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Administration of a Synbiotic to Free-Living Elderly and Evaluation of Serum Cytokines. A Pilot Study

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Ten free-living elderly were administered with a synbiotic [fermented milk containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus Gorbach and Goldin (LGG®)] and oligofructose as a prebiotic for one month. Serum cytokines were evaluated before (T0) and after (T1) synbiotic administration. At T0, values of Interleukin (IL)-12, IL-6, IL-10, IL-1β and Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)-α were lower than normal controls, with the exception of IL-8, thus confirming previous results on the impairment of both innate and adaptive responses in elderly. At T1, the synbiotic was able to significantly increase, depressed values of IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8 with a trend to a modest increase for the restant cytokines.

In conclusion, the synbiotic used in this study seems to be very beneficial to elderly for its capacity to maintain the immune homeostasis, even if an increase in dosage and prolongation of administration time are required for a better modulation of the aged adaptive immune response.
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Keywords: Cytokines; Lactobacillus rhamnosus Gorbach and Goldin (LGG®); elderly; immunosenescence; oligofructose; probiotics; synbiotics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: National Institute of Gastroenterology, via Turi 27, 70013 Castellana Grotte (BA), Italy.

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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