The Effects of Probiotics on Obesity and its Related Health Problems

Obesity’s Effect on Health

Overweight and obesity has been recently on the rise particularly in western countries. These conditions can lead to serious health problems, hence, they need to be addressed. One way is a change in lifestyle, which includes more physical activity and proper nutrition. 

Probiotics as a Preventative Measure Against Obesity and Related Health Issues

Probiotics are recognized to provide protection against obesity and its related health problems. We are interested in knowing whether the beneficial properties of probiotics are preserved after killing the microorganisms by heating. 

Our data from studies done on animals indicated that the probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis sub specie lactis CECT 8145 (Ba8145) and its heat-killed form h-k Ba8145 decreased the body fat content, improved lipid profile, insulin sensitivity, antioxidant status, and regulated satiety markers. 

This study attempts to assess the effects of both Ba8145 and h-k Ba8145 on:

  1. Anthropometric adiposity biomarkers like Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and body fat percentage.
  2. Cardiovascular risk indicators; and,
  3. Gut microbiome in individuals with abdominal obesity. 

The Study Method on Probiotics for Obesity

The products used in the test were given in capsules, some filled with placebo maltodextrin, others with live bacteria Ba8145, and the others with heat-killed bacteria h-k Ba8145.

126 abdominally obese individuals participated in the study and were randomly distributed into three groups, one group for each product. They ingested one capsule daily for three months.

The abdominal visceral fat area (VFA) and subcutaneous fat area (SFA) were measured at the beginning and the end of three-month intervention periods. Anthropometric adiposity biomarkers were also measured upon check-up six weeks after the study. WC, BMI, WHtR, and conicity index (CI), an index for abdominal obesity, were calculated. Other cardiovascular risk biomarkers were assessed, including systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP), lipids, apolipoproteins, and non-esterified fatty acids, glucose, insulin concentrations, C-reactive protein, and Leptin serum concentrations. A stool sample was taken and frozen at the beginning and end of the study to analyze the gut microbes present.

The Results

Ingestion of both live and inactive Ba8145 resulted in lesser BMI, VFA, smaller waists, smaller waist-to-height ratios, and lesser cone shape (meaning they got slimmer), especially in women. These changes were bigger in the group who got h-k Ba8145, except for BMI, which was greater in the live Ba8145 group. DBP and insulin resistance index also were reduced in the h-k Ba8145 group. The biggest decrease in weight was seen in people with the most Akkermansia bacteria in their gut.

This result was observed after the Ba8145 live-form administration.

The Conclusion

In abdominally obese individuals, ingestion of Ba81455, a probiotic, helps improve biomarkers for obesity and cardiovascular risk, particularly in women. These benefits are more prominent in those who consumed the heat-killed form. An increase in the gut of the bacteria Akkermansia appears to be involved in the probiotic’s effects on weight loss. Our results support Ba8145 probiotic as a complementary strategy for obesity management.

Reference

Effects of Daily Consumption of the Probiotic Bifidobacterium Animalis Subsp. Lactis CECT 8145 on Anthropometric Adiposity Biomarkers in Abdominally Obese Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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