Iranian scientists constructed a rat model to study the effect of two probiotics plus a prebiotic on cadmium (Cd), a heavy metal that is harmful to humans. They reported that the synbiotic – a synergistic combination of probiotics and prebiotics – protected rats against the toxic effects of cadmium, which includes oxidative stress on the liver and kidneys.
This study was overseen by Shiraz University. Its findings were published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
A rat model was assembled and divided into four groups: Control, cadmium only, cadmium plus the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum and the prebiotic inulin, and cadmium plus the probiotic Bacillus coagulas and inulin. The probiotics were given via gavage and the inulin was added to the food.
All cadmium groups were given 200 micrograms of CdCl2 per day to simulate acute cadmium poisoning. Their weight was recorded every seven days for the 42 days of the trial.
On Day 21 and 42, the serum levels of biochemicals and enzymes were analyzed for changes in oxidative stress. The SOD level of the livers was also measured. Finally, the amount of cadmium in the kidney and liver was determined through atomic absorption mass spectrophotometry.
Cadmium-poisoned rats that received synbiotic diets showed greater levels of liver enzymes and biochemical parameter that lowered AST, ALT, total bilirubin, BUN, and heavy metals in their livers and kidneys. They also showed healthier body weight, serum value, and liver SOD values that rats with untreated cadmium poisoning.
The researchers concluded that synbiotic diets that combined probiotics and a prebiotic can remove cadmium from the liver and kidneys of rats. Synbiotics could also replenish antioxidant enzymes that were depleted by acute cadmium poisoning.
Jafarpour D, Shekarforoush SS, Ghaisari HR, Nazifi S, Sajedianfard J, Eskandari MH. PROTECTIVE EFFECTS OF SYNBIOTIC DIETS OF BACILLUS COAGULANS, LACTOBACILLUS PLANTARUM AND INULIN AGAINST ACUTE CADMIUM TOXICITY IN RATS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1803-3.