Probiotics, Mucus Supplements Prevent Postantibiotic Bone Loss

Lactobacillus, probiotic
Supplementation with probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri and mucus supplements significantly prevent bone loss from consequences of postantibiotic microbial gut dysbiosis.

Supplementation with probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri and mucus supplements inhibit intestinal barrier leak and significantly prevent bone loss from consequences of postantibiotic microbial gut dysbiosis, according to study results published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

The investigators of this study sought to examine the effects of a repopulated microbiome following antibiotic treatment on gut and bone health in skeletally mature mice. They also investigated whether mucus or probiotic supplementation could prevent bone loss associated with antibiotic-induced dysbiosis.

The investigators treated 12-week-old male mice with broad-spectrum oral antibiotics to deplete intestinal microbiota. After 2 weeks of antibiotic treatment, the mice were allowed to naturally repopulate their microbiota. Mice were treated for 4 weeks after receiving antibiotics with sterile drinking water or water containing L reuteriLactobacillus rhamnosus, nonpathogenic Escherichia coli, or a mucus supplement (1.25% MDY-1001, a high-molecular-weight polymer).

Investigators analyzed trabecular bone in the femur and lumbar vertebrae, including parameters of volume, thickness, and spacing. Mechanical measures tested bone for structural properties regarding stress and strain. Intestinal permeability was tested both in vivo and ex vivo. Finally, the investigators performed an analysis of microbial communities from mouse fecal samples.

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The study results showed no difference in bacterial load between the group of postantibiotic treated mice and the control group; however, the composition of the repopulated microbiomes between groups was different. In mice treated with antibiotics, the Firmicutes levels were increased while the Bacteroidetes levels were decreased, and after 4 weeks, the postantibiotic treated mice had a significant reduction in bone volume compared with the control mice (approximately 30%). Correlation analyses indicated that femoral bone volume was significantly and negatively associated with the Firmicutes:Bacteroidetes ratio (P =.0097).

Investigating the relationship between postantibiotic dysbiosis and bone density, the researchers discovered that treatment with the mucus supplement prevented femoral and vertebral bone loss. In addition, supplementation with L reuteri was the only treatment that reduced the elevated Firmicutes:Bacteroidetes ratio after antibiotic use.

The investigators suggested that following antibiotic use, dysbiosis-induced bone loss may be prevented by treatment with probiotic L reuteri and by enhancement of intestinal barrier function using mucus supplements.

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Schepper JD, Collins FL, Rios-Arce ND, et al. Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri preventspostantibiotic bone loss by reducing intestinal dysbiosis and preventingbarrier disruption [published online January 28,2019]. J Bone Miner Res.doi:10.1002/jbmr.3635