Bifidobacteria is a microbe that inhabits the gut, vagina and mouth of mammals including humans. Many probiotic blends sold as supplements now include the Bifidobacteria genus as one of their strains, A multi-centered effort between the University of North Parana-Unopar and the University of Londrina in Brazil set out to determine the effects of feeding fermented dairy containing Bifidobacteria to patients who were all diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome.
51 patients were divided into 2 groups of 25 control subjects and 26 probiotic consumers. The probiotic consumers were given fermented milk which contained the Bifidobacteria for 45 days.
Blood markers were taken at baseline and at 45 days of supplementation. Researchers looked at lipid profiles, glucose metabolism, and proinflammatory cytokines.
The Bifidobacteria group showed significant reduction in body mass index, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein compared with baseline and control group. There was also a significant decrease in tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 proinflammatory cytokines as well.
The researchers concluded "These data showed potential effects of B. lactis HN019 in reducing obesity, blood lipids, and some inflammatory markers, which may reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with MetS."
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Source: Beneficial effects of Bifidobacterium lactis on lipid profile and cytokines in patients with metabolic syndrome: A randomized trial. Effects of probiotics on metabolic syndrome. Nutrition. 2016 Jun;32(6):716-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.11.001. Epub 2015 Dec 7.