For a study, researchers sought to offer an overview of the most recent research on the effectiveness of probiotics in juvenile nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), they did a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Until September 9, 2021, a thorough literature search was conducted to find RCTs that examined probiotics’ effectiveness in treating juvenile NAFLD patients. For continuous outcomes, weighted mean differences (WMD) and standard deviations (SD) were utilized, and a risk ratio with 95% CI was employed for dichotomous outcomes.
The study comprised a total of 4 RCTs with 238 pediatric NAFLD patients. A statistically significant difference was found in the levels of transaminases (ALT: WMD = -7.51 IU/L, 95% CI, -11.28 to -3.73 I2 = 0%, P<0.0001; AST: WMD=-6.46 IU/L, 95% CI, -9.31 to -3.61; I2=0%, P<0.0001) anthropometric characteristics, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and improvement of ultrasonographic steatosis improvement.
The results of the meta-analysis suggested that supplementing with probiotics, particularly with Lactobacillus acidophilus in combination with other strains of Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus, may help children with NAFLD improve their levels of transaminases, lipid parameters, ultrasonographic characteristics, and anthropometric traits. However, the precise beneficial strain of probiotics indicated above cannot be identified based on the available information. Future research should investigate the potential impact of probiotics on the improvement of liver histology in children with NAFLD.