Aim: To evaluate the effects of three potentially anti-inflammatory probiotic bacteria from three different genera on immune variables in healthy adults in a clinical setting based on previous in vitro characterization of cytokine responses.
Methods: A total of 62 volunteers participated in this randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled parallel group intervention study. The volunteers were randomized to receive a milk-based drink containing either Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis Bb12 (Bb12), or Propionibacterium freudenreichii ssp. shermanii JS (PJS) or a placebo drink for 3 wk. Venous blood and saliva samples were taken at baseline and on d 1, 7 and 21. Fecal samples were collected at baseline and at the end of intervention.
Results: The serum hsCRP expressed as the median AUC(0-21) (minus baseline) was 0.018 mg/L in the placebo group, -0.240 mg/L in the LGG group, 0.090 mg/L in the Bb12 group and -0.085 mg/L in the PJS group (P = 0.014). In vitro production of TNF-alpha from in vitro cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was significantly lower in subjects receiving LGG vs placebo. IL-2 production from PBMC in the Bb12 group was significantly lower compared with the other groups.
Conclusion: In conclusion, probiotic bacteria have strain-specific anti-inflammatory effects in healthy adults.