Probiotic pair may improve insulin sensitivity in obese kids & teens: RCT

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© newannyart / Getty Images
© newannyart / Getty Images

Related tags: Probiotics, Insulin sensitivity, Obesity

A combination of two Bifidobacteria strains may exert beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity in obese children and adolescents, says a new study from Italy.

Eight weeks of supplementation with Bifidobacterium breve​ BR03 and B. breve​ B632 led to significantly improved insulin sensitivity under fasting conditions and after an oral glucose tolerance test, according to data published in Clinical Nutrition.

On the other hand, no differences between the probiotic group and the placebo group were observed for weight loss, cytokine levels, nor for GLP1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1), reported researchers from the University of Piemonte Orientale, the University of Bologna, the University of Verona, and Probiotical Research Srl.

“To our knowledge, this is the first RCT administering two strains of B. breve to children and adolescents with obesity,”​ they wrote.

“The study demonstrated that 8 weeks of this intervention was safe, well-tolerated, and efficacious in improving insulin sensitivity and supporting weight loss. The functionality of microbiota seems to influence the metabolic answer to the probiotics, suggesting that tailored probiotic supplementations could optimize responses.”

Study details

The new study included 101 children and teens aged between six and 18, all of whom had obesity and insulin-resistance. The participants were randomly assigned to receiver either the probiotic combination (two billion CFUs of B. breve​ BR03 and B. breve​ B632 in a 1:1 ratio) or placebo for eight weeks. After this, the children and teens underwent a four-week ‘washout’ period (no intervention) before crossing over to the other group. All of the participants completed the first part of the study, while 82 completed both phases. The researchers limited their analysis to the first eight weeks of the study.

Results of the cross-over, double-blind, randomized control trial (BIFI-OBESE trial) indicated that the probiotic combination was associated with improved fasting insulin sensitivity and during oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), compared to the placebo.

“This [improvement] was achieved even though subjects in the probiotic arm were less metabolically compromised at baseline,” ​wrote the researchers. “The loss of insulin sensitivity is one of the first pathological events resulting in the development of glucose alterations up to type 2 diabetes, but also in other metabolic impairments. The improvement of insulin sensitivity is one of the main targets of obesity management in the attempt to maintain a healthy phenotype and reduce cardiovascular risk.”

The researchers said that future studies are needed to confirm and expand the findings, “to pave the way for more successful interventions for obesity and co-morbidities.”

Source: Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2021.06.002
“Supplementation with​ Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and B632 strains improved insulin sensitivity in children and adolescents with obesity in a cross-over, randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial”
Authors: A. Solito, et al.

Related products

show more

Innovative colic solutions

Innovative colic solutions

Recorded the 07-Jul-2022 | Webinar

Colic is one of the most frequent reasons for visits to the pediatrician and can often lead to parental and infant exhaustion. As a functional gastrointestinal...

Register for free



BIONAP BIOACTIVE NATURAL PRODUCTS | 07-Jun-2022 | Technical / White Paper

The intake of 100 mg/day of the standardized Red Orange Complex extract containing anthocyanins, hydroxycinnamic acids, flavanones, and ascorbic acid is...

Happier with indication-specific probiotics

Happier with indication-specific probiotics

Winclove Probiotics | 06-Jun-2022 | Product Brochure

From the very founding of Winclove Probiotics, our aim to help people, society, and the world has been an essential part of our business DNA.

Probiotical's choice for an active lifestyle

Probiotical's choice for an active lifestyle

PROBIOTICAL | 26-May-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Gastrointestinal problems, stress and mood changes, poor sleep and a weak immune system can interfere with the daily training routine in people pursuing...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more