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Probiotic supplementation prevents high-fat, overfeeding-induced insulin resistance in human subjects

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posted on 11.07.2016, 15:20 by Carl Hulston, Amelia A. Churnside, Michelle C. Venables
The purpose of the present study was to determine whether probiotic supplementation (Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS)) prevents diet-induced insulin resistance in human subjects. A total of seventeen healthy subjects were randomised to either a probiotic (n 8) or a control (n 9) group. The probiotic group consumed a LcS-fermented milk drink twice daily for 4 weeks, whereas the control group received no supplementation. Subjects maintained their normal diet for the first 3 weeks of the study, after which they consumed a high-fat (65 % of energy), high-energy (50 % increase in energy intake) diet for 7 d. Whole-body insulin sensitivity was assessed by an oral glucose tolerance test conducted before and after overfeeding. Body mass increased by 0·6 (se 0·2) kg in the control group (P< 0·05) and by 0·3 (se 0·2) kg in the probiotic group (P>0·05). Fasting plasma glucose concentrations increased following 7 d of overeating (control group: 5·3 (se 0·1) v. 5·6 (se 0·2) mmol/l before and after overfeeding, respectively, P< 0·05), whereas fasting serum insulin concentrations were maintained in both groups. Glucose AUC values increased by 10 % (from 817 (se 45) to 899 (se 39) mmol/l per 120 min, P< 0·05) and whole-body insulin sensitivity decreased by 27 % (from 5·3 (se 1·4) to 3·9 (se 0·9), P< 0·05) in the control group, whereas normal insulin sensitivity was maintained in the probiotic group (4·4 (se 0·8) and 4·5 (se 0·9) before and after overeating, respectively (P>0·05). These results suggest that probiotic supplementation may be useful in the prevention of diet-induced metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.


The present study was conceptualised and initiated by the lead investigator (C. J. H.), and was financially supported by industry funds. The cost of consumables for the study was covered by an educational grant from Yakult UK Limited. Yakult UK Limited had no role in the design and analysis of the study or in the writing of this article. A. A. C. was supported by a summer studentship grant from the Society for Endocrinology. M. C. V. was funded by the Medical Research Council (grant no. U1059·60·389).



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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HULSTON, C.J., CHURNSIDE, A.A. and VENABLES, M.C., 2015. Probiotic supplementation prevents high-fat, overfeeding-induced insulin resistance in human subjects. British Journal of Nutrition, 113 (4), pp. 596 - 602.


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