Probiotics are live microorganisms that confer health benefits through the gastrointestinal microbiota. This nutritional supplement may benefit athletes who undergo rigorous training by maintaining their gastrointestinal functions and overall health. In this study the influence of moderate physical exercise using a graded treadmill exercise, alone or in combination with the consumption of a soy product fermented with Lactobacillus plantarum LAB12 (LAB12), on tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) responses was investigated in a murine model. Male BALB/c mice were randomly divided into four groups of six mice each (control, exercise alone, LAB12 and LAB12 + exercise). Mice treated with the potential probiotic LAB12 were orally gavaged for 42 days. At autopsy, blood and spleen from the animals were collected. The splenocytes were cultured in the presence of a mitogen, concanavalin A (Con A). The amount of TNF-α produced by the Con A-stimulated splenocytes was quantified using ELISA, while their proliferation was determined using the [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation method. This study shows that LAB12-supplemented and exercise-induced mice showed marked increase (P<0.05) in cell proliferation compared to the control animals. TNF-α production was suppressed (P<0.05) in the LAB12 group compared to the untreated mice. These results demonstrate that supplementation with LAB12 has immunomodulatory effects, under conditions of moderate physical exercise, which may have implications for human athletes. Further investigation in human trials is warranted to confirm and extrapolate these findings.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.