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Probiotics improve cellular immune function in elderly


Published in the journal Nutrition Research, this study evaluated the effect of probiotic supplementation on the cellular innate activity of healthy elderly participants. All experiments were conducted by researchers from Finland and the US.

  • Immune function declines with age, but scientists believe that probiotic supplementation can slow or reverse age-related changes.
  • The researchers hypothesized that probiotic supplementation could enhance immune function in older adults.
  • To test this hypothesis, they conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials that focused on polymorphonuclear cell phagocytic capacity or natural killer (NK) cell tumoricidal activity following short-term probiotic supplementation in the elderly.
  • They found 17 prospective controlled studies that involved a total of 733 participants. The duration of probiotic supplementation in the studies ranged from three to 12 weeks.
  • The researchers reported that probiotic supplementation increased polymorphonuclear phagocytic capacity and NK tumoricidal activity.
  • They cited short-term supplementation duration as one of the limitations of their study.

The researchers concluded that short-term probiotic supplementation enhances cellular immune function in healthy older adults.

Read the full article at this link.

Journal Reference:

Miller LE, Lehtoranta L, Lehtinen MJ. SHORT-TERM PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTATION ENHANCES CELLULAR IMMUNE FUNCTION IN HEALTHY ELDERLY: SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS OF CONTROLLED STUDIES. Nutrition Research. 2019;64:1–8. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2018.12.011

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