Probiotics Impact Eating Behavior of Obese People?

May 23, 2017

A new study published in Nutrients suggests that obese individuals who supplement with a particular Lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic may have greater appetite control and other beneficial behaviors linked to weight management. Compared to a placebo group, individuals taking the probiotic exhibited greater fasting fullness and cognitive restraint.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 45 obese men and 60 obese women aged 18–55. For 24 weeks, participants consumed two capsules per day of either a placebo or an oral supplement containing 10 mg of L. rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 (LPR), 210 mg of oligofructose, and 90 mg of inulin. The study was also divided into two phases, with the first 12 weeks consisting of a a weight-loss program with a supervised dietary restriction of 500 kcal/day, and the second 12 weeks consisting of a weight-maintenance program with supervised dietary habits without an energy restriction.

Researchers measured participant energy intake through diaries of dietary habits, as well as tests for appetite sensations following meals. They also assessed weight loss and body self-esteem through questionnaires, with participants tested at baseline, 12 weeks after beginning supplementation, and 24 weeks after beginning supplementation.

Women taking the probiotic, compared to the placebo group, showed increased satiety efficiency and decreased scores for disinhibition and hunger. The LPR group of women also showed a more pronounced decrease in food craving, as well as a decrease in the Beck Depression Inventory score that was significantly different from the placebo group, and a higher score on the Body Esteem Scale questionnaire. Meanwhile, men taking the probiotic showed significant benefits to fasting fullness and cognitive restraint.

“In conclusion, LPR supplementation improved appetite sensations, eating, and emotion-related behaviors, thus lending support to the hypothesis that the gut-brain axis may impact appetite control and obesity management,” researchers noted.

References: 

Sanchez M et al., “Effects of a diet-based weight-reducing program with probiotic supplementation on satiety efficiency, eating behaviour traits, and psychosocial behaviours in obese individuals,” Nutrients, vol. 9, no. 3 (March 2017): E284