May 29/Torrance, Calif./PRNewswire -- Results of a new study published in the journal Molecular Systems Biology show probiotics have a tangible effect on metabolism.
Researchers from Imperial College London and Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, fed mice two different strains of probiotics, Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Each strain showed a range of biochemical effects that were markedly different.
They also observed that one biological change was in how the treated mice metabolized bile acids. The primary function of bile acids is to emulsify fats in the upper gut. If probiotics influence the way bile acids are metabolized, they could change the amount of fat the body can absorb.
Probiotics are nutritional supplements or foods that contain the good bacteria similar to that found naturally in the body. While there are billions of both bad and good bacteria throughout the digestive tract, most are found in the intestines.
Good bacteria is critical for good health, as it aids digestion, supports the immune system and plays a role in the creation of B-vitamins and certain enzymes.
Foods like yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut are some foods high in probiotics. Other foods, known as prebiotics, are essential as well; they help good bacteria grow. Prebiotic foods include onion, garlic and the superfood Chlorella.
From the June 8, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition