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An update on potential benefits of probiotics in gout and hyperuricaemia

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Gout causes acute inflammation around the affected joint, resulting in redness, swelling, and severe pain that can last for several days. In addition to the pain and discomfort, hyperuricemia has also been linked to the development of other serious conditions such as arteriosclerosis, cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases, and nephropathy in diabetic patients.

Conventional treatments for gout often involve heavy-duty pain relief using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids, which can have unpleasant side effects. However, recent research into probiotics as a potential natural alternative for gout sufferers has shown promising results. A 2014 Chinese study identified certain strains of lactic acid bacteria, derived from Chinese sauerkraut, that were effective in degrading purine compounds involved in uric acid metabolism. These bacteria were found to have probiotic potential and could potentially be developed as a preventive therapy for hyperuricemia.

Probiotics are already widely used for their anti-inflammatory properties, as beneficial bacteria can modulate immune responses and help reduce inflammation. Researchers from Complutense University of Madrid in Spain have also found a probiotic strain that may lower the frequency of gout episodes and reduce the need for gout-related drugs. Ligilactobacillus salivarius (L. salivarius) is a type of bacteria that naturally resides in the gastrointestinal tract. A study evaluated different strains of L. salivarius and found that L. salivarius CECT 30632 was the most effective strain in converting uric acid, inosine, and guanosine.

In a clinical trial involving 30 participants with hyperuricemia and a history of recurrent gout episodes, half of the participants were given L. salivarius CECT 30632 for 6 months, while the other half received the gout-management drug allopurinol. The group that received the L. salivarius probiotic showed a significant reduction in the number of gout episodes and use of gout-related drugs. Additionally, the probiotic was shown to improve certain blood parameters related to oxidative stress, liver damage, and metabolic syndrome in study participants.

CECT 30632 has also been linked to increased fertility in women through modulation of the vaginal microbiome.

In addition to dietary and lifestyle changes, supplementation with a high-quality, broad-spectrum probiotic may help gout sufferers better metabolize purines and uric acid, potentially reducing the frequency and severity of gout episodes. However, further research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of probiotics in managing gout and hyperuricemia.

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