Twelve weeks of consuming a fermented milk product containing the Lactobacillus strain was associated with a 4.6 per cent reduction in abdominal fat, and a 3.3 per cent reduction in subcutaneous fat, according to findings published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Furthermore, body weight dropped by 1.4 per cent and waist size decreased by 1.8 per cent, report researchers from Snow Brand Milk Products, Kyushu University, Nippon Milk Community Co., Iwaki Meisei University, and Isogo Central and Neurosurgical Hospital.
The study extends previous findings from Kyushu University researchers, which showed LG2055 may reduce fat levels (adiposity) and fat cells in animals (British Journal of Nutrition, 2009, Vol. 101, pp. 716-724; 2008, Vol. 99, pp. 1013-7). In addition, Snow Brand scientists have reported that LG2055 in fermented milk “has the ability to establish in the human gastrointestinal tract and alters the composition and metabolism of the intestinal microflora and physical characteristics of faeces”, (J. Appl. Microbiol. 2001, Vol. 90, pp. 343-352).
With the World Health Organization estimating that by 2015, there will be more than 1.5 billion overweight consumers, incurring health costs beyond $117 billion per year in the US alone, the opportunities for a scientifically-substantiated weight management food product are impressive.
A breakthrough paper published in Nature in December 2006 (Vol. 444, pp. 1022-1023, 1027-1031) reported that microbial populations in the gut are different between obese and lean people, and that when the obese people lost weight their microflora reverted back to that observed in a lean person, suggesting that obesity may have a microbial component.
A recent study, published in Science Translational Medicine (Vol. 1, Issue 6, 6ra14), advanced this by successfully showing that the human gut microbiota can successfully be transferred to germ-free mice, and that this can then be passed on from mother to offspring.
The Japanese scientists recruited 87 overweight people with an average BMI of 24.2 kg/m2 to participate in their multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled intervention trial. The participants were randomly assigned to receive 200 grams per day of fermented milk with or without LG2055 day for 12 weeks.
At the end of the study, significant decreases were observed in the Lactobacillus group in body weight, BMI (1.5 per cent), waist circumference, and in the hips (1.5 per cent). No significant reductions were observed in the control group, however.
“The probiotic LG2055 showed lowering effects on abdominal adiposity, body weight and other measures, suggesting its beneficial influence on metabolic disorders,” concluded the scientists.