Background: Diabetic Nephropathy is a frequent complication of diabetes mellitus due
to functional and structural modifications in multiple kidney compartments. Probiotics have risen
lately as a forthcoming therapeutic intervention but they have not been systematically evaluated in
diabetic nephropathy so far. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate randomized controlled
trials and experimental studies assessing the effect of probiotic supplements on diabetic
Methods: An extensive literature search was conducted through electronic databases (PubMed,
Scopus, Cinahl and Medline) with the Medical Subject Headings and entry terms of “diabetic nephropathy”,
“diabetic renal disease” and “probiotics”. The search yielded 116 results, 9 of which met
the inclusion criteria for this systematic review.
Results: Most of the microorganisms used in the studies belonged to the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium
genus. The dosage ranged from 2×107 to 6×1010 CFU/ g. The form of the probiotics
varied across the studies (capsules, sachets, soy milk, kefir and honey). The majority of the studies
demonstrated the benefits of probiotic supplementation on the reduction of inflammation, oxidative
stress and on the amelioration of renal function biomarkers in subjects with diabetic nephropathy. No
major gastrointestinal adverse events were observed during the intervention time with probiotics.
Conclusion: Findings of this systematic review demonstrate the positive impact of probiotics on
Diabetic Nephropathy without any major adverse events. Moreover, future larger randomized controlled
trials with bigger samples and longer follow-up time are deemed necessary for further valid
results on the effectiveness of probiotic supplementation on Diabetic Nephropathy.