The Hong Kong Society of Gut Microbiome announced the full results of a large-scale community-based study that recruited more than 300 people at its 2021 Spring Symposium today. This study is technically sponsored by Biomed Technology Holdings Limited, a partner company of the Hong Kong Science Park, and commissioned by Hong Kong Healthcare Research Limited to conduct it from August 2020 to April 2021.
The society once published a mid-term research report that the study randomly sampled and analyzed the data of 265 Hong Kong citizens, and by collecting their stool samples and conducting intestinal flora DNA tests and next-generation gene sequencing technology (qPCR and NGS Gut Microbiome Test) Test) it is found that more than 60% of patients with chronic diseases have intestinal imbalance. Among them, 123 (46.4%) had eczema and skin allergies, 140 (52.8%) had chronic constipation and 142 (53.6%) had overweight and obesity problems, and more than half of the participants suffered from two or more sub-health problems, reflecting Sub-health problems are very common in Hong Kong and deserve public attention. Among them, the lack of “probiotics” in different sub-health groups is also different.
Participants were subsequently supplemented with standard doses of probiotics that were commonly deficient in different symptomatic groups based on DNA test reports. 146 participants underwent a second gut microbiome DNA test two months after supplementing with probiotics. Therefore, this research publication focuses on the changes in the intestinal flora of the participants before and after the precise supplementation of probiotics and the first-person comparison of their personal sub-health conditions. Dr Steven Loo, a representative of the Hong Kong Society of Gut Microbiome and a dermatologist, pointed out that studies have shown that most patients with eczema lack Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus) and Bifidobacterium (B. lactis) Most patients with constipation lack Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) and Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus), chronic diarrhea Most patients lacked B. bifidum and B. longum.
Analysis of the data from the participants showed that probiotic supplementation in the above ways could improve the participants’ scores on their allergic eczema, constipation and diarrhoea symptoms. Between 60% and 90% of participants in these sub-groups reported an improvement of at least 30% in their symptom scores. Among them, 90% of diarrhoea patients had an average improvement of 70%, 70% of constipation patients had an average improvement of more than 40% and 60% of eczema patients had an average improvement of more than 30%. The data from the pre- and post-meeting nucleic acid tests of the intestinal flora also showed that the relative abundance of specific probiotics increased in different degrees among the participants with improved symptoms.
Another study found that there were different results in the study of individual intestinal flora after probiotic supplementation, with 30% to 40% of participants still having low levels of probiotic nucleic acid after taking standard doses of probiotics. This may reflect the reason for the variation in the effectiveness of probiotics in individuals.
Therefore, if you want to make more effective use of probiotics to adjust the gut microbiome, apart from choosing a combination of probiotics for different sub-health problems, you can also make use of the results of the DNA test to tailor-make the appropriate strain and dosage of probiotics to improve sub-health symptoms. Precision diagnosis and treatment are not only applied to medical science, but also the future direction of improving the public’s sub-health. The Society will also allocate resources to conduct more research on the benefits of personalized probiotics.
During the seminar, Prof. Stephen TSUI (TSUI Kwok-Wing), Associate Dean of the School of Biomedical Sciences of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, also gave a lecture on the latest research on gut microecology and mental health. He pointed out that besides promoting the normal function of the blood brain barrier, the gut microbiome also influences our emotions and behaviors through the endocrine system, the immune system and the nervous system in the gut. Professor Stephen TSUI explained the relationship between gut microbiome and brain development, hyperactivity disorder, autism and mood disorders, and presented different research examples on the regulation of gut microbiome to alleviate depression and autism symptoms. He said that more breakthroughs in research on the gut-brain axis will change the public’s perception of mental health and bring more effective relief for different common mental problems in urban areas, including emotional stress and poor sleep quality.
Dr. Ellis HON (HON Kam Lun) , Professor of the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, also gave a speech on the latest situation of gut microbiome and childhood eczema and allergy problems. He pointed out that eczema and allergy in children is very common in Hong Kong and has caused a lot of concern and worry among parents. However, the public’s understanding of childhood eczema and allergy treatment still has room for improvement. He hoped that in the future, the public can understand through more community research and public education that with the current medical development, the chance of curing eczema and allergy is very slim, but scientifically proven Chinese and Western medical treatments can effectively manage the problem and reduce its severity.
The Hong Kong Society for Gut Microbiome also announced that it will collaborate with local and overseas organizations to conduct more large-scale community studies on gut microbiome in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Thailand and Korea. More than 1000 participants are expected to be recruited for the studies, which will focus on different subhealth issues, including childhood allergy and eczema, adult sleep quality and mood, psoriasis, etc., to explore their correlation with gut microbiology and the effectiveness of probiotic supplementation in improving symptoms. The Society hopes to collect more data by examining the intestinal flora of people in different regions before and after probiotic treatment, and to promote the development of accurate diagnosis and treatment of intestinal health and subhealth problems, so as to promote human health and well-being and sustainable development.