The administration of probiotics led to an accumulation of lipids (most of them triacylglycerides) in the liver which was significantly lower than that occurring in rats fed with a placebo, demonstrated by a special study, from the 'Nutrition Biochemistry: Theurapetic Applications' group (CTS-461) and the José Mataix Institute for Nutrition and Food Technology at the University of Granada. Researchers conducted an animal experiment with Zucker rats which develop obesity due to a gene mutation. If successfully used in practice, the findings strongly suggest a role for targeting the probiotics as a novel potential support therapy treatment for liver disease. According to the researchers.
The study have been published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The accumulation of fat in the liver is called steatosis and it constitutes the first stage in the NAFLD disease, which is closely related to obesity and diabetes. Given that the prevalence of these two pathologies, NAFLD has also become a health problem that affects millions of people throughout the world.
Probiotics are microorganisms (bacteria or yeasts) with healthy effects upon individuals that consume them in adequate doses. They were traditionally considered to be living microorganisms, but the concept was widened since some dead microorganisms, or even their components, can display probiotic properties.
University of Granada researchers worked with three strains from the Collection Nationale de Cultures de Microorganisms (CNCM) of the Pasteur Institute: Lactobacillus paracasei CNCM I-4034, Bifidobacterium breve CNCM I-4035 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus CNCM I-4036. During their first experiment, conducted on healthy volunteers, researchers demonstrated that all three of them are tolerable and safe for human consumption.
In this current study, the strains were administered during thirty days in the diet of Zucker rats. These rats develop obesity due to a mutation in the gene that codifies the receptor or leptin, a homone that transmits a sensation of satiety to the organism. Zucker rats are among the best characterized genetic models.
In their article, the authors describe that the administration of probiotics led to an accumulation of lipids (most of them triacylglycerides) in the liver which was significantly lower than that occurring in rats fed with a placebo.
"This new finding went hand in hand with lower values in proinflamatory molecules (tumor-a necrosis factor, interleukin 6 and liposacarid) in the serum of rats fed with probiotics.
According to these researchers, this liver disease will not be cured with probiotics, but these microorganisms can certainly be used as support therapy in joint use with other treatments.