Probiotics arm immune system against cancer cells and germs
The functional foods with probiotics that you can buy in the supermarket make your immune cells attack cancer cells and germs more aggressively. This is apparent from a meta-study published by American researchers in Nutrition Research.
The researchers collected 17 previously published studies, in which healthy people aged 40-84 were given a portion of probiotics every day for 3-12 weeks. In the studies, test subjects received the Bifidobacters or Lactobacilli that you can buy in the supermarket. The subjects usually received the probiotics in the form of functional foods such as yogurt or milk.
Here you will find more details about the studies used.
In the studies, the researchers looked at two types of immune cells: granulocytes and Natural Killer Cells. The researchers had derived those immune cells from the test subjects' blood, and had brought them into contact with germs and cancer cells in test tubes. They then determined how quickly the immune cells switched off the germs or cancer cells.
The use of probiotics enhanced both granulocytes [first figure below] and Natural Killer Cells [second figure]. Those effects were statistically significant.
"Short-term probiotic supplementation enhances cellular immune function in healthy elderly adults," the researchers summarize. "The influence of probiotic supplementation on clinical parameters such as resistance to infection was not evaluated and requires further investigation."
Almost forgot. The researchers were paid by DuPont, a producer of probiotics.
Nutr Res. 2019 Apr;64:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2018.12.011. Epub 2018 Dec 28.
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