Morinaga Bifidobacterium probiotic shows promise for weight management: Study

By Olivia Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / Sam Edwards
Getty Images / Sam Edwards

Related tags Probiotic Gut health

Consumption of a probiotic containing B. longum BB536 and B. breve MCC1274A led to significant reductions in abdominal visceral fat and serum triglyceride levels in both healthy and overweight adults, according to a new study.

The research, funded by Morinaga Milk Industry Co. and published in the journal Nutrients, ​also noted that increases in BMI observed in the control group were significantly suppressed in the probiotic group.

“This study showed that B. longum​ BB536 and B. breve​ MCC1274 may reduce visceral fat and total fat levels in healthy normal and overweight adults compared to the placebo group,” the Japanese researchers wrote. “In addition, BMI and TG levels also showed significant differences between the groups.”

B. longum​ BB536 and B. breve​ MCC1274 appeared to have beneficial effects on body composition and serum lipid levels through anti-inflammatory activity, postbiotic production and lipid metabolism.”

Probiotics and weight management

Global obesity rates have surged in recent years, a result of not only genetic but environmental factors such as overeating and inactivity.

"Overweight and obesity are known to occur regardless of age, sex or race," the researchers wrote. "In addition, visceral fat has been suggested to be associated with the risk of diseases such as metabolic syndrome. Therefore, prevention and improvement in fat accumulation are important for maintaining health."

They noted that while lifestyle modifications may be difficult to maintain in the long-term, Bifidobacteria has been been found to be particularly depleted in obese people​, and previous research has identified B. longum ​BB536 and B. breve ​MCC1274 as promising for weight management​ and well-being. 

Study details

The randomized controlled trial recruited 100 participants between the ages 29 and 64 years, with a BMI of 23 to 30, and assigned them to either a probiotic supplement test group or placebo group for a period of 16 weeks.

The probiotic supplement (provided by Morinaga Milk Industry, Japan) contained 1 × 1010​ colony-forming units (CFUs) of B. longum ​BB536 and 5 × 109​ CFU of B. breve ​MCC1274 (B-3) per two capsules. 

Findings revealed a significant reduction of abdominal visceral fat area, total abdominal fat area and serum triglyceride levels  in the probiotics group compared to placebo. An increase in BMI was observed in the placebo group, which was significantly suppressed in the probiotics group.

“This study showed that B. longum BB536​ and B. breve MCC1274​ reduced abdominal visceral fat and total fat levels in healthy normal and overweight adults, suggesting their beneficial effects on body composition,” the study concluded.

The researchers explained that the mechanisms of action behind the effect may be attributed to the anti-inflammatory, postbiotic production and lipid metabolism activities of the strains observed.

“Corticosterone (cortisol in humans) is a hormone induced by chronic stress and is suggested to be associated with visceral fat accumulation," they wrote. "The lower level of corticosterone was considered to be one of the mechanisms of the beneficial effect in the APC1472 group."

The study called for further research to investigate the effect within other population groups as well as for varying durations.


Source: Nutrients
doi: 10.3390/nu16060815
“Effects of Bifidobacterium longum BB536 and Bifidobacterium breve MCC1274 on Body Composition in Normal and Overweight Adults in Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study”
Authors: Soichiro Sato et al.

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