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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.

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Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
Fralin Translational Obesity Research Center, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
Metabolic 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.

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