Metabolic syndrome is a complex disease associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as increased mortality. In the elderly, the features of the syndrome are a major cause of morbidity and mortality.
The microbiota plays a role in the metabolic syndrome: a dysbiotic status can compromise some cardiometabolic receptors increasing the incidence of the disease.
According to this, some studies have tested the effectiveness of some probiotic strains in improving the composition of the microbiota and in counteracting the metabolic syndrome. Clinical results were generally positive.
«In this context – explains Arrigo FG Cicero, professor at the University of Bologna and president of the Italian Society of Nutraceuticals – we carried out a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial on 60 elderly subjects. They were randomized to be treated with a synbiotic, a combination of three specific probiotic strains* and one prebiotic fiber, to evaluate whether, in the short term, their metabolic and inflammatory parameters were influenced by this type of supplementation compared to the placebo treatment. We observed a global improvement in the circumference of the waist and in the levels of triglycerides, HDL cholesterol and fasting blood glucose. There was also a considerable improvement in the markers of systemic inflammation such as the high sensitivity CRP protein level which is known to be strongly correlated not only with inflammatory diseases, but also with the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The results of this study support the idea that the supplementation with a synbiotic could have a general positive effect on the metabolism. The main advantage of such approach is that it could also be beneficial for the health of the intestine, for the immune function and for health in general.»
«Another important advantage – concludes Cicero – is that this approach is not associated with any risk of interaction with drugs most commonly used by the elderly. »
We discussed the correlation between metabolic syndrome and synbiotic supplementation with Arrigo F. G. Cicero.
This interview was made possible thanks to the unconditional contribution of Roelmi HPC
(*) probiotic complex (L. plantarum PBS067, L. acidophilus PBS066, L. reuteri PBS072)