DuPont’s weight-management probiotic, Howaru Shape, positively influences gut microbiota in new analysis


Consumption of Howaru Shape had a positive impact on gut microbiota, and these effects were even more pronounced when Howaru Shape was combined with DuPont's Litesse Ultra polydextrose prebiotic.

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DuPont Nutrition & Health (Wilmington, DE) has released new data showing the benefits of its Howaru Shape probiotic strain for weight management. In a previous study1, researchers found that 10 billion CFU of Howaru Shape-Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis 420 (B420)-either alone or in combination with 12 g of the company’s Litesse Ultra polydextrose prebiotic fiber, helped control body fat mass, trunk fat mass, and waist circumference, and reduced calorie intake, in overweight adults. In a newly published paper2, researchers wrote that they also saw associated positive changes in subjects’ gut microbiota.

“The gut microbiota contributes to host energy metabolism, and altered gut microbiota has been associated with obesity-related metabolic disorders,” the researchers wrote.

The researchers examined a subset of the participants (134 subjects in the subset) from the larger six-month, 225-subject clinical study1. In that study, subjects, overweight individuals, were randomized into four groups receiving either: 1) a placebo (12 g/day of microcrystalline cellulose), 2) Litesse Ultra polydextrose (12 g/day), 3) Howaru Shape (1010 CFU/day in 12 g of microcrystalline cellulose), or 4) Litesse Ultra polydextrose plus Howaru Shape (1010 CFU/day).

Researchers obtained faecal and plasma samples from these subset participants and assessed faecal microbiota composition and metabolites at baseline; at 2, 4, and 6 months; and one month post-intervention.

Consumption of Howaru Shape had a positive impact on gut microbiota, and these effects were even more pronounced when Howaru Shape was combined with Litesse Ultra. Researchers found that Lactobacillus and Akkermansia bacteria were more prolific in Howaru Shape subjects. In subjects taking both Howaru Shape and Litesse polydextrose, researchers saw increases in Akkermansia, Christensenellaceae, and Methanobrevibacter bacterial strains, while Paraprevotella was reduced. They concluded: “Consumption of [Howaru Shape] and its combination with [Litesse] resulted in alterations of the gut microbiota and its metabolism, and may support improved gut barrier function and obesity-related markers.”

In a press release, DuPont noted that the bacterial species Akkermansia muciniphila is associated with improved metabolic health. Megan DeStefano, global marketing manager, probiotics, DuPont Nutrition & Health, said, “The favorable change in gut microbiota is a positive for overweight individuals struggling with metabolic disorders, such as leaky gut and type 2 diabetes. In particular, Akkermansia is associated with improved gut barrier function and glucose tolerance. We also have observed a reduction in circulating inflammatory markers, which supports heart, kidney, and respiratory health.”


  1. Stenman LK et al. “Probiotic with or without fiber controls body fat mass, associated with serum zonulin, in overweight and obese adults-randomized controlled trial.” EBioMedicine. Published online October 26, 2016.
  2. Hibberd AA et al. “Probiotic or synbiotic alters the gut microbiota and metabolism in a randomised controlled trial of weight management in overweight adults.” Beneficial Microbes. Published online December 10, 2018.
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