Niklas Larsson, research director for Probi, a company which makes and sells probiotic solutions to businesses in the healthcare industry, gave new insight at the Probiota 2019 event from the company’s recently completed probiotics trial involving 250 participants.
“Almost one in two women and one in five men will suffer an osteoporosis related fracture after the age of 50 and reduced bone loss has the potential to postpone the onset of osteoporosis and the risk of fractures.
“If we can do something to improve bone health that will have a major impact on our health care systems.
“From the age of 30, we start to lose bone and this is accelerated during menopause. Men do lose bone but they start off with more bone to begin with so women are much more prone to health issues resulting from bone loss such as osteoporosis.”
The trial was performed in Sweden on 250 pre and post-menopausal women – those most vulnerable to bone loss. By the end of the year-long trial, 230 subjects remained.
In-depth bone analysis on the lumba spine – the part of the skeleton most susceptible to bone health – showed a significant difference between those taking the probiotic solution and those taking the placebo.
“Bone loss was reduced by almost 80% in the group given the probiotic solution. In the group of women closer to menopause, the data was even more significant – the difference was 85%.
“Finally, when we looked at those with osteopenia – meaning they are close to osteoporosis – amazingly enough, we saw a positive change which I think must be a statistical mistake because I don’t believe the product can help grow bone! But the data was amazing.”
Larsson says the data collected from the sample offers a huge wealth of exciting opportunities.
“For me, as a researcher, we have much more analysis to do of this set of data. We have an opportunity here to look at a massive microbiota database which is really exciting for us.”
He adds that this new knowledge about how the microbiome influences bone health opens a huge new area of women’s health.
“This is a new area to target in women’s health. We are certainly not alone in doing research into probiotics for bone health bit it looks like we are front-runners in this completely new area of probiotics.
“There’s a large market need out there and this would be really beneficial for consumers and the health care system.”