Advances in Therapy

, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 634–647 | Cite as

Pilot study of probiotic dietary supplementation for promoting healthy kidney function in patients with chronic kidney disease

  • Natarajan Ranganathan
  • Pari Ranganathan
  • Eli A. Friedman
  • Anthony Joseph
  • Barbara Delano
  • David S. Goldfarb
  • Paul Tam
  • A. Venketeshwer Rao
  • Emmanuel Anteyi
  • Carlos Guido Musso
Original Research



Uremic syndrome consists of nitrogenous waste retention, deficiency in kidney-derived hormones, and reduced acid excretion, and, if untreated, may progress to coma and eventual death. Previous experience suggests that oral administration of a probiotic formulation of selected microbial strains may extend renoprotection via intraintestinal extraction of toxic waste solutes in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD)stages 3 and 4. This report presents preliminary data from a pilot study.


This was a 6-month prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial of a probiotic bacterial formulation conducted in four countries, at five institutions, on 46 outpatients with CKD stages 3 an nd 4: USA (n=10), Canada (n=113), Nigeria (n=115), and Argentina (n=8). Outcomes were compared using biochemical parameters:blood urea nitrogen (BUN), serum creatinine, and uric acid. General well-being was assessed as a secondary parameter by a quality of life (QQOL) questionnaire on a subjective scale of 1–10.


Oral ingestion of probiotics (90 billion colony forming units [CFUs]/day) was well tolerated and safe during the entire trial period at all sites. BUN levels decreased in 29 patients (63%, P<0.05), creatinine levels decreased in 20 patients (43%, no statistical significance), and uric acid levels decreased in 15 patients (33%, no statistical significance). Almost all subjects expressed a perceived substantial overall improvement in QOL (86%, P<0.05).


The main outcomes of this preliminary trial include a significant reduction of BUN, enhanced well-being, and absence of serious adverse effects, thus supporting the use of the chosen probiotic formulation for bowel-based toxic solute extraction. QOL and BUN levels showed statistically significant differences in outcome (P<0.05) between placebo and probiotic treatment periods at all four sites (46 patients). A major limitation of this trial is the small sample size nd elated inconsistencies.


chronic kidney disease disease progression healthy kidney probiotics renoprotection uremic syndrome 


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Copyright information

© Springer Healthcare 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natarajan Ranganathan
    • 1
  • Pari Ranganathan
    • 1
  • Eli A. Friedman
    • 2
  • Anthony Joseph
    • 2
  • Barbara Delano
    • 2
  • David S. Goldfarb
    • 3
  • Paul Tam
    • 4
  • A. Venketeshwer Rao
    • 5
  • Emmanuel Anteyi
    • 6
  • Carlos Guido Musso
    • 7
  1. 1.Kibow Biotech, Inc.Newtown SquareUSA
  2. 2.Downstate Medical CenterState University of New York (SUNY)BrooklynUSA
  3. 3.New York Harbor VA Health Care SystemNYU School of MedicineNew TorkUSA
  4. 4.Corporate Medical CentreScarborough HospitalOntarioCanada
  5. 5.Department of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of TorontoOntarioCanada
  6. 6.The National HospitalAbujaNigeria
  7. 7.Hospital talianoBuenos AiresArgentina

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