In a breakthrough research, the food scientists at the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority (IAFDA) and Cork University, Ireland, have created friendly bacteria which when added to yogurt might help shed excess body fat.
According to the research team, these bacteria can alter other bacteria, naturally found in gut and probiotic yogurt, to produce a molecule that has been shown to reduce the amount of fat tissue present in body. The study findings will be helpful in producing designer probiotic yogurt and drinks that might help cut obesity risk.
Lead researcher Catherine Stanton, from the IAFDA, said, "Fat is not an inert layer around our bodies, it is active and pro-inflammatory. It is a risk factor for many diseases, including cancers. "This work shows that there is potential to influence fat tissue through diet-microbe-host interactions in the gut. It opens up new possibilities for the use of probiotics for improving human health."
For the study purpose, Stanton along with his colleagues created a new strain of Lactobacillus bacteria, which is found in human gut and facilitates digestion of food by inserting a transgene from Propionibacterium acnes. Propionibacterium acnes is another type of bacteria which naturally produces polysaturated fatty acids t10, c12 Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA).
When the genetically engineered Lactobacillus were administered to laboratory mice, it was found that the levels of t10, c12-CLA in the body fat increased by four times as compared to mice who were fed the control strain. Also, the concentration of the molecule was found 2.5 times higher in rodents' liver as compared to mice in control group.
Recent researches have shown that the molecules t10, c12-CLA are capable of shrinking fat cells, leading to overall reduction in body fat. Previous animal studies have shown that these molecules also inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells. "CLA has already been shown to alleviate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that often accompanies obesity. Therefore, increasing levels of CLA in the liver by ingestion of a probiotic strain is of therapeutic relevance. "It is possible that a CLA- producing probiotic may also be able to keep colon cancer cells in check,” Dr Stanton added.
January 18, 2011