The study, “PHAGE Study: Effects of Supplemental Bacteriophage Intake on Inflammation and Gut Microbiota in Healthy Adults” published in Nutrients, is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover intervention trial involving 43 participants aged 18 to 65.
According to the researchers, the goal was to determine how daily consumption of supplemental phages (PreforPro), influences the gut microbiota of healthy adults with self-reported gastrointestinal distress. In addition, the team sought to determine effects of phage ingestion on microbial production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as well as if phages alter both lipid metabolism and markers of local and systemic inflammation.
The team found that 28-days of PreforPro consumption favorably modified several bacterial species, including increased populations of the genera Eubacterium, one of the most abundant genera in the healthy human gut. Additionally, the researchers saw a reduction in the circulating pro-inflammatory cytokine Il-4, which is correlated with autoimmune and allergic responses. According to the authors of the study, these data highlight the potential of bacteriophages for selective modification of targeted microbial species without inducing dysbiosis.
In conclusion, according to the authors, “bacteriophage consumption caused minimal disruption to the gut microbiota but did elicit minor changes which may be viewed as beneficial overall…and increases in fermentative taxa capable of butyrate production suggest a shift towards a healthier gut environment.”
This human clinical study on PreforPro further validates observations in prior in vitro and mouse studies, which showed enhanced growth of a broad spectrum of probiotic species including B. breve, L. acidophilus, L. paracasei, L. casei, L. rhamnosus, Lc. Lactis and B. subtilis. Further, these effects were seen after only five hours after PreforPro administration.
“Ingesting probiotics are only half the healthy gut microbiome equation; effective prebiotics are the other half that encourage resident beneficial bacteria to populate,” says John Deaton, vice president of science & technology for Deerland Probiotics and Enzymes. PreforPro is unique in that it is a bacteriophage that is patented for use as a prebiotic, and it’s attractive for consumers who are concerned about starch consumption and having to take large doses – as PreforPro is a non-starch/fiber compound that exerts its prebiotic abilities in a small,15mg dose.”