Probiotic supplementation attenuates increases in body mass and fat mass during high-fat diet in healthy young adults

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Dec;23(12):2364-70. doi: 10.1002/oby.21230. Epub 2015 Oct 14.


Objective: The objective was to determine the effects of the probiotic, VSL#3, on body and fat mass, insulin sensitivity, and skeletal muscle substrate oxidation following 4 weeks of a high-fat diet.

Methods: Twenty non-obese males (18-30 years) participated in the study. Following a 2-week eucaloric control diet, participants underwent dual X-ray absorptiometry to determine body composition, an intravenous glucose tolerance test to determine insulin sensitivity, and a skeletal muscle biopsy for measurement of in vitro substrate oxidation. Subsequently, participants were randomized to receive either VSL#3 or placebo daily during 4 weeks of consuming a High-fat (55% fat), hypercaloric diet (+1,000 kcal day(-1) ). Participants repeated all measurements following the intervention.

Results: Body mass (1.42 ± 0.42 kg vs. 2.30 ± 0.28 kg) and fat mass (0.63 ± 0.09 kg vs. 1.29 ± 0.27 kg) increased less following the High-fat diet in the VSL#3 group compared with placebo. However, there were no significant changes in insulin sensitivity or in vitro skeletal muscle pyruvate and fat oxidation with the High-fat diet or VSL#3.

Conclusions: VSL#3 supplementation appears to have provided some protection from body mass gain and fat accumulation in healthy young men consuming a High-fat and high-energy diet.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adiposity / drug effects*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Weight
  • Diet, High-Fat*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*
  • Weight Gain*
  • Young Adult