Probiotics provide more anti-obesity evidence; synbiotics affect breast milk reducing infant diarrhea and Mother Nature works on cleaning up oil.
Another Anti-fat Probiotic
Looking for beneficial bacteria species that can combat obesity is a popular research field, and researchers in Korea have also decided to join in. Using Lactobacillus plantarum LG42, a specific strain isolated from a fermented Korean dish, the scientists attempted to prevent the weight gain in mice fed a high-fat diet. They found that L. plantarum LG42 supplementation significantly reduced many of the negative factors associated with a fatty diet, including increased triglycerides, insulin and leptin. Moreover, the probiotic treatment also modulated gene activity within the liver and fat cells. For more information about probiotics and weight loss, see this post.
Synbiotics Good for Breast Milk
Probiotics are believed to be helpful for pregnant mothers and newborns. To determine the direct contribution of synbiotics (probiotics plus prebiotics) on immunological factors in breast milk, researchers from Iran, administered synbiotics to breast-feeding mothers for one month. They found that antibodies and an immune factor known to reduce inflammation were increased after treatment. These changes were also coupled with a significantly lowered incidence of diarrhea in the infants.
Mother Nature Takes on Petroleum
Oil contamination of soil, a by-product of the oil economy, has left many areas too polluted for habitation. While treatment in these areas is still the desired goal, researchers from Romania wondered if Mother Nature might already be busy with a solution. To find out, the scientists examined the composition of bacteria in soils collected from polluted regions. They found that in most petroleum polluted areas the microflora changed to include larger numbers of bacteria capable of degrading petroleum. However, high levels of some pollutants reduced bacterial diversity, and this emphasizes that Mother Nature still needs help cleaning up our oil mess.
- Benedek T, Vajna B, Tancsics A, et al. Remarkable impact of PAHs and TPHs on the richness and diversity of bacterial species in surface soils exposed to long-term hydrocarbon pollution. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 2013;29:1989-2002.
- Nikniaz L, Ostadrahimi A, Mahdavi R, et al. Effects of Synbiotic Supplementation on Breast Milk Levels of IgA, TGF-beta1, and TGF-beta2. J Hum Lact 2013;29:591-6.
- Park JE, Oh SH, Cha YS. Lactobacillus plantarum LG42 isolated from gajami sik-hae decreases body and fat pad weights in diet-induced obese mice. J Appl Microbiol 2013.