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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Dec;23(12):2364-70. doi: 10.1002/oby.21230. Epub 2015 Oct 14.

Probiotic supplementation attenuates increases in body mass and fat mass during high-fat diet in healthy young adults.

Author information

  • 1Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
  • 2Fralin Translational Obesity Research Center, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
  • 3Metabolic Phenotyping Core, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.



The objective was to determine the effects of the probiotic, VSL#3, on body and fat mass, insulin sensitivity, and skeletal muscle substrate oxidation following 4 weeks of a high-fat diet.


Twenty non-obese males (18-30 years) participated in the study. Following a 2-week eucaloric control diet, participants underwent dual X-ray absorptiometry to determine body composition, an intravenous glucose tolerance test to determine insulin sensitivity, and a skeletal muscle biopsy for measurement of in vitro substrate oxidation. Subsequently, participants were randomized to receive either VSL#3 or placebo daily during 4 weeks of consuming a High-fat (55% fat), hypercaloric diet (+1,000 kcal day(-1) ). Participants repeated all measurements following the intervention.


Body mass (1.42 ± 0.42 kg vs. 2.30 ± 0.28 kg) and fat mass (0.63 ± 0.09 kg vs. 1.29 ± 0.27 kg) increased less following the High-fat diet in the VSL#3 group compared with placebo. However, there were no significant changes in insulin sensitivity or in vitro skeletal muscle pyruvate and fat oxidation with the High-fat diet or VSL#3.


VSL#3 supplementation appears to have provided some protection from body mass gain and fat accumulation in healthy young men consuming a High-fat and high-energy diet.

© 2015 The Obesity Society.

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