Effect of synbiotics on inflammatory markers and white blood cell count in COVID-19 patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial
Article publication date: 4 October 2022
Today, coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) treatment is an evolving process, and synbiotic administration has been suggested as a new therapeutic strategy. This study aims to investigate the effect of synbiotic supplementation in COVID-19 patients.
In this placebo-controlled trial, 80 patients were randomized to receive oral synbiotic capsule (containing fructooligosaccharide and seven bacterial strains; Lactobacillus (L) casei, L. rhamnosus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium breve, L. acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, L. bulgaricus, each one 109 colony-forming units) or placebo for two months. Inflammatory markers (Interleukin-6 [IL-6], C-reactive protein [CRP], erythrocyte sedimentation rate [ESR]) and white blood cell (WBC) count were evaluated at two timepoints (baseline, two months later). The measured variables were adjusted for confounders and analyzed by SPSS v21.0.
All 80 enrolled patients completed the study. The study adherence was good (approximately 70%). The mean changes for IL-6 were not significant (Δ = −0.6 ± 10.4 pg/mL vs Δ = +11.2 ± 50.3 pg/mL, p > 0.05). There were no significant improvements for CRP, ESR and WBC.
Administration of synbiotics for two months did not improve inflammatory markers in COVID-19 patients.
The authors thank all the participants of the study for their enthusiastic involvement and to the personnel of the Alzahra Hospital. This research was supported by Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran (Grant No. 199070).
Credit author statement: Mahsa Khodadoostan: Supervision, funding acquisition; Majid Aghadavood Marnani: Investigation, data curation, resources, software, validation, formal analysis; Amir Reza Moravejolahkami: Conceptualization, investigation, project administration, methodology, writing – original draft, writing – review & editing; Gholamreza Askari: Visualization, project administration, funding acquisition; Bijan Iraj: Project administration
Trial registration: The trial was registered at the University of Medical Science “IR.MUI.MED.REC.1399.204” and WHO approving system “IRCT20200923048815N1.”
This study was conducted in compliance with ethical standards.
Ethical approval: All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Khodadoostan, M., Aghadavood Marnani, M., Moravejolahkami, A.R., Askari, G. and Iraj, B. (2022), "Effect of synbiotics on inflammatory markers and white blood cell count in COVID-19 patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-06-2022-0195
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