Probiotics may counter obesity effects on vascular function: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/TLFurrer
© iStock/TLFurrer

Related tags: Gut flora

Supplementing the diet with probiotic Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum CECT 7765 may reverse the detrimental effects that obesity has on the function of blood vessels, suggests preliminary data from lab mice.

Lab mice fed a high fat “Western” diet for 14 weeks became obese, and this produced detrimental alterations to their vascular function. However, supplementing the high fat diet with B. pseudocatenulatum CECT 7765 was found to reverse these harmful effects, according to findings published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences​.

​B. pseudocatenulatum CECT 7765 restores altered vascular function induced by obesity by reducing NO release,” ​wrote researchers the University of Valencia in Spain. “However, these effects are bacterial strain-dependent and care must be taken in extrapolating data obtained from one organism to another.

“Because our findings are limited to study aortic reactivity in mice, a link between our results and the clinical studies should be further investigated. Despite these considerations, our results shown a direct link between microbiota and vascular effects in a model of obesity induced by high fat diet.”

Study details

The researchers fed lab mice a high-fat diet with or without B. pseudocatenulatum​ CECT 7765 for 14 weeks. Mice in the non-supplemented group had a lessened response to potassium chloride (KCl), a vasoconstrictor, which suggested that the blood vessels had a lower capacity to contract. This could be linked to an impact on calcium ion absorption in the gut. Probiotics like B. pseudocatenulatum​ CECT 7765 have previously been reported to improve calcium levels by boosting bioavailability, solubility and absorption in the gut, and data from this new study showed that probiotic supplementation reversed this diminished responsiveness to KCl, supporting the proposed influence on calcium.

The researchers also reported that the non-supplemented group had a diminished response to noradrenaline, another chemical that activates contraction, and that probiotic supplementation reversed this effect.

“[O]ur results demonstrate that the administration of ​B. pseudocatenulatum CECT 7765 might improve vascular dysfunction caused by [high-fat diet]-induced obesity,” ​wrote the researchers.

Source: International Journal of Medical Sciences
2017, Volume 14, Number 5, Pages 444–451, doi: 10.7150/ijms.18354
​Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum CECT 7765 supplementation restores altered vascular function in an experimental model of obese mice”
Authors: M.D. Mauricio, et al.

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