DuPont Nutrition & Health (Geneva) announced the launch of its new probiotic formula for weight management, Howaru Shape. The proprietary ingredient, which contains 10 billion CFU Bifidobacterium lactis (as B420), is offered as the probiotic alone or as a combination of B420 plus 12 g of DuPont’s own Litesse Ultra fiber ingredient. In both forms, Howaru Shape was proven in a 2016 clinical study1 to be effective in helping reduce waist circumference in overweight adults. The company says Bifidobacterium lactis has been demonstrated in vitro to increase epithelial integrity.
The randomized, double-blind, controlled study was conducted in 225 healthy adults and took place over the course of six months with a one-month follow-up. Participants’ body mass index (BMI) values were between 28-34.9, and thus, were considered overweight. The subjects were divided into four groups, with each group receiving one of four daily regimens: 1) a placebo consisting of 12 g microcrystalline cellulose; 2) 12 g of DuPont’s Litesse Ultra polydextrose ingredient, a specialty carbohydrate with prebiotic properties and widely recognized as a fiber; 3) 1010 CFU/day of Bifidobacterium lactis B420 administered with a 12-g dose of microcrystalline cellulose; 4) 1010 CFU/day of Bifidobacterium lactis B420 administered with 12 g Litesse fiber.
The subjects’ blood was drawn once at baseline, then at two, four, and six months, and finally once during a follow-up visit. At each visit, researchers measured body fat with a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, and recorded body fat mass and lean body mass. In addition, researchers measured other obesity-related outcomes, including body weight and waist and hip circumference, with calibrated weighing scales and tape measures, respectively.
After six months of study, the researchers observed notable differences between the groups that received Howaru Shape in either form and the groups that did not. Howaru Shape (B420 plus Litesse Ultra) was found to reduce body fat mass by 4.5% and waist circumference by one inch versus the placebo group, with an average difference of 1.4 kg in total body fat between those groups. In addition, the researchers found that B420 alone resulted in a reduction of body weight, whereas B420 plus Litesse Ultra resulted in a reduction of body fat mass counterbalanced with an increase in lean muscle mass. According to the study authors, the results indicate that a probiotic product, with or without dietary fiber, can help to control body fat mass, reduce waist circumference, and reduce food intake. Taken in combination with a fiber in the form of Litesse Ultra, Howaru Shape’s waist-trimming potential was further realized, particularly in the trunk area, DuPont says.
Weight management is slowly becoming an emerging focus of probiotics research, making this product launch significant for the probiotics market. The clinical success and introduction of the Howaru Shape ingredient is promising for further exploration of B420’s effect on obesity-related criteria such as trunk fat and waist circumference. Anders Gron Norager, director, Global Probiotics at DuPont, says: “In 2016, the global weight-loss supplement market was an almost $5 billion category and growing, and we know these consumers are not just interested in dieting, they want overall health and wellness, which includes looking good. Howaru Shape is geared toward those who want to lose weight but need help. We’re proud to offer these customers a proven way to manage their body shape naturally.”
According to DuPont, Howaru Shape is free of stimulants and is proven safe and well-tolerated, and is ideal for capsules or sachets.