The usage of probiotic foods and supplements has been widely considered part of a healthy diet by supplementing the gut
microbiome with beneficial bacteria. Although the usage of probiotics is a common dietary accessory, there is limited reproducible evidence showing bacterial colonization, thus limiting long term effectiveness. We administered Yakult, a commercial probiotic composed of Lactobacillus paracasei strain Shirota, to overweight and standard weight school children in Malaysia. Using a crossover intervention study design, two groups of school children were administered the probiotic supplement or continued their typical diet in sequential 5-week intervention periods, separated by a 5-week washout period. Fecal samples were collected every five weeks over the course of the 15-week study period. The gut microbiome of each subject was analyzed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We observed significant differences in Lachnospiraceae, Coproccus, Roseburia, Pyramidobacter, and Bacteroides ovatus between weight classes. However, differences in overall microbiome diversity between weight classes were not found to be significant. Subjects clustered according to their relative abundance of well-known genera Bacteroides and Prevotella, regardless of age, gender, or weight class. Overall, individual-to-individual variation overshadowed trends in gut microbiome composition associated with probiotic administration.
This study investigates the connection of commercial probiotics and gut microbiome health in relation to childrens' weights (standard and overweight). The study utilized a cross-over design with probiotic (brand "Yakult") intervention.
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
Linhardt, Carter A; Clayton, Jonathan B; Hoops, Suzie; Amin-Nordin, Syafinaz; Knights, Dan.
The relationship of gut microbiota in standard and overweight children, before and after probiotic administration.
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