Randomized open-label pilot study of the influence of probiotics and the gut microbiome on toxic metal levels in Tanzanian pregnant women and school children.
Bottom Line: Food-grade microbes that can be delivered to the gastrointestinal tract and that are capable of sequestering toxins present a safe and cost-effective intervention.The children and pregnant women in the study were found to have elevated blood levels of lead and mercury compared to age- and sex-matched Canadians.Consumption of probiotic yogurt had a protective effect against further increases in mercury (3.2 nmol/liter; P = 0.035) and arsenic (2.3 nmol/liter; P = 0.011) blood levels in the pregnant women, but this trend was not statistically significant in the children.
Affiliation: National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza, Tanzania.Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: A total of 74 fecal samples from the children were collected and processed for sequencing. For all but one of these samples, 16S rRNA gene sequences were successfully obtained with a total number of reads of 1,150,628, averaging 15,762 reads per sample. With clustering at 97% nucleotide identity, 177 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were obtained at ≥1% abundance. These data were summarized to the family level and are presented in Fig. 2. Nearly all samples contained Prevotella as the dominant genera and Prevotellaceae as the dominant family. Administration of the probiotic was not observed to have an effect on the gut bacterial community composition based on analysis of weighted and unweighted UniFrac metrics (14) (data not shown), as previously reported (15). The use of 16S rRNA sequencing also gave the unique opportunity to presumptively validate probiotic administration, as one OTU could be mapped back to the genome of L. rhamnosus GR-1 (OTU_140). This OTU was not observed in any sample prior to the start of the study and, with only one exception, was only observed in the group that received probiotic yogurt. The exception (PDTX25) was excluded from analysis of probiotic efficacy in the SAC group.
Affiliation: National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza, Tanzania.