Healthy bacteria in yogurt may reduce lupus symptoms in mice + Charles Stanley’s devotion for kids


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Researchers at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech have released findings that explain how a type of healthy bacteria in yogurt and other dairy products might reduce disease symptoms in certain patients with lupus. Xin Luo, assistant professor of immunology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, and her colleagues expanded upon earlier research linking a lack of Lactobacillus, which produces lactic acid and is an important part of gut microbiota in both humans and mice, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus. The new research describes the mechanism behind this association. “In our 2014 paper, we found that mice with lupus had decreased amounts of Lactobacillus, which led to our hypothesis that adding this bacteria could ameliorate disease symptoms,” said Luo, who added that she and her colleagues also found that the mice had a “leaky gut,” a condition that affects the intestinal lining. “Probiotics, such as Lactobacillus, work by patching up and reversing the leaky gut.”

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can cause chronic fatigue, joint pain, rash, fever, renal failure, and even death. It affects an estimated 3 million people in the United States. Luo’s recent study deals with lupus nephritis, or inflammation of the kidney that is caused by lupus. According to the National Resource Center on Lupus, lupus nephritis usually develops within the first five years after lupus symptoms start, and as many as 40 percent of all people with lupus, and up to two-thirds of children with the disease, will develop kidney complications.

“In addition, we found that the addition of Lactobacillus to the diet only affected female mice and not males,” said Luo, who explained that lupus is 10 times more prevalent in females than in males. “We think that testosterone is suppressing the effect of the healthy bacteria. Before our study, researchers had never looked at male hormones suppressing the probiotic effect before.” The research team included Qinghui Mu, a Ph.D. student in the biomedical and veterinary sciences program and recent recipient of an American Association of Immunologists Careers in Immunology Fellowship, and S. Ansar Ahmed, professor of immunology and associate dean of research and graduate studies at the veterinary college. Ahmed is also one of the leading authorities on the effect of hormones on lupus and other autoimmune disorders.

Although the research was limited to mice with lupus and kidney inflammation, and more work would need to be done to determine whether Lactobacillus has the same effect in humans, Luo emphasized that yogurt and probiotic supplements are considered safe. “If a lupus patient is female and also has kidney inflammation, there would be no harm in adding yogurt or a probiotic supplement to the diet,” she said. Now that researchers have identified the “good” bacteria that affects the severity of lupus, they hope to turn their attention to other areas of research. “The next question is, ‘Are there bad bacteria that can be detrimental to the disease?’ ” Luo asked. “If that can be found, we can target the bad bacteria and remove them to ameliorate disease symptoms.”

The paper, “Control of lupus nephritis by changes of gut microbiota,” was published in the July 2017 issue of the journal Microbiome and is available online.

Adapted from: Qinghui Mu, Husen Zhang, Xiaofeng Liao, Kaisen Lin, Hualan Liu, Michael R. Edwards, S. Ansar Ahmed, Ruoxi Yuan, Liwu Li, Thomas E. Cecere, David B. Branson, Jay L. Kirby, Poorna Goswami, Caroline M. Leeth, Kaitlin A. Read, Kenneth J. Oestreich, Miranda D. Vieson, Christopher M. Reilly, Xin M. Luo. Control of lupus nephritis by changes of gut microbiota. Microbiome, 2017; 5 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s40168-017-0300-8


† Charles Stanley’s devotion for kids: Every-Day-With Jesus 


Nutrition Tip of the Day

For snack time, keep fresh fruit and pre-chopped or no-chop veggies on hand! Your family is more likely to grab fruits and vegetables over other items if they’re readily available.

Daily Inspiration 





Fermented Foods: Top 5 Reasons to Eat Them

We are vigilant about germs. We sanitize our hands, sterilize our dishes, pasteurize food, and refrigerate and toss moldy or expired foods. But as it turns out, not all bacteria really is that bad for us. Our gut contains billions of helpful and harmful bacteria that we are exposed to even in utero. Antibiotics, essential for treating infections, affect the gut flora by destroying harmful and helpful bacteria. Genetics and environmental exposure can also alter our gut flora. The more beneficial bacteria we have, the healthier our bodies are which is why sales of probiotics are skyrocketing.

Why fermented foods?

Before refrigeration, fermenting food was a way people kept food from spoiling. Fermented foods are a natural way to improve and preserve a healthy gut flora. Fermented foods also have the ability to keep us healthy.

5 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods

1. Improves digestive issues 
Bloating, constipation, and diarrhea are linked to a lack of healthy gut bacteria.

2. Maintains a healthy gut flora 
Lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, irritable bowel syndrome, recurring yeast infections, and allergies are all linked to an imbalance of gut bacteria.

3. Aids in weight loss 
Microbe-free mice injected with bacteria from obese people gained weight while mice injected with bacteria from thin people did not. When bacteria from thin people was injected into the obese mice, they lost weight.

4. Prevents chronic diseases
Autoimmune disorders, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer are linked to gut microbes.

5. Boosts your immune system
Healthy gut bacteria helps us absorb nutrients from food and filters out harmful substances which keeps our immune system healthy. It also helps with the production of some vitamins (B and K) which play a role in our immune function.

Ways to incorporate fermented foods into your diet

  • Eat sourdough bread instead of bread made with commercial yeast.
  • Drink fermented beverages such as coffee, tea, kombucha, kefir and red wine.
  • Eat yogurt regularly.
  • Incorporate pickles, sauerkraut, and olives into your diet.
  • Enjoy salsa, ketchup, sour cream, miso, and other naturally fermented condiments on a daily basis.
  • Eat tempeh, a protein-rich food made from fermented soybeans that can be added to stir-fry’s, soups and chili.

PCOS Nutrition Center