Effects of Probiotics on Inflammatory Biomarkers and Its Associations With Cardiac Autonomic Function in Women With Arterial Hypertension: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial

Preclinical evidence suggests that probiotic administration may exert an anti-inflammatory effect and reduce autonomic dysfunction and blood pressure. This study evaluated the effects of probiotic therapy on inflammatory biomarkers and characterized the correlations between inflammation and cardiac autonomic function in women with arterial hypertension.

Women were randomized into probiotics (n = 20) or placebo (n = 20). The probiotic group received 109 CFU/day of Lactobacillus (L.) paracasei LPC-37, L. rhamnosus HN001, L. acidophilus NCFM, and Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, and the placebo group received polydextrose. Clinical, electrocardiogram, heart rate variability (HRV) analysis, and cytokine levels were assessed at baseline and after 8 weeks.

Women who received probiotics for 8 weeks had increased serum levels of IL-17A (p = 0.02) and decreased INF-γ (p = 0.02) compared to baseline. Probiotic supplementation increased serum levels of IL-10 compared to the placebo group (p = 0.03). Probiotic or placebo administration did not change serum levels of TNFα and IL-6. Serum levels of IL-2 (p = 0.001, and p = 0.001) and IL-4 (p = 0.001, and p = 0.001) were reduced in women receiving placebo or probiotics, respectively. Correlations between HRV indices and inflammatory variables showed that INF-γ was positively correlated with heart rate (HR) and sympathetic HRV indices and negatively correlated with vagal HRV indices. IL-10 was negatively correlated with HR and sympathetic HRV indices. IL-6 was negatively correlated with parasympathetic HRV indices and positively correlated with SD2/SD1 ratio.

Probiotic therapy has a discreet anti-inflammatory effect in hypertensive women, and pro-inflammatory cytokines were negatively correlated with vagal modulation and positively correlated with sympathetic modulation of HRV.

Published: 06 June 2024
For more information:
Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12602-024-10303-6