Plant-derived bacteria shows anti-obesity effects: RCT

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Image © iStockPhoto / Lecic
Image © iStockPhoto / Lecic

Related tags Obesity

Heat-killed Pediococcus pentosaceus LP28 derived from the longan fruit may help trim waist lines and reduce body fat, say results from a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.

Twelve weeks of supplementation with LP28 was found to reduce body fat mass by 3.2%  – or 1.2 kg – and trim over an inch off waist circumference (2.84 cm), according to data from 62 overweight people published in in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition​.

“In this study, the subjects did not change their lifestyle habits, including dietary intake and/or exercise according to their reports,” ​wrote the scientists from Hiroshima University in Japan. “Only the additional consumption of heat-killed LP28 notably improved their body fat mass.

“Waist-to-hip ratio or waist-to-height ratio has been reported to be superior to BMI for predicting cardiometabolic risk, indicating that abdominal fat has a greater association with cardiovascular disease risk than does whole body fat. In this study, the difference of mean changes in waist circumference between the placebo and heat-killed LP28 groups was 2.84 cm, suggesting that the 12-week intake of heat-killed LP28 reduces abdominal fat. It seems likely that the risk of cardiovascular disease will also be decreased.”

The study supports earlier data from the same research group from experiments with mice fed a high fat diet, which were published in PLOS One​ (2012; 7: e30696).

Study details

The new study included 62 overweight people (BMI from 25 to 30 kg/m2) aged between 20 and 70 and randomly assigned them to one of three groups: placebo, live LP28, or heat-killed LP28 for 12 weeks. The cell numbers in the live and heat-killed LP28 doses were 100 billion.

Results showed that participants in the heat-killed group experienced average decreases in their BMI of 0.45 kg/m2, body fat percentage of 1.1%, body fat mass of 1.2 kg, and waist circumference of 2.84 cm, compared to eh placebo group.

Probiotics ©  Jezperklauzen
Image © iStockPhoto / Jezperklauzen

There were no changes in any diabetic indices, however, said the researchers.

“Contrary to our expectation, living LP28 did not display a significant anti-obesity effect, as observed by multiple comparisons among the three groups,” ​wrote the researchers. “However, when changes in the living LP28 group were compared with those of the placebo group by the Student’s t-test, P-values were 0.032 for body fat mass and 0.067, 0.056 and 0.067 for BMI, body fat percentage and waist circumference, respectively.

“Therefore, we presume that the living LP28 also possesses antiobesity properties. The results that we hope for may be detectable with a higher dosage or more subjects.”

Commenting on the potential mechanism(s) of action, the researchers noted that they found that LP28 produces substances called exopolysaccharides, which may be responsible for the effects. The substances were maintained during the preparation of the powders, they said, and the heat treatment may affect the activity of these exopolysaccharides.

“Moreover, as the living LP28 powder was somewhat harder to swallow down than the heat-killed LP28 one because of their tastes and textures, it might have an influence on the compliance,” ​they added. “Thus, the difference in anti-obesity effectiveness between both powders might be explained by these factors.”

“In conclusion, ​Pediococcus pentosaceus LP28, at least when heat-killed, displays an anti-obesity effect, suggesting that the LAB strain would be useful as a promising preventive of metabolic syndrome.”

Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.17
“Antiobesity effect of ​Pediococcus pentosaceus LP28 on overweight subjects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial”
Authors: F. Higashikawa, et al. 

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