Effects of probiotics on radiation-induced intestinal injury in rats

Nutrition. 2006 Feb;22(2):179-86. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2005.08.003.


Objective: Radiotherapy is an important aspect of multimodal cancer therapy, but radiation-induced acute intestinal injury is a common and serious problem. Disruption of morphologic mucosal integrity and normal bacterial microflora after abdominal radiation leads to malabsorption and bacterial translocation.

Methods: Lactobacillus bulgaricus strain isolated from yogurt was given as a probiotic to rats subjected to radiotherapy. On postradiation day 8 rats were killed. Mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, and spleen were excised for microbiologic examinations. Segments of jejunum, ileum, and colon were evaluated for the presence of inflammation, vascularity, and mucus cells.

Results: The results of this study suggest that probiotics may have a protective effect on intestinal mucosa.

Conclusion: Probiotics added as substrates can be given by an oral or enteral route to patients who undergo radiotherapy to prevent radiation-induced enteritis and related malnutrition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Translocation
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Enteritis / microbiology
  • Enteritis / prevention & control
  • Ileum / microbiology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / injuries*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / radiation effects
  • Jejunum / microbiology
  • Lactobacillus / growth & development*
  • Lactobacillus / physiology*
  • Liver / microbiology
  • Lymph Nodes / microbiology
  • Male
  • Probiotics*
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / microbiology
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spleen / microbiology