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Frequently Asked Questions 

Question:

I’m immunosuppressed. Are probiotics safe?

 

Answer:

We do not recommend that individuals who are immunosuppressed take live cultures supplements, due to a lack of clinical evidence.

Patients who are severely immunocompromised or immunosuppressed do not have the ability to mount an appropriate response to any microbe that they come in contact with. Specialised cells in the intestine (M Cells & Peyers patches) are continually sampling the intestinal lumen for antigens (food or microbes). Microbes, even those that are normally neutral or considered beneficial, can sometimes cross the gut barrier and grow in the blood or in the internal organs where the nutrients are high and the competition for nutrients is low. Growth in these areas can cause septicaemia, fungemia, abscesses, myo-endocarditis (infection of the heart), or pancreatitis.

There may in fact be a benefit in taking probiotics for patients with severe immunosuppression, but the risk is also thought to be high in many circumstances. Because there is currently insufficient clinical evidence in this area, we would not recommend probiotics for individuals who are severely immunocompromised or immunosuppressed.

Make sure you discuss this with your treating physician.

 

Reference: This FAQ has been answered by Joanna Scott-Lutyens, BA (hons), DipION, Nutritional Therapist.

Our website is not a substitute for independent professional medical advice. Nothing contained on our website is intended to be used as medical advice. No content is intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice. Although THE INTERNATIONAL AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS SOCIETY  provides a great deal of information about AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS, all content is provided for informational purposes only. The International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society  cannot provide medical advice.


International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2016 by Tabitha Andrews Orth, Gene Desotell and Anji Hogan-Fesler. Tax ID# 81-3752344. Donations raised directly supports research, patients, families and caregivers impacted by autoimmune encephalitis and to educating healthcare communities around the world. Financial statement will be made available upon request.

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