How Probiotics Are Bringing Innovation in Diet?

According to the World Obesity Federation, it is estimated that 800 million people around the world are living with obesity. How can probiotics bring innovation in weight management?

Overall Health Overweighs Physical Appearance

For today’s consumers, weight management has become key to maintain overall health, and is no longer strictly linked to physical appearance. In a survey conducted on 17,000 consumers in 2021, 80.2% stated they think a healthy weight is important for overall health and wellbeing, while only 19.8% stated it is for physical appearance. (FMCG Gurus, Weight management survey, 2021, 17 countries).

Probiotics as Part of a Weight-Loss Strategy

 Consumers are willing to take a proactive approach for their weight management efforts. They know there is no magic pill to make them lose weight, but 21.9% of global consumers want to address their weight by using supplements. (FMCG Gurus, Nutritional supplements survey, 2020, 26 countries).

It is well known that a reduced-calorie diet has its challenges. Losing weight means reducing caloric intake, as well as increasing exercise, and it can be difficult to stick to a diet; consumers are sometimes tempted to enjoy treats and moments of indulgence – not to mention the fact that these treats are often calorically rich.

Moreover, a diet is stressful, and consumers can feel discouraged with the prolonged nature of it. The kind of trouble this situation brings for consumers has strong potential for probiotic use, since some probiotic’s action on the gut-brain axis could help mediate the food reward system, making it easier to resist to temptation. Probiotic use for weight management is already quite frequent: in a survey focused on probiotics, 30.1% of consumers associated probiotics with weight management (FMCG Gurus, Probiotic survey, 2020, 15 countries), and 56% of consumers using supplements to lose weight have used probiotics (FMCG Gurus, Weight management survey, 2021, 17 countries).

L. rhamnosus HA-114 Improves Eating and Mood-Related Behaviors in Overweight Adults on a Diet

In a recent, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 152 overweight, otherwise healthy, adults starting a diet were recruited [Choi, 2021 – Submitted]. While on a personalized energy-restricted diet (-500 kcal per day), participants were randomized to either take L. rhamnosus HA-114 or placebo. Physiological and psychological parameters and eating behaviors were measured at baseline and at 12 weeks using validated questionnaires. In the probiotic group, eating behaviors such as binge eating, lack of control over-eating or cravings significantly reduced over the course of the study.

Some additional results from this study are very innovative for the customers. Indeed, it was showed that feelings of stress, anxiety and depression significantly improved compared to baseline. In short, L. rhamnosus HA-114 intake enhanced the mood of participants during their diet, helping them resist their cravings while supporting psychological well-being. This demonstrates a positive impact on eating behavior by promoting a well-balanced gut-brain axis communication to support weight management efforts. The results highlight the beneficial effects of L. rhamnosus HA-114 on mental health and reinforce the validity of the gut-brain axis concept, warranting the influence of probiotics on psychological wellbeing among participants enrolled in a caloric-restriction intervention.

Also, participants in the L. rhamnosus HA-114 group saw significant intragroup changes in plasma insulin, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides over the study period when compared with baseline.

 L. rhamnosus HA-114 is a unique patent pending probiotic strain from Lallemand Health Solutions. Contact us for your weight management project.