The bacteria in Synbiotic 2000 – summary of the results of the research
In a research project that was started in 1999, Stig Bengmark, and some of his colleagues began the hunt for the four bacterial strains that later became the basis of the research preparation, Synbiotic 2000. These four bacterial strains – Pediococcus pentosaceus 16: 1 (LMG P-20608), Lactobacillus casei subsp. paracasei (LMG P-17806), Lactobacillus plantarum 2592 (LMG P-20606), and Leuconostoc mesenteroides (LMG P-20607) – were selected for their beneficial effects on health and for how they interacted with each other. Together, the strains have a synergistic effect where they reinforce each other’s properties which primarily affect the suppression of inflammation and infections.
Further studies examined the effects of the bacterial combination in several different areas – including liver surgery and liver transplants, trauma, surgery, liver disease, gastric surgery, acute pancreatitis, organ damage and viral infections.
Below is a summary of some of the effects that the bacterial strains in Synbiotic 2000 showed.
Reduction of infections
One of the most studied properties of the bacteria in Synbiotic 2000 is their ability to reduce and prevent the occurrence of infections.
In connection with trauma, organ transplants, organ damage, operations and other major procedures, the risk of suffering from various types of infections is high. Infection is caused by an infectious agent that enters the body – bacteria, viruses or fungi are the most common infectious agents. In the case of bacterial infections, antibiotics are often used to kill the bacteria.
Synbiotic 2000 has been shown in studies to be effective in preventing infections in several different contexts. In addition, there are a number of cases where it’s been shown that there’s a reduced risk of suffering from blood poisoning, a reduced need for antibiotics, and fewer days needed in intensive care.
- Bengmark S. Synbiotic Control of Inflammation and Infection in Transplantation.
- Han Chunmao, Martindale R, Huang H, Bengmark S. Pre- and postoperative enteral supply of a synbiotic composition reduces the incidence of postoperative septic complications in abdominal cancer surgery.
- Rayes N, Seehofer D, Theruvath T, Schiller RA, Langrehr JM, Jonas S, et al. Combined perioperative enteral supply of bioactive pre- and probiotics abolishes postoperative bacterial infections in human liver transplantation / a randomised, double blind clinical trial.
- Bengmark S. Bioecological control of organ failure: the role of enteral nutrition, probiotics and synbiotics
- Spindler-Vesel A, Bengmark S, Vovk I, et al. Synbiotics, prebiotics, glutamine or peptide in early enteral nutrition: a randomized study in trauma patients
- Giamarellos-Bourboulis E, Bengmark S, Kanellakopoulou K, et al. Pro and Synbiotics to control inflammation and infection in patients with multiple injuries
- Rayes N, Seehofer D, Theruvath T, et al. Effect of enteral nutrition and Synbiotics on bacterial infection rates after pylorus-preserving pancreatoduodenectomy
- Kotzampassi K, Giamarellos-Bourboulis E, Voudouris A, Kazamias P, et al. Benefits of a synbiotic formula (Synbiotic 2000Forte) in critically ill trauma patients: early results of a randomized controlled trial
Reduced occurrence of brain fog
The bacteria in Synbiotic 2000 have been shown to reduce the occurrence of brain fog or Encephalopathy, to call it by its medical name. Encephalopathy is a condition originally associated with chronic liver disease or acute liver damage. Nowadays, however, it’s increasingly common among patients with other chronic diseases such as diabetes and chronic organ diseases, as well as with obesity.
The symptoms vary greatly as some people have no symptoms at all while others can suffer from very serious, even life-threatening conditions. In less serious cases, this may include mild sleep disorders, as well as changes in concentration and memory. In more serious cases, the symptoms are much stronger.
A 2004 study looked at the effect of administering Synbiotic to patients with brain fog as a result of liver cirrhosis. The patients were divided into three groups where they received supplements of either Synbiotic, just fibre, or placebo for a 30-day period. Before starting treatment, the cirrhosis patients showed severe imbalances in the gastrointestinal flora as well as significant overgrowth of potentially pathogenic bacteria. Treatment with Synbiotic increased the number of bacteria belonging to the genus, Lactobacillus, which is an important part of a healthy intestinal flora. In connection with this change, the brain fog in 50 percent of the patients was almost completely eliminated.
- Liu Q, Ping Duan Z, Kang Ha D, Bengmark S, et al. Synbiotic modulation of gut flora: effect on minimal hepatic encephalopathy in patients with cirrhosis.
- Bengmark S. Bio-ecological control of chronic liver disease and encephalopathy
Improved intestinal barrier
Impaired immune system, damage to the intestinal mucosa, and colonisation by gram-negative bacteria are examples of things that can cause the intestinal wall to become more permeable. This in turn can lead to something called bacterial translocation, which is the medical word for bacteria that belong in the gastrointestinal tract being transported outside of the intestines, for example to the liver, kidneys and blood vessels. This is very serious and can lead to blood poisoning if it goes too far.
The bacteria in Synbiotic have shown promising results in terms of strengthening the intestinal barrier and reducing bacterial translocation. For example, an animal study from 2004 showed that when the Synbiotic bacteria were added, the amount of bacteria that leaked into the lymph nodes decreased. The animals that had a high concentration of lactobacilli also had less translocation overall.
- Seehofer D, Rayes N, Schiller R, et al. Probiotics partly reverse increased bacterial translocation after simultaneous liver resection and colonic anastomosis in rats.
Survival and increased colonisation in the gut flora
A healthy intestinal flora should contain a large amount of good bacteria and a wide variety of different bacterial species. For a probiotic or synbiotic supplement to have an effect at all, it’s important, first and foremost, that the bacteria survive down to the large intestine where they belong and can be of use. The bacterial strains used in Synbiotic 2000 can tolerate both bile acid and low pH values very well, which means that the bacteria can cope with transport through the gastrointestinal system to reach their ultimate destination – the large intestine. Synbiotic 2000 has also been shown to improve the intestinal flora and increase colonisation by probiotic strains in the intestine.
- Riordan S, Skinner N, McIver C, et al. Synbiotic-associated improvement in liver function in cirrhotic patients: relation to changes in circulating cytokine messenger RNA and protein levels.
- Schunter M, Chu H, Hayes T, et al. Randomized pilot trial of a synbiotic dietary supplement in chronic HIV-1 infection.
- Kruszewska et al. Selection of lactic acid bacteria as probiotic strains by in vitro tests.
- Ljungh et al. Isolation, selection and characteristics of Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei F19.
The reason why the bacterial strains in Synbiotic 2000 were chosen was mainly because they possess anti-inflammatory properties – i.e. they have the ability to reduce and counteract inflammation. For example, studies have shown that the bacteria can produce anti-inflammatory beta-defensins – a type of antimicrobial peptide that in turn can promote a stronger intestinal mucosa.
- Wehkamp J, Harder J, Wehkamp K, et al. NF-KB and AP-1-mediated induction of human beta defensin-2 in intestinal epithelial cells by escherichia coli nissle 1917: a novel effect of a probiotic bacterium.
- Tok D, Ilkgul O, Bengmark S, et al. Pretreatment with pro- and synbiotics reduced peritonitis-induced acute lung injury in rats.
Improved psychiatric symptoms in ADHD and autism
Over the past few years, there has been a growing interest in the connection between the gut and the brain – a connection known as the Gut-brain axis. In 2020, a study was concluded at the Karolinska Institute concerning this subject, in which Synbiotic2000 was administrated. This study aimed to research the effects of Synbiotic2000 on psychiatric symptoms and its function in children and adults with ADHD who did not have an autism diagnosis. The result showed that Synbiotic2000 reduced the symptoms of autism in children when compared with placebo. This was especially true of restrictive, repetitive and stereotypical behaviors and interests. Intake of Synbiotic2000 also resulted in an improved ability to regulate feelings, when compared with a placebo, even in adults with ADHD. Another fact that was observed is that approximately half of the participants had slightly higher levels of a certain type of inflammation at the beginning of the study. In children, Synbiotic2000 reduced inflammation; in adults, inflammation decreased with both placebo and Synbiotic2000.