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Efficacy of Probiotics in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Spondyloarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

PainSci » bibliography » Sanchez et al 2022

One article on PainSci cites Sanchez 2022: Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements for Pain & Healing

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

BACKGROUND: We aimed to provide a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials assessing the effect of probiotics supplementation on symptoms and disease activity in patients with chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis (RA), spondylarthritis (SpA), or psoriatic arthritis).

METHODS: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis from RA and SpA randomized controlled trials were conducted searching for articles in MEDLINE/PubMed and abstracts from recent international rheumatology meetings. The control group was a placebo or another dietary intervention. The risk of bias of the selected studies was evaluated using the Cochrane Collaboration tool and the Jadad scale.

RESULTS: The initial search yielded 173 articles. Of these, 13 studies were included in the qualitative synthesis, 8 concerning a total of 344 RA patients and 2 concerning a total of 197 SpA patients. Three meta-analyses were also analyzed. Probiotic strains and quantities used were different among trials (5 studies using Lactobacillus sp., 1 trial Bacillus coagulans and the others a mix of different probiotic strains). Time to assess response ranged from 8 weeks to one year. Two studies associated probiotic supplementation with a dietary intervention. Meta-analysis showed a statistically significant decrease of C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration (mean difference (MD)) -3.04 (95% CI -4.47, -1.62) mg/L, p < 0.001; I2 = 20%, n patients = 209) with probiotics in RA. However, after excluding high-risk-of-bias trials of meta-analysis, there was no difference between probiotics and placebo on DAS28 (standard MD -0.54; 95% CI -1.94 to 0.85, p = 0.45, I2 93%, n patients = 143). The two studies on SpA patients showed no efficacy of probiotics.

CONCLUSIONS: Probiotic supplementation might decrease RA activity with a moderate decrease effect on CRP, but lack of evidence and studies' heterogeneity do not allow us to propose them to patients with inflammatory arthritis to control their disease. Further RCTs are required in the future to determinate the efficacy of probiotics and the optimal administration design.

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