A New Probiotic strain of B. longum for reducing blood sugar and control weight

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A strain of bacteria identified in UCC has potential to be used as a probiotic to reduce appetite in obese people and to ease “stress eating” associated with feeling overweight.

Known as Bifidobacterium longum APC1472, it also has huge implications for people with type 2 diabetes, notably in helping to control blood glucose, according research findings published on Friday.

Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980; most of the world’s population now live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight – a trend seen in Ireland.

It is a major health challenge because it substantially increases the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes. In recent years, prevalence of type 2 diabetes has soared worldwide with approximately 462 million individuals affected, corresponding to 6.28 per cent of the world’s population.

A team led by Dr Harriet Schellekens at the APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre identified Bifidobacterium longum APC1472 to be an important regulator of appetite and metabolism during laboratory studies. Researchers at the centre have gone on to prove the benefit in a human clinical trial.

In a group of healthy people who were overweight or obese, their research published the Lancet journal, eBioMedicine, shows the novel bacterial strain Bifidobacterium Longum APC1472 reduced their fasting blood glucose levels and could normalise active levels of both ghrelin, a hormone signalling hunger, and the stress hormone cortisol – both of which are altered in obesity.

While no effect was seen in reducing weight gain in humans, initial research showed the bacterium reduced weight gain and fat deposit size in obese mice.

“This study shows that B. longum APC1472 has potential to be developed as a valuable probiotic supplement to reduce blood glucose, which is important in the development of conditions such as type 2 diabetes,” Dr Schellekens said.

A strain of bacteria identified in UCC has potential to be used as a probiotic to reduce appetite in obese people and to ease “stress eating” associated with feeling overweight.

Known as Bifidobacterium longum APC1472, it also has huge implications for people with type 2 diabetes, notably in helping to control blood glucose, according research findings published on Friday.

Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980; most of the world’s population now live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight – a trend seen in Ireland.

It is a major health challenge because it substantially increases the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes. In recent years, prevalence of type 2 diabetes has soared worldwide with approximately 462 million individuals affected, corresponding to 6.28 per cent of the world’s population.

A team led by Dr Harriet Schellekens at the APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre identified Bifidobacterium longum APC1472 to be an important regulator of appetite and metabolism during laboratory studies. Researchers at the centre have gone on to prove the benefit in a human clinical trial.

In a group of healthy people who were overweight or obese, their research published the Lancet journal, eBioMedicine, shows the novel bacterial strain Bifidobacterium Longum APC1472 reduced their fasting blood glucose levels and could normalise active levels of both ghrelin, a hormone signalling hunger, and the stress hormone cortisol – both of which are altered in obesity.

While no effect was seen in reducing weight gain in humans, initial research showed the bacterium reduced weight gain and fat deposit size in obese mice.

“This study shows that B. longum APC1472 has potential to be developed as a valuable probiotic supplement to reduce blood glucose, which is important in the development of conditions such as type 2 diabetes,” Dr Schellekens said.

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