Various studies show that supplementing with a probiotic may slow the progression towards disability and improve mental health (reduce depression and anxiety), cognitive and motor function, and general health for MS patients.
This post discusses the research review, Probiotics and Commensal Gut Microbiota as the Effective Alternative Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis Patients Treatment which explores the use of probiotics to help people who suffer from MS.
Dysbiosis is linked to disease progression in both relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS) patients. Dysbiosis means that the types of microbes that live within a person are out of balance. People diagnosed with MS have too many disease-causing microbes (parasites) and not enough health-promoting microbes present in their body, especially the GI tract.
The parasites cause leaky gut, which is very common in those with MS. Leaky gut occurs when there is a breakdown of the lining of the intestines allowing undigested food, microbes and toxins to enter the bloodstream. This results in inflammation as our immune system tries to defend us from things that shouldn’t be present in our blood.
The gut-brain axis (GBA) describes the many interactions between microbes that live in our gut or intestines, and our central nervous system (CNS), immune system and endocrine system. There is a two way communication between our gut microbes and our CNS. Much scientific evidence shows that the microbes that live in the intestines profoundly affect the GBA relationship, and therefore affect our mental health, mood regulation and motor function.
People suffering from MS have changes in their GBA. Those changes are believed to be involved in causing MS and impact how quickly the disease progresses. Research shows that supplementing with probiotic bacteria may improve cognitive and motor function and mental health by modulating the GBA pathways.
The number of microorganisms that live in the human intestinal tract are estimated to be greater than 100 trillion and we have about 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells in our body.
Probiotics are supplements that contain health-promoting microbes. They are taken to introduce more health-promoting microbes into the gut and the healthy metabolites they produce in hopes of restoring balance and improving health.
Our health-promoting microbes have many important jobs such as:
- acting as our natural defense against parasites
- supporting proper digestion and absorption of nutrients
- making vitamins for us
- modulating our immune system
- cell to cell communication
- affecting brain development and function, including regulating nerve impulses, creating new nerves and myelination.
The gut microflora has been referred to as the ‘second brain’ because they affect brain function and have a major influence on the development of mental disorders. There have been many reports that probiotics improve mental state and cognition.
Health-promoting microbes in our digestive track improve our mental health and neurological functions, mood, anxiety, attention, memory and cognition.
There is growing evidence that the metabolites that certain bacteria produce play a critical role in the regulation of our immune system also.
It is well-known that gut microbes have a significant impact on central nervous system health and lack thereof.
It is now believed that the microbes that live in the gut can affect the development and function of the central nervous system, including the maturing of immune cells, the formation of the blood-brain barrier, the creation of new nerves and the myelination of nerves.
Health-promoting intestinal microbes provide a strong foundation that supports the proper transmission of nerve signals or impulses and play an active role in maintaining balance and stability in the central nervous system. At the same time, the central nervous system controls most processes that occur in the GI tract.
An increasing body of evidence shows that the two-way interactions between the immune system and gut microbes are crucial in the severity and progression of MS.
Hallmark signs of MS:
- changes in gut microbes
- gut dysbiosis
- leaky gut
- blood-brain barrier disruption
- loss of oligodendrocytes
- microglial activation
- astrocyte proliferation.
Oligodendrocytes are cells that specialize in myelin production, microglia are CNS immune cells (macrophages), and astrocytes are cells involved in supporting neurons.[i]
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced by our immune system in response to parasites. Increased concentrations of ROS are present in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of MS patients which is more evidence that MS is an infectious disease.
The Results of Studies Exploring the Benefits of Probiotic Therapy for People Who Suffer from MS
Each point summaries the conclusions of a separate study:
- Changes in the types of gut microbes were associated with immune modulation in MS patients. This effect did not continue after the probiotic was discontinued.
- Probiotics may improve disability and mental health through immune modulation and by enhancing serotonin in the brain.
- People living with MS reported improvements in mental health such as less depression, anxiety and stress and improved general health.
- Probiotic supplementation showed a significant influence on sanity health.
- Supplementation with probiotics was reported to reduce fatigue and pain in MS patients.
- Inflammatory and oxidative stress markers were significantly affected by probiotic supplementation.
- Taking probiotics may influence gene expression.
- Decrease serum insulin levels and decreased inflammatory markers resulted from probiotic supplementation.
- The types of microbes in the probiotic supplements in the above studies mostly included various strain of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria.
All of these studies show that supplementing with a probiotic may improve some symptoms by modulating the immune response in MS patients. But it’s unclear if these improvements will continue if the supplements are no longer taken.
I have been on this health journey for 34 years and I’ve tried numerous different types of probiotics. I personally have not noticed a significant difference when taking them.
Through my own journey and in coaching hundreds of others we have found that homemade raw sauerkraut is by far the most helpful to restore balance to the microbes that live in the GI tract.
Raw sauerkraut can also be purchased in the refrigerated section of a grocery store or health food store. If the sauerkraut is on the shelf, it has been pasteurized and will not contain health-promoting microbes.
Homemade raw sauerkraut from organic vegetables contains the greatest diversity of health-promoting microbes, which is important for health.
We have discovered that people who suffer from chronic disease and dysbiosis, do not tolerate pre-biotics which are added to some of the probiotic supplements. The pre-biotics in a supplement make their symptoms worse and therefore we recommend a dairy free, sugar-free probiotic that does not contain pre-biotics.
Supplementing with the right probiotic may provide marginal symptom improvement but we will still live with disease. In order to recover we must treat the parasites that are causing the disease.
There are real solutions to recover from parasites today!
To restore health, we must focus on treating the cause of inflammation, which are parasites. First, identify the enemy (parasites), then support the body and treat the parasites while following a holistic approach. When parasitic infections are treated effectively, we can overcome inflammation or disease.
If you’re frustrated with the fact that our standard of care STILL doesn’t offer a real solution for treating MS or other diseases, then click on the link below to watch Pam Bartha’s free masterclass training and discover REAL solutions that have allowed Pam and many others to live free from MS.
Clinically diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 28, Pam chose an alternative approach to recovery. Now decades later and still symptom free, she coaches others on how to treat the root cause of chronic disease, using a holistic approach. She can teach you how, too.
Pam is the author of Become a Wellness Champion and founder of Live Disease Free. She is a wellness expert, coach and speaker.
The Live Disease Free Academy has helped hundreds of Wellness Champions in over 15 countries take charge of their health and experience profound improvements in their life.