Study suggests probiotics may affect metabolism

6/3/2009

TORRANCE, Calif. Results of a new study published in the journal Molecular Systems Biology showed probiotics have a tangible effect on metabolism — suggesting that the digestive flora may provide weight loss benefits in addition to helping to maintain digestive health.

Researchers from Imperial College London and Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, fed mice two different strains of probiotics, Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Each strain showed a range of biochemical effects that were markedly different.

They also observed that one biological change was in how the treated mice metabolized bile acids. The primary function of bile acids is to emulsify fats in the upper gut. If probiotics influences the way bile acids are metabolized, they could change the amount of fat the body can absorb.

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