Imbalances in both the gut and oral microbiome (dysbiosis) have been linked to chronic inflammation and disease progression. In the mouth, chronic inflammation can often be the initiator of periodontal disease. In the gut, inflammation is associated with the pathophysiology of many disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular disease (DD). Evidence also suggests that the oral microbiome may influence gut health and the inflammatory response. For instance, oral microorganisms have been shown to influence activity in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) when related to certain instances of colonic inflammation. Research indicates that certain probiotics including Lactobacillus paracasei (L. paracasei) may help support gastrointestinal (GI) health and the inflammatory response.
A recent review by Bretto and colleagues explored the potential for L. paracasei CNCM I 1572 to support the body’s response to DD. DD is a GI condition involving outpouching from the layers of the colon. It may affect 60-70% of individuals older than 60 in the United States and Europe and is the fifth-most costly GI condition in those countries. DD often involves alterations in mucosal barrier function, gut microbial composition, and inflammation.
The treatment groups in the clinical studies included in the Bretto and colleagues review experienced reductions in typical symptoms associated with DD when compared with placebo. In addition, this strain of L. paracasei was shown to help increase nitric oxide (NO) and inducible NO synthase expression, two agents associated with supporting cellular function and mucosal barrier health.
A recent animal study investigated the potential for L. paracasei X11 to support kidney health. This study reported that L. paracasei X11 helped promote certain aspects of normal kidney function in mouse models exhibiting increased blood uric acid levels. Decreases in proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1β and improvements in gut microbial composition were also observed. However, clinical studies are needed before any conclusions can be made.
Clinical studies suggest that L. paracasei may help support oral health. Reductions in gingival inflammation have been reported in the presence of L. paracasei supplementation. In a randomized controlled trial, improvements in dental structural health and levels of unwanted bacteria including Streptococcus mutans were also reported.
L. paracasei is a probiotic that has been studied for its potential to support digestive function, gut microbial integrity, periodontal health, and many other aspects of human health. It may also promote a normal inflammatory response and a healthy connection between the oral and gut microbiome.
By Dr. C. Ambrose, ND, MAT