New research results out of Finland suggest DuPont Nutrition & Health’s (Madison, WI) probiotic strain Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. Lactis 420 (B420) may reduce body fat mass, waist circumference, and energy intake in overweight adults when taken alone or in combination with a prebiotic. While previous animal studies have found similar effects of B420 consumption, DuPont says this is the first human study to offer such promising weight-management results with this probiotic.
Writing in EBioMedicine, researchers report that the double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 225 healthy, overweight or obese (BMI 28.0–34.9) individuals between the ages of 18 and 65. For six months, participants were randomized to consume one of four treatment administrations: 12 g/day of placebo, 1010 CFU/day of B420 probiotic, 12 g/day of prebiotic dietary fiber Litesse Ultra polydextrose, or 1010 CFU/day of B420 probiotic and 12 g/day of the prebiotic fiber. Researchers compared baseline measurements of body fat mass and energy intake with the same parameters assessed at the end of the administration period.
At the end of the study period, both the probiotic and the synbiotic (probiotic plus prebiotic) groups experienced reduced energy intake and reduced waist circumference from baseline, compared to the control group. The synbiotic group lost an average 1.4 kg in relative body fat mass compared to the placebo group over the course of the study, while a post-hoc factorial analysis revealed the group consuming probiotic alone also experienced a significant reduction to body fat mass.
“This clinical trial demonstrates that a probiotic product with or without dietary fiber controls body fat mass,” researchers concluded.
Additionally, in the group consuming both the probiotic and the prebiotic fiber, participants experienced improvements in lean body mass, DuPont pointed out. Meanwhile, the group that only consumed the prebiotic did not show improvements to the measured outcomes.
“This is the first study to translate findings from studies of the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium lactis 420 done in animal models in which it was shown the probiotic can improve metabolic health in mice by strengthening gut barrier function,” says Lotta Stenman, PhD, lead investigator on the preclinical and clinical trials for DuPont Nutrition & Health, in the study announcement. “There is a long history of research on this particular probiotic strain, starting from initial findings from cell culture studies published in 2008. It is exciting to see the extensive preclinical and mechanistic work paved the way for identifying a benefit to human health.”
Nutritional Outlook Magazine
Stenman LK et al., “Probiotic with or without fiber controls body fat mass, associated with serum zonulin, and obese adults-randomized controlled trial,” EBioMedicine. Published online October 26, 2016.