is incapable of clearing neither the bad nor the good bacteria in abundance. So if you take some strains that are not suitable (i havent found a suitable still) you will get such bloating and irritation that you will puke. I have tried loads and none worked. I dont know if align can do the trick, but i swear all i tried where in vain, they sent me to the hospital too some time in the past. I almost died from the horrible pain.

    Later on when i developed an enteroviral infection the same symptoms came back, which means that no matter what the bacteria is, it mounts an inadequate immune response and it cannot get cleared out. Offoucrse all those symptoms get seriously alleviated from use of ANTIbiotics.

    Now if align does the trick i will be very surprised, but i still havent tried bifidobacterium infantis on its own.

    In general i doubt its the type of bacteria rather the quantity does the problem with us and causes bloating. The type might be important in distinguishing between diarrhoea and constipation, but the bloating is mostly caused by the overproduction and inadequate clearing of those microorganisms.

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