Diverticulitis is a digestive disorder that affects millions of people around the world. It is caused by the formation of small pouches in the intestine’s lining, which can become inflamed or infected. While various treatments are available for this condition, one alternative therapy that is gaining popularity is probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria found in certain foods and supplements, and they can help restore the natural balance of bacteria in the gut. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of probiotics for diverticulitis and how they can help to alleviate symptoms and improve overall digestive health.
Role of Gut Microbiota in Diverticulitis
The role of gut microbiota in diverticulitis has gained significant interest in recent years. Changes in gut microbiota composition, characterized by increased inflammatory activity and decreased bacteria with anti-inflammatory activity, have been observed in patients with acute diverticulitis. This dysbiosis can fuel mucosal inflammation and favor the development of abdominal symptoms. Understanding the involvement of gut microbiota in diverticulitis may help in developing new treatments, such as probiotics, which can modulate the gut microbiota and improve patient outcomes.
Use of Antibiotics in Managing Diverticulitis
In managing diverticulitis, antibiotics are commonly used to treat systemic manifestations of infection. However, overusing antibiotics can disrupt gut microbiota diversity, increase antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and lead to C. difficile infection. Guidelines recommend using antibiotics selectively rather than routinely in inpatients with uncomplicated diverticulitis due to the importance of inflammation over infection in acute diverticulitis and the negative effects of overusing antibiotics.
Limitations of Antibiotics in Diverticulitis Treatment
When treating diverticulitis, antibiotics are often used to manage systemic manifestations of infection. However, there are limitations to this approach. Antibiotics can disrupt the diversity of gut microbiota, increase antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and even lead to the flourishing of C. difficile infection. Therefore, using antibiotics selectively rather than routinely in inpatients with uncomplicated diverticulitis is recommended. In addition, overconsuming antibiotics can negatively affect the overall gut microbiota diversity.
Benefits of Probiotics as a Gut Microbiota-Targeted Intervention
Probiotics are a widely used gut microbiota-targeted intervention for managing infectious diseases and avoiding many of the side effects of antibiotics. They include anti-inflammatory functions, support for balancing the gut microbiota, intestinal mucosa-strengthening functions, and exclusion of pathogens in the gut. Probiotics may be a potential therapeutic approach for acute diverticulitis, as their mechanisms of action can help manage this disease and reduce hospitalization periods in adults.
Efficacy of Lactobacillus reuteri in Acute Uncomplicated Diverticulitis
Lactobacillus reuteri is effective in managing acute uncomplicated diverticulitis. Clinical trials have indicated that supplementation with L. reuteri can reduce hospitalization periods and alleviate symptoms such as abdominal pain. This strain of probiotics has anti-inflammatory effects in the intestine, which is beneficial in diverticulitis treatment. Further research is needed to understand the full potential of probiotics in managing diverticular disease.
Clinical Trials on the Use of Lactobacillus reuteri in Diverticulitis Treatment
Numerous clinical trials have investigated the use of Lactobacillus reuteri in treating diverticulitis. Recent studies have shown that L. reuteri ATCC PTA 4659 at a dose of 5 x 108 colony-forming units for 10 days may help manage acute uncomplicated diverticulitis and reduce hospitalization periods in adults admitted to the emergency department either as an adjuvant to standard antibiotic therapy or alone. In one randomized, double-blind placebo study, the probiotic-supplemented group showed an 8.1-point reduction in the grade of abdominal pain from day 1 compared to a 6.7 reduction in the placebo group receiving only antibiotics.
Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lactobacillus reuteri in the Intestine
Lactobacillus reuteri has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in the intestine, which is particularly important in the context of diverticulitis. This strain of bacteria has been studied in recent clinical trials and has been found to reduce abdominal pain and hours of hospitalization in adult patients with acute uncomplicated diverticulitis. It is believed that the anti-inflammatory properties of L. reuteri are due to its ability to modulate the gut microbiota and stimulate correct bowel motility. Further research is needed to fully understand the potential of probiotics in managing diverticulitis.
Conclusion: Future Research Directions in Probiotic Use for Diverticulitis
Future research directions for probiotic use in diverticulitis should focus on high-quality studies to determine the efficacy of probiotics in reducing abdominal symptoms and preventing acute attacks. The use of specific strains of probiotics and the best timing and administration dosage should also be explored. Further investigation is needed to understand better the mechanisms of action of probiotics in diverticular disease and their potential role in reducing dysbiosis and inflammation.