Probiotics may help treat gout, kidney disease

In a new study, researchers found a personalized probiotic therapy regimen may improve symptoms of gout, gout-related kidney disease and other signs of metabolic syndrome.

The research was conducted by …

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals around the joints.

The body produces uric acid as it breaks down purines—a compound found in many foods.

Uric acid levels in the blood rise (hyperuricemia) with gout and hardened accumulations of the crystals (tophi) may also form under the skin around affected joints.

Previous studies have linked gout with chronic inflammation and obesity, two conditions that contribute to metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of factors that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

According to the team, gout is a dangerous and under-diagnosed disease. However, the definition of metabolic syndrome does not include gout, although it is a severe and common metabolic disorder leading to kidney failure.

In the study, the team studied the effects of probiotic therapy on adults with obesity, gout and gout-related kidney disease.

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that replenish “good” bacteria in the digestive tract.

Yogurt, fermented foods and certain dietary supplements contain probiotics.

Past research suggests that probiotics decrease inflammation in the body and improve poor sugar and uric acid metabolism that contribute to the development of gout.

In the study, the type of probiotics prescribed was personalized to each volunteer based on his or her symptoms.

The researchers administered the standard minimum recommended dosage for probiotics (100 million colony-forming units).

After 10 days of probiotic therapy, the volunteers’ health improved. They had lower blood pressure, weight loss, reduced abdominal fat and waist circumference, decreased lesion size and scar tissue on the kidneys, decreased tophi size, and normal uric acid and creatinine levels in the blood.

The team says short-term probiotic therapy is effective to treat signs of metabolic syndrome and hyperuricemia and can successfully restore the function and structure of the damaged kidney in gout.

People with gout may be able to achieve the same results by eating yogurt or taking an over-the-counter probiotic supplement, but the effectiveness is likely to be higher with a personalized approach.

The lead author of the study is Rostyslav Bubnov, PhD, of the Zabolotny Institute of Microbiology and Virology.

The study was presented at the American Physiological Society (APS) Aldosterone and ENaC in Health and Disease: The Kidney and Beyond Conference.

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