Probiotics and yogurt exhibit potential anti-schistosomal, hepatoprotective properties

Researchers from Saudi Arabia and Egypt evaluated the effects of probiotic or yogurt supplementation on oxidative stress and hepatic fibrosis in mice induced by the parasite Schistosoma mansoni. Their findings were published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection caused by water-borne parasitic flatworms S. mansoni. Considerable morbidity, mortality, and economic loss can result from this infection.
  • Schistosoma eggs are deposited in the hepatic portal vein, a blood vessel that carries blood from certain organs to the liver. Schistosomiasis causes liver fibrosis and subsequent liver cirrhosis.
  • Scientific data show that probiotics, which are beneficial microorganisms, can counter the harmful effects of parasitic infections.
  • To test this, the researchers used mice infected with Schistosoma cercariae (larvae) by tail immersion. The models were then given oral treatment with either probiotics or yogurt for one week before infection and immediately post-infection.
  • The mice were sacrificed on day 56 following infection with S. mansoni. The researchers then harvested liver samples.
  • Oral treatment of probiotics or yogurt significantly reduced the number and load of eggs and the size of granuloma in liver tissue, which is an indication of the decreased level of matrix metalloproteinases 9 enzyme in liver tissue.
  • Results also showed a significant reduction in the oxidative stress markers induced by S. mansoni infection, including lipid peroxidation and nitrite/nitrate.
  • Probiotic supplementation also enhanced the level of some antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase) and reduced glutathione levels.
  • Oral administration of probiotics or yogurt also inhibited apoptosis in the hepatic tissue, which is mainly an indication of decreased levels of caspases-3 in liver tissue.

The researchers concluded that supplementing with probiotics or yogurt have promising antiparasitic and hepatoprotective properties that may counter the effects of schistosomiasis.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

Visit for more studies on the benefits of probiotics and yogurt.

Journal Reference:

El-Khadragy MF, Al-Olayan EM, Elmallah MIY, Alharbi AM, Yehia HM, Moneim AEA. PROBIOTICS AND YOGURT MODULATE OXIDATIVE STRESS AND FIBROSIS IN LIVERS OF SCHISTOSOMA MANSONI-INFECTED MICE. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2019;19(1). DOI:10.1186/s12906-018-2406-3

comments powered by Disqus