Probiotics boost the kidney benefits of soy milk in diabetic patients, RCT reveals

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Probiotic soy milk could provide additional benefits compared to conventional soy milk, said researchers. ©iStock
Probiotic soy milk could provide additional benefits compared to conventional soy milk, said researchers. ©iStock

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Probiotic soy milk improves several indexes of kidney function in type 2 diabetic patients with nephropathy – a major complication of diabetes and the foremost cause of end-stage renal failure.

Researchers revealed the findings after completing a clinical trial which aimed to assess the effects of consumption of probiotic soy milk, compared with conventional soy milk, on kidney-related indexes in patients with diabetic nephropathy.

The positive effect of soy consumption on kidney patients is well known, but researchers now believe these may be enhanced by the addition of probiotics.

They found administration of probiotic soy milk, containing Lactobacillus plantarum A7 ​resulted in a significant reduction in the presence of albumin in the urine, a common symptom of kidney disease, compared with conventional soy milk. 

Probiotic soymilk supplementation also led to a significant improvement in estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR).

They researchers also pointed out the effect of Lactobacillus plantarum​ on the bioavailability of the bioactive compounds in soy milk was significant, as witnessed by a marked increase in serum genistein – a soy isoflavone.

“This is the first time that the effect of administration of probiotic soy products is assessed and reported on kidney function of type 2 diabetic patients with nephropathy. Our findings demonstrated the beneficial effects of consumption of soy milk containing Lactobacillus plantarum A7 on kidney-related indexes among diabetic patients with nephropathy for eight weeks,”​ wrote the researchers.

“Probiotic soy milk significantly amended GFR and led to a significant reduction in urinary albumin-creatinine ratio, serum creatinine, serum interleukin-18 (IL-18), and serum sialic acid (SSA) concentrations.”

Controlled trial

Their study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial, where 44 patients were randomly assigned to receive 200 ml/d of either soy milk containing Lactobacillus plantarum A7 ​or conventional soy milk for eight weeks.

Fasting blood samples and morning fasting spot urine samples were collected at the beginning and after eight weeks for evaluation of biochemical parameters.

The researchers noted the fact that soy and probiotics have synergistic biotherapeutic effects may be advantageous for kidney patients.

“The effect of soy products on improving kidney functions in type 2 diabetic patients with nephropathy is well established. However, the novel achievement of the current study is that it might possible to intensify the beneficiary effects of soy by using it as medium for probiotics,” ​stated the researchers from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran, writing in the journal Kidney Diseases.

“Therefore, patients with DN can take more advantage of it, due to the direct effect of lactic bacteria on inflammation and its indirect effect of probiotics to improve the bioavailability of soy bioactive compounds.”

They concluded that probiotic soy milk could provided additional benefits compared to conventional soy milk for people with DN.

“The key outcomes of this randomized controlled trial included a significant improvement in urinary albumin-creatinine ratio, GFR, and serum creatinine, and a lack of any serious side effects in probiotic soy milk compared with conventional soy milk.

“Administration of probiotic soy milk resulted in a significant decrease in IL-18 and SSA, which are markers of progression of DN.”


Source: Kidney Diseases

Iranian Journal of Kidney Diseases, Volume 11, Number 1, January 2017

“Kidney Function Improvement by Soy Milk Containing Lactobacillus plantarum A7 in Type 2 Diabetic Patients With Nephropathy, A Double-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial​”

Authors: Behnood Abbasi, et al.

Probiota Asia 2017 

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The Probiota series is growing, and in October 2017, Singapore will host the first ever Probiota Asia event. Building on the success of the annual global Probiota and Probiota Americas events, Probiota Asia will focus exclusively on this high growth market and the challenges it faces.

Save the date: 11-13 October 2017

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