Lower bifidobacteria counts in adult patients with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet.
Arq Gastroenterol. 2014 Apr-Jun;51(2):139-43. PMID: 25003267
CONTEXT: The ingestion of gluten is responsible for the symptoms of Celiac disease, but other environmental factors can also influence. Strains of the Bifidobacterium genus have been shown to afford protection against the inflammatory response and mucosal damage caused by gliadin peptides in vitro.
OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to compare the concentration of fecal bifidobacteria and pH of patients with celiac disease on gluten-free diet and control subjects in order to identify if the imbalance on fecal microbiota still remain during the treatment of celiac disease and identify the necessity of dietary supplementation with pre- or probiotics.
METHODS: It was analyzed the feces of 42 healthy subjects and 14 celiac patients. The bifidobacteria count in feces was done in selective medium BIM-25. Microscopic analysis of the colonies was performed by Gram stain. The identification of the genus Bifidobacterium was performed by determination of fructose-6-phosphate phosphoketolase. Fecal pH was measured using a pH meter.
RESULTS: The concentration of bifidobacteria per gram of feces was significantly higher in healthy subjects (controls) (1.5± 0.63 x108 CFU/g) when compared to celiac patients (2.5 ± 1.5 x107 CFU/g). The fecal pH was not different between celiac patients (7.19 ± 0.521) and controls (7.18 ± 0.522).
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that with lower levels of bifidobacteria, celiac patients have an imbalance in the intestinal microbiota, regardless of pH, even while on a gluten-free diet. This fact could favor the pathological process of the disorder.