The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate whether the use of probiotics has any effect on the components of metabolic syndrome (MetS) before patients develop type 2 diabetes. A qualitative systematic review, following the Cochrane methodology, and a comprehensive literature search of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were conducted in PubMed and Scopus from inception until 4 July 2019. According to our inclusion criteria, nine clinical studies were finally analyzed, corresponding to six RCTs. Probiotics intake in patients with MetS resulted in improvements in body mass index, blood pressure, glucose metabolism, and lipid profile in some studies. Regarding inflammatory biomarkers, probiotics also positively affected the soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1), interleukine-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and thrombomodulin. Despite the diversity of the published studies, the intake of probiotics for patients with MetS may offer a discrete improvement in some of the clinical characteristics of the MetS and a decrease in inflammatory biomarkers. Nevertheless, these beneficial effects seem to be marginal compared to drug therapy and a healthy lifestyle and clinically non-relevant.
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