Probiotics may counter the inflammatory effects of a high-fat diet: Rat study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / image_jungle
© Getty Images / image_jungle
The pro-inflammatory effects of a high-fat, Western-type diet may be attenuated by probiotics, suggests data from an animal study from Korea.

Scientists from Kyung Hee University and Eulji University report that Lactobacillus plantarum​ LC27 and/or Bifidobacterium longum​ LC67 alleviated fat accumulation in the liver (steastosis) and inflammation in the colon (colitis) in lab animals.

“Anti-inflammatory LC27 and LC67 simultaneously attenuated HFD [high fat diet]-induced liver steatosis, obesity, and colitis by suppressing gut microbiota LPS-induced NF-kappaB activation,” ​they wrote. LPS (lipopolysaccharide) is an endotoxin that elicits strong immune responses, including the activation of NF-kappaB, a pathway widely recognized as a key contributor in the expression of pro-inflammatory genes.

“These probiotics may be a suitable ingredient of functional foods designed for alleviating or preventing liver steatosis, obesity, endotoxemia, and colitis.”

Study details

The researchers divided lab rats into six groups. One group consumed a low fat diet with ‘placebo’, while the other five groups consumed the high fat diet plus 1) ‘placebo’, 2) LC27 only, 3) LC67 only, 4) a 3:1 mixture of LC27 and LC67, and 5) silymarin.

After four weeks of these feeding regimens, the researchers found that the LC27, LC67 and the group receiving the mixture had lower liver enzymes levels, particularly for aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase, compared to the high fat plus ‘placebo’ group.

In addition, increases in triglyceride, total cholesterol, and lipopolysaccharide levels in the blood and liver that were observed in the high fat diet only group were attenuated in the probiotic groups, said the researchers.

The researcher also found that the probiotics attenuated changes in populations in the gut for Firmicutes​ and Proteobacteria​ seen in the high fat diet only group.

“Based on these findings, our results are consistent with our first hypothesis that the anti-inflammatory LC27 and LC67 simultaneously attenuated HFD-induced liver steatosis, obesity, and colitis in vivo,”​ wrote the researchers.

Looking ahead, they called for human clinical trials to further explore the potential benefits of these bacterial strains.

Source: Nutrition Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2019.03.008
“Lactobacillus plantarum LC27 and​ Bifidobacterium longum LC67 simultaneously alleviate high-fat diet-induced colitis, endotoxemia, liver steatosis, and obesity in mice”
Authors: H.I. Kim et al.

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