Effects of Gut Microbiome Modulation on Reducing Adverse Health Outcomes among Elderly and Diabetes Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial (IMPACT Study).
Plain language summary
Worldwide, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed a substantial challenge in terms of its induced morbidity and mortality to the general population. Patients with diabetes and elderly individuals are particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a novel microbiome immunity formula (SIM01) in reducing adverse health outcomes in the elderly and patients with type two diabetes mellitus during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study was a double-blind, randomised, parallel-arm, placebo-controlled trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a microbiome immunity formula (SIM01) or placebo in a 1:1 ratio for three months. Results showed that SIM01, could reduce adverse health outcomes, improve quality of life, and restore gut dysbiosis among elderly subjects and patients with type two diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, SIM01 not only replenished Bifidobacteria but also favoured the coexistence of other beneficial species. Authors conclude that their findings provide significant societal implications for strategies that could protect these vulnerable individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gut microbiota is believed to be a major determinant of health outcomes. We hypothesised that a novel oral microbiome formula (SIM01) can reduce the risk of adverse health outcomes in at-risk subjects during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In this single-centre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, we recruited subjects aged ≥65 years or with type two diabetes mellitus. Eligible subjects were randomised in a 1:1 ratio to receive three months of SIM01 or placebo (vitamin C) within one week of the first COVID-19 vaccine dose. Both the researchers and participants were blinded to the groups allocated. The rate of adverse health outcomes was significantly lower in the SIM01 group than the placebo at one month (6 [2.9%] vs. 25 [12.6], p < 0.001) and three months (0 vs. 5 [3.1%], p = 0.025). At three months, more subjects who received SIM01 than the placebo reported better sleep quality (53 [41.4%] vs. 22 [19.3%], p < 0.001), improved skin condition (18 [14.1%] vs. 8 [7.0%], p = 0.043), and better mood (27 [21.2%] vs. 13 [11.4%], p = 0.043). Subjects who received SIM01 showed a significant increase in beneficial Bifidobacteria and butyrate-producing bacteria in faecal samples and strengthened the microbial ecology network. SIM01 reduced adverse health outcomes and restored gut dysbiosis in elderly and diabetes patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Efficacy and Safety of the Adjuvant Use of Probiotic Bacillus clausii Strains in Pediatric Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study.
Paediatric drugs. 2023;25(1):115-126
Plain language summary
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is considered both a health and a socioeconomic burden. Curative treatment for IBS is currently not available and current management strategies vary. Gut microbiota dysbiosis is increasingly considered as a vital factor in the etiopathogenetic of IBS; thus, gut microbiota are a potential therapeutic target. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of Bacillus clausii plus conventional treatment, compared with placebo plus conventional treatment, in children with IBS in Mexico. This study is a phase III, multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel clinical trial. Patients (n=259) were centrally randomised 1:1 to treatment with either B. clausii or placebo. Results show that IBS symptom relief in children was very high in both groups (B. clausii and placebo). In fact, there weren’t any significant differences between groups for proportion of patients with clinical improvements at Week 8 or any of the key secondary endpoints. Furthermore, the adverse event profile was similar between groups. Authors conclude that their study was not able to demonstrate the efficacy of B. clausii as an adjuvant to conventional treatment of patients with IBS.
OBJECTIVES Current irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treatments have limited efficacy and probiotics like Bacillus clausii (B. clausii) were found to be effective in the management of several gastrointestinal disorders. This phase III trial assessed the efficacy and safety of adding B. clausii (four strains: O/C, N/R, SIN, T), versus placebo, to conventional treatment of pediatric IBS in Mexico. METHODS Patients aged 6-17 years 11 months with IBS (Rome IV) for at least 2 months were randomized to receive either B. clausii (oral suspension, total dose 4 billion spores/day) or placebo once daily for 8 weeks. All patients also received conventional treatment. The primary endpoint was the difference in the proportion of patients with clinical improvements at Week 8 (Global Assessment Questions [GAQ]). Secondary endpoints included responders by Subject's Global Assessment of Relief for Children with IBS (SGARC); number/consistency of stools; abdominal distention/bloating; abdominal pain/intensity; and IBS behavior. RESULTS 73.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 67.3-80.0; B. clausii n = 129) and 78.5% (95% CI 72.5-84.4; placebo n = 130) of patients had symptom improvement (p = 0.8182). For Week 8 SGARC, 19.2% (B. clausii) and 20.9% (placebo) reported complete symptom relief. Stool evaluations, bloating, abdominal pain/intensity, and IBS behavior were similar between groups. Both treatments were well tolerated. CONCLUSION No significant differences in efficacy between B. clausii and placebo were demonstrated in addition to conventional treatment. The sample size calculation was based on an expected placebo/conventional treatment response of 30-40%. However, the actual treatment response observed was 80% and, thus, a study with larger population would be warranted. In addition, this study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, when such controlled social conditions may have resulted in better diet, greater family stability, less psychological stress, and lower risk of infections exacerbating IBS, thereby improving symptoms in both groups. EUDRACT NUMBER 2018-004519-31.