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2012-05-01

Heat-Killed Probiotics May Benefit Metabolic Syndrome

This new study on a probiotic strain was only on rats, but I'm covering this as an example of how dead probiotics still offer health benefits (and there are a number of other studies like this on dead probiotics). I know most would think that live probiotics are what you should get, and yes, for the most part, that's true. But remember, it's not the probiotics themselves that give the health benefits, but their metabolites. This is why dead probiotics still offer health-promoting properties--they've released their metabolites into their surroundings (capsule, powder, growing medium, etc.) while they were alive. The benefit of consuming live probiotic bacteria is that they'll continue to secrete beneficial metabolites for some time, while the benefits of dead probiotics will be short-lived and transient.

Anyway, the present study investigated the potential health-promoting effects of heat-inactivated Lactobacillus gasseri TMC0356 (TMC0356) on the metabolic syndrome (MS). Rats were randomly divided into five groups: a control group fed a conventional diet, an MS model group fed a high-fat and high-salt (HFS) diet and three TMC0356 test groups (low-, medium- and high-dose groups) fed an HFS diet supplemented with TMC0356.

All the metabolic indices, except blood pressure, were markedly improved by oral administration of low and medium doses of TMC0356. The thymus index in the medium-dose group and lymphocyte, CRP, IL-6, TNF-α and IgG levels in all the three TMC0356 groups were significantly increased compared with those in the MS model control group. Sounds technical, doesn't it? What these results suggest, is that TMC0356 can improve the metabolic characteristics of MS rats by suppressing appetite. Additionally, the enhancement of inflammatory immune response may be, at least in part, the mechanism underlying the health-promoting effects of TMC0356 on metabolic syndrome.

Source: Effects of heat-inactivated Lactobacillus gasseri TMC0356 on metabolic characteristics and immunity of rats with the metabolic syndrome

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