Probiotics, nowadays, are widely used in many health conditions because of their widespread effects on many body systems rather than only on gastrointestinal system. Recently they are considered to be an option in the management of seizure disorders.
The exact mechanism of action of probiotics that help in neurological conditions including epilepsy is unclear. However, it has been said that there might be relationship between gut and brain called “microbiota-gut-brain axis” .
Another possible explanation is that a bacteria specie in probiotics called L. rhamnosus causes positive changes in GABA receptors, which were mediated by Vagus nerve . Because GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the nervous system, these changes could reduce the risk of developing seizure.
There are some studies showed supplementation with probiotics improved ADHD, anxiety disorder, antisocial behaviour, and other neurological disorders . These studies raised the curiosity of using probiotics in treating epilepsy for future practice, although good research studies are still needed to support this idea.
There is also one ongoing clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of probiotics in controlling drug-resistant epilepsy .
However, the benefits and risks of using probiotics should be considered in any uses of them, as well as getting advices from healthcare providers is suggested.
1. Umbrello G, Esposito S. Microbiota and neurologic diseases: potential effects of probiotics. J Transl Med. 2016 Oct 19; 14(1): 298. Review. PubMed PMID: 27756430; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5069982.
2. The effects of Probiotics Supplementation in Drug-resistant Epilepsy Patients; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT03403907