Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Probiotics prevent deadly complications of liver disease, study finds

Date:
June 6, 2014
Source:
American Gastroenterological Association
Summary:
Probiotics are effective in preventing hepatic encephalopathy in patients with cirrhosis of the liver, according to a new study. The investigators conducted trial with cirrhosis patients who showed risk factors for hepatic encephalopathy, but had yet to experience an obvious episode. When comparing treatment with probiotics versus placebo, the researchers found that the incidence of hepatic encephalopathy was lower in patients treated with probiotics.

Probiotics are effective in preventing hepatic encephalopathy in patients with cirrhosis of the liver, according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. Hepatic encephalopathy is a deterioration of brain function that is a serious complication of liver disease.

Related Articles


"This rigorous new research finds that probiotics modify the gut microbiota to prevent hepatic encephalopathy in patients with cirrhosis of the liver," said David W. Victor III, MD, who contributed an editorial in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology on this research. "These results offer a safe, well-tolerated and perhaps cheaper alternative to current treatments."

The investigators from Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital, New Delhi, India, conducted a single-center, prospective, open-label, randomized trial with cirrhosis patients who showed risk factors for hepatic encephalopathy, but had yet to experience an obvious episode. When comparing treatment with probiotics versus placebo, the researchers found that the incidence of hepatic encephalopathy was lower in patients treated with probiotics.

Probiotic supplementation was not associated with any side effects and none of the patients required discontinuation of therapy. These results suggest that probiotics are similar in effectiveness to the current standard of care, lactulose, in the prevention of hepatic encephalopathy, yet they appear to be much better tolerated. The effectiveness of lactulose, a nonabsorbable disaccharide, is limited by side effects (diarrhea, bloating and gas) and a narrow therapeutic window.

"By virtue of its size, study duration and design, as well as the thorough nature of the baseline and follow-up assessments, this study represents an important contribution to the hepatic encephalopathy literature," added Dr. Victor, a practicing hepatologist in the Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center at Houston Methodist Hospital, TX.

Up to 45 percent of patients with cirrhosis develop hepatic encephalopathy, a loss of brain function that occurs when the liver is unable to remove toxins from the blood. Prognosis is poor, with a 58 percent mortality rate at one year, and a 77 percent mortality rate at three years. Research into safer and more effective treatments is essential for these patients.

The microbial communities that reside in the human gut and their impact on human health and disease are one of the most exciting and promising areas of research today. The AGA Center for Gut Microbiome Research and Education is committed to advancing this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Gastroenterological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Manish Kumar Lunia, Barjesh Chander Sharma, Praveen Sharma, Sanjeev Sachdeva, Siddharth Srivastava. Probiotics Prevent Hepatic Encephalopathy in Patients With Cirrhosis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2014; 12 (6): 1003 DOI: 10.1016/j.cgh.2013.11.006
  2. David W. Victor, Eamonn M.M. Quigley. Hepatic Encephalopathy Involves Interactions Among the Microbiota, Gut, Brain. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2014; 12 (6): 1009 DOI: 10.1016/j.cgh.2014.01.022

Cite This Page:

American Gastroenterological Association. "Probiotics prevent deadly complications of liver disease, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140606102047.htm>.
American Gastroenterological Association. (2014, June 6). Probiotics prevent deadly complications of liver disease, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140606102047.htm
American Gastroenterological Association. "Probiotics prevent deadly complications of liver disease, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140606102047.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins