Imact of a Synbiotic Supplement on Body Composition and Selected Metabolic Biomarkers in Healthy Overweight Subjects: A Randomized Pilot Study
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The overweight and obesity epidemic faced by the world today is a major concern because of severe health consequences that often accompany excess body weight and fat mass. Obesity is a complex disease that has often been considered the result of an imbalance between caloric consumption and energy expenditure. However, the ecology of the intestinal microbiota is another potential contributor to the accumulation of excess body fat. Favorably shifting the balance of gut flora via probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics may provide a means to help counteract the obesity epidemic. In this study, we sought to determine whether the regular consumption of a synbiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5, Lactobacillus paracasei CRL-431, Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12, and Saccharomyces boulardii in combination with the prebiotics inulin and galactooligosaccharides (GOS) will favorably impact body composition and serum blood lipid levels in overweight and obese subjects. Our results indicate that supplementation with this particular synbiotic formulation can improve the gut bacteria profile of overweight and obese subjects independent of changes in diet and physical activity. These beneficial changes have the potential for reducing fat mass and improving serum lipid concentrations. More research is needed regarding which populations will benefit most and the specific synbiotic formulation that can effectively modify gut bacteria in order to beneficially impact human health and reduce the incidence of obesity and related disorders.