START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Can Probiotics Treat Multiple Sclerosis?

Can Probiotics Treat Multiple Sclerosis?

Can probiotics help treat multiple sclerosis (MS)?

The National MS Society reports on a recent study that looks into the idea that probiotic treatment or parasitic worms, called helminths, may be used to treat MS. It is thought that the fairly harmless parasitic worms could alter immune activity in MS patients.

People in underdeveloped regions of the world experience less autoimmune disease and allergies than those in more developed countries. Interestingly, there are more cases of MS where higher standards of hygiene prevail.

Researchers wonder if early exposure to common infectious agents stimulate the body’s immune regulation and encourage healthy immune responses. Perhaps a lack of exposure to those infectious agents at a young age causes the overreaction of the immune system that triggers MS and other autoimmune disease like Chron’s disease.

In a study supported by the National MS Society, researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, gave subjects a drink containing helminth eggs over a three-month period to determine safety and preliminary impact in treating relapsing/remitting MS.

It sounds like something out of a bad science fiction movie, but the eggs hatch within the body. They mature to the approximate size of an eyelash, then head toward the intestines. Upon reaching the large intestine, the immune system kills them.

With only five participants, the study was admittedly very small. Three of the subjects had mild gastrointestinal symptoms 30 days after the first dose, but the symptoms improved within six days. There was no worsening in neurologic symptoms.

Given the small number of subjects, it is difficult to draw conclusions, but analysis indicated a vigorous immune response. Study authors caution that follow-up studies with more participants are needed, and they do not encourage patients to use these preparations outside of clinical trials. A follow-up study is already underway.

Related Reading: The Scoop on Poop and Probiotics

Read more: Blogs, Conditions, Health, Living with MS, Multiple Sclerosis, , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

48 comments

+ add your own
4:49AM PDT on Oct 21, 2012

thank you

5:08PM PDT on Oct 17, 2011

Great article. Thanks for sharing.

8:39AM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

interesting

4:07AM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

Does it mean that Probiotic dairy products available in the shops like yoghurt, ice-creams etc are good for people with MS??

1:34PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

Children surely get plenty of immune stimulation when they attend a public school. This theory seems lame.

7:07AM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

Thanks but not sure on this one, it is true all our homes are too clean and we need to improve our immune systems, but the rest I'll keep an open mind on.

3:28AM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

Maybe the moral of the story is that we need our immune systems stimulated naturally for them to develop. I've always wondered why there are so many allergies now and wondered if tha in clean houses it doesn't have much to do and turns in on itself. Also the number of chemicals in the home.
There is also a silk worm derivative which is said to break down scar tissue on the nerve endings of MS patients.

3:00AM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

3:00AM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

7:55PM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

Wouldn't surprise me.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.