Special probiotics ‘could reduce obesity’
Specially-designed probiotics can change the make-up of host fat cells, scientists have claimed, which could lead to the development of treatments for obesity, helping people to lose weight.
Writing in the journal Microbiology, researchers from the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) at University College Cork and Teagasc – the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority – found that ingesting the live bacterial strain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) can influence metabolism at remote sites in the body.
Leader of the study Dr Catherine Stanton, from Teagasc, said: "CLA has already been shown to alleviate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that often accompanies obesity."
"Therefore, increasing levels of CLA in the liver by ingestion of a probiotic strain is of therapeutic relevance," she added.
Dr Stanton went on to explain that fat is not an inert layer around the body; it is active and is a risk factor for many diseases, including cancer.
Back in October, the European Food Safety Authority published a report stating that evidence is lacking to prove that probiotic drinks have any benefit to a person's health.
Do probiotic drinks feature in your diet?