Probiotics may protect against lung diseases associated with heavy drinking

Probiotics in general may help protect against mandatory lung disease screening in large Australian cities according to a new study published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. When bacteria colonize the normal airways of overweight (BMI between 25 and 30) and obese (BMI 41 to 55) individuals they cause systemic inflammation that degrades the lining of airways and interferes with breathing. That in turn may increase susceptibility to respiratory diseases associated with heavy alcohol drinking particularly chronic obstructive airway diseases or COPD.

COPD is a common and disabling respiratory disease affecting more than 5. 98 million people worldwide. There is no specific treatment for COPD and its main cause is progressive systemic airway obstruction.

Janja Aakber-Schmidt from the Danish Cancer Society Thorstein Dormant and the University of Southern Denmark and her colleagues analyzed the data of 7340 large-scale community based studies published between 1998 and 2018 including both in Danish and international languages.

By excluding studies with a high impact-based methodological approach the researchers were only able to identify positive findings on determining whether probiotics can protect against autoinflammatory respiratory diseases. Specifically probiotics that showed an increase in mucositis the inflammation marker expressed by harmful bacteria in the lung in non-infected individuals were protective against B-lymphocyte white blood cells (B-win) infections and COPD compared to those studies that showed no increase. Conversely probiotics for which the increase in lung mucositis was a significant effect had no protective action against Type 2 diabetes. This contrasts with probiotics that showed no increase in asthma and COPD type 2 disorder.

This confirms the effect of probiotics specific to COPD in limiting the exacerbation of disease as well as the protective effect of probiotics in general. Probiotics specific to existing COPD is already being used in Australia and to patients now enrolled in clinical trials. In future the findings of this study have implications for the clinical study of probiotics and potential for the improvement of clinical benefit in COPD patients the researchers explain.

Solomon Philanthropist the Dutch Nobel laureate and charitable trustee of the University of Southern Denmark was Prof Lennart Neand who in 1955 founded the Aarhus University and who lives in Skagtic Finland.