Obesity is a growing problem in the United States, and is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. A recent study suggests that a plant-derived lactic acid bacterium called Pediococcus pentosaceus LP28 may help reduce body fat and waistlines.
Participants in the study included 62 people between the ages of 20 and 70 with a BMI between 25 and 30 kg/m2. Over the course of 12 weeks they took a live LP28, a heat-killed LP28, or a placebo daily. They were instructed not to change their usual diet and exercise routines.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted an average 0.45 kg/m2 decrease in BMI, a 1.1% decrease in body fat percentage, a 2.1 pound decrease in body fat mass, and a 1.2 inch reduction in waist circumference in the heat-killed LP28 group, when compared with the placebo.
The live LP28 group did not show significant changes when compared to the placebo. The live LP28 powder was harder to swallow than the heat killed LP28 because of taste and texture. The researchers believe this may have lowered compliance in the live LP28 group.
Researchers from Hiroshima University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 9, 2016, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Obesity has far ranging negative effect on health. Each year, obesity causes approximately 300,000 premature deaths in the United States. The negative health effects associated with obesity include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome and sleep apnea.
Improving eating habits and increasing physical activity play a vital role in preventing obesity. It is recommended that we eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It also recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity every day.