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Prebiotic and Probiotic Combination May Boost Gut Bacteria, Improve Gut Barrier

Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that nourish probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. A recent study suggests that a prebiotic/probiotic combination supplement may boost the gut microbiota and improve gut barrier function.


Participants in the study included 134 overweight and obese people who were assigned to one of four groups: 10 billion CFUs of B. lactis B420 daily; 12 grams of a branded prebiotic; a combination of the two; or a placebo. The participants followed their assigned intervention for six months. Fecal and plasma samples were taken at baseline, 2, 4, and 6 months, and 1-month post-intervention.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted that the B. lactis group had higher levels of Lactobacillus and Akkermansia. The combination group had higher levels of Akkermansia, Christensenellacae, and Methanobrevibactor, as well as lower levels of Paraprevotella. Akkermansia is associated with improved gut barrier. Finally, they noted that several different bile acids were reduced in the combination group.


Participants in the combination group also saw improvements in waist-area body fat mass. Total body mass was reduced by 4.5%, trunk fat by 6.7%, and waist circumference by one inch, compared to placebo.


Researchers from DuPont Nutrition & Health led the study. It was published online ahead of print on December 10, 2018, in Beneficial Microbes.

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