Background: Chronic inflammation is one of the causes of anemia in chronic renal failure patients under hemodialysis. Probiotics probably establish a balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. The study was conducted to determine the effects of probiotic supplementation on hemoglobin (Hb) in hemodialysis patients.
Materials and methods: A parallel clinical trial was conducted in which patients were randomly allocated into two groups. The intervention group (n = 18) was given a 500 mg probiotic supplement (a capsule) every day whereas the control group (n = 18) received placebo (a capsule), both for 3 months. Hb levels and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were measured for three periods. The data were analyzed in SPSS-16 using statistical tests including the t-test and repeated-measures ANOVA.
Results: In the probiotic supplementation group, the mean Hb was 9.22 ± 1.04 mg/dl before the intervention and reached 10.85 ± 1.177 mg/dl afterward, while in the placebo group, the mean Hb level was 9.38 ± 0.97 mg/dl before the intervention and reached 10.03 ± 1.97 mg/dl afterward (P > 0.05). During the study, the placebo caused to increase of Hb temporary, but in longer term, the effect of probiotic was more manifested. Hb levels increased in both groups although the change was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). The findings showed no significant differences between the two groups in either the pre- or post-intervention CRP levels (P = 0.239).
Conclusion: Probiotic supplementation decreased Hb fluctuations in hemodialysis patients but did not result in a significant increase in Hb levels. Similar studies are therefore recommended to be conducted with a prolonged duration of the study or an increased probiotic dose with larger sample size to complete the results of the present study.
Keywords: Chronic renal failure; hemodialysis; hemoglobin; probiotic.