, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 219–236 | Cite as

Dietary therapy with Lactobacillus GG, bovine colostrum or bovine immune colostrum in patients with juvenile chronic arthritis: Evaluation of effect on gut defence mechanisms

  • M. Malin
  • P. Verronen
  • H. Korhonen
  • E. -L. Syväoja
  • S. Salminen
  • H. Mykkänen
  • H. Arvilommi
  • E. Eerola
  • E. Isolauri


The effect of dietary therapy with a human Lactobacillus strain GG (ATCC 53103), bovine colostrum, or bovine immune colostrum with specific antibodies against anaerobic intestinal bacteria on gut defence mechanisms were studied in juvenile chronic arthritis. Thirty patients with juvenile chronic arthritis were randomly allocated to receive a freeze-dried powder of Lactobacillus GG, or bovine colostrum, or bovine immune colostrum, for a two-week period. Immunologic and non-immunologic gut defence mechanisms were indirectly investigated in blood and faecal samples. In patients receiving Lactobacillus GG, the median (interquartile range) frequency of immunoglobulin-secreting cells, determined by enzyme-linked immunospot assay, increased in the IgA class from 1840 (690–2530) to 3480 (1030–13 170)/106 cells; p=0.02. Likewise the median (interquartile range) frequency of specific antibody-secreting cells against dietary antigens increased during the Lactobacillus GG therapy in the IgM class from 3.8 (1.4–5.0) to 11.2 (5.0–30.0)/106 cells; p=0.02. In addition, Lactobacillus GG therapy decreased the median (interquartile range) activity of faecal urease, which has been associated with mucosal tissue damage, from 40.3 (21.7–54.3) to 28.6 (24.5–49.4) nmol. min−1 (mg protein)−1; p=0.10, while, in patients receiving bovine colostrum, faecal urease activity increased (from 42.2 to 80.6; p=0.04). All findings were transient. We suggest that gut defence mechanisms are disturbed in juvenile chronic arthritis and we further suggest that orally administered Lactobacillus GG has a potential to reinforce the mucosal barrier mechanisms in juvenile chronic arthritis.


Diet Juvenile chronic arthritis Mucosal barrier 



solid-phase enzyme-linked immunospot assay


gas-liquid chromatography




interquartile range


immunoglobulin-secreting cells


juvenile chronic arthritis

Lactobacillus GG

Lactobacillus strain GG (ATCC 53103)


nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug


specific antibody-secreting cells


tumour necrosis factor-α


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Malin
    • 1
  • P. Verronen
    • 1
  • H. Korhonen
    • 2
  • E. -L. Syväoja
    • 3
  • S. Salminen
    • 4
  • H. Mykkänen
    • 5
  • H. Arvilommi
    • 6
  • E. Eerola
    • 7
  • E. Isolauri
    • 8
  1. 1.Medical School, University of Tampere and Department of PaediatricsTampere University HospitalTampereFinland
  2. 2.Food Research InstituteAgricultural Research Centre of FinlandJokioinenFinland
  3. 3.Research and Development CentreValio LTDHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.Department of Biochemistry and Food ChemistryUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  5. 5.Department of Clinical NutritionUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland
  6. 6.Department in TurkuNational Public Health InstituteTurkuFinland
  7. 7.Department of Medical MicrobiologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  8. 8.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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