Lallemand’s Lafti L10 probiotic may provide natural antioxidant defence for athletes

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock/Chris W
©iStock/Chris W
New analysis looking into the effect of Lallemand’s Lactobacillus helveticus Lafti L10 probiotic reveals an antioxidant potential that may interest athletes in the periods before or during strenuous exercise.

The study found a notable decrease in oxidative stress (MDA and AOPP) markers and an increase in the defence marker against oxidative stress (SOD) in the Lafti group and not in the placebo.

“Probiotic supplementation decreases markers of cumulative oxidation of lipids (MDA) and proteins (AOPP), probably by augmentation of antioxidant enzyme SOD activity,”​ the study team suggested.

“However, studies including larger samples of athletes are needed to confirm our findings and elucidate the mechanisms regarding the antioxidant effect of Lafti supplementation in athletes.”

As well as addressing allergies, eczema, food intolerance, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, probiotic supplements have also gained interest as potential antioxidant agents due to production of a variety of bioactive peptides, anti-oxidative enzyme upregulation and re-establishment of gut flora.

Antioxidant potential of probiotics

To date, three studies specifically examine antioxidant potential of probiotics in athletes, providing evidence of probiotics’ support for antioxidant defence against exercise-induced over-production of free radicals.

Supplementation with L​. rhamnosus​ and L. paracasei​ over four weeks increased plasma antioxidant levels​while multi-species probiotics exerted a beneficial effect on exercise-induced protein oxidation​.

Conversely, Lactobacillus rhamnosus​ (LGG) supplementation did not affect oxidised-LDL particles​,​ serum antioxidant potential (s-TRAP) or serum antioxidants levels in runners during a 3-month period.

Enrolling twenty-two elite athletes randomly to either placebo or probiotic groups, the team from Charles University in Prague and the University of Belgrade, began the Lafti study by supplementing the probiotic group with 2x1010​ colony forming units of Lafti L10 capsules for 14 weeks.

Before and after the supplementation serum samples were collected in which markers of oxidative stress and anti-oxidative defence: superoxide dismutase (SOD), paraoxonase (PON), advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP), malondialdehyde (MDA), were determined.

Total cholesterol levels, HDL-cholesterol levels, and LDL-cholesterol were also noted in serum samples.

At the end of the study, ‘significant attenuation’​ of the markers of oxidative stress (MDA and AOPP) and an increase in the marker of defence against oxidative stress (SOD) were observed in the Lafti L10 group but not in the placebo.

After 14 weeks, the total level of cholesterol decreased in the probiotic group, HDL-c decreased and LDL-c decreased in the Lafti L10 group compared to initial probiotic baseline but not compared to placebo.

‘Attenuation of oxidative stress markers’

“The most important result of the present study is the attenuation of the markers of oxidative stress MDA and AOPP in the probiotic group, suggesting antioxidant potential of probiotic Lafti,”​ the team said.

“Moreover, we found an increasing trend in SOD activity in the probiotic group. We suppose that upregulation of SOD contributed to the decrease in MDA and AOPP in the probiotic group.

“Upregulation of the activity of antioxidant enzymes, such as SOD, catalase and glutathione reductase by probiotic supplementation was previously reported.”

The team also highlighted a limitation of the study commenting on the relatively small number of variables of prooxidant-antioxidant balance measured.

“The levels of other markers (glutathione, alpha-lipoic acid, S-ubiquinone, vitamins C, A and E, carotenoids, catalase and glutathione reductase) would provide a more detailed picture of oxidative stress and antioxidant status in the present cohort of athletes,”​ the study concluded.

However, a strength of the current study looked at athletes with high training loads (over 11 hours training per week) that they followed during a habitual competitive season, under regular dietary and training conditions.

Source: Journal of Human Kinetics

Published online: doi:10.1515/hukin-2017-0203

“Effects of Probiotic Supplementation on Selected Parameters of Blood Prooxidant‐Antioxidant Balance in Elite Athletes: A Double‐Blind Randomized Placebo‐Controlled Study.”

Authors: Danica Michalickova, Jelena Kotur-Stevuljevic, Milica Miljkovic, Nenad Dikic, Marija Kostic-Vucicevic, Marija Andjelkovic, Vladimir Koricanac, and Brizita Djordjevic

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