Some exciting new research has found that daily consumption of yoghurt for six weeks containing probiotic strains of Lactobacillus amylovorus or Lactobacillus fermentum, has been associated with a significant reduction in body fat mass.

The recent placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over clinical trial in Canada involved 28 healthy but overweight participants. They were randomly assigned to consume yoghurt for 43 days which contained either L. fermentum (1.39 billion colony forming units), L. amylovorus (1.08 billion colony forming units) or yoghurt with no added ingredient (the control group).

The statistically significant results (compared to baseline measurements) found that total body fat mass decreased by 4% for those consuming the yoghurt containing L. amylovorus, 3% for those who consumed yoghurt containing L. fermentum and a 1% reduction was noted in the control group.

Interestingly, changes in gut microflora were also noted in the groups consuming the probiotic strains, including a decrease in levels of Clostridia, and there was a concurrent increase in the presence of Lactobacillus strains.

The authors concluded that changes in the composition of gut flora which may be mediated by probiotic supplementation, could contribute to having positive and significant effects on fat loss, body composition and metabolism, and may also assist in reducing the development of obesity.

We think these results are very interesting, and it is nice to see testing on humans. More trials are certainly needed in this area, looking at larger numbers and more probiotic strains. Research so far into probiotics and weight loss has been fascinating, but preliminary. Whereas we do not yet know if taking probiotics can really encourage weight loss, where there has been more research is in the suggestion that obese people are likely to have very different microflora to their lean counterparts. Read about this research here and here.

Omar et al (2012). Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus amylovorus as probiotics alter body adiposity and gut microflora in health persons. Journal of Functional Foods. In press, Corrected proof.


  • Where can I get a probiotic with these strains: Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus. I've been struggling with weight loss and even when I cut out wheat and other gluten products, dairy, sugar and coffee for nine months and walked between 5-10 km a day, I couldn't lose more than 18kg and I need to lose a lot more. I also have a lot of food allergies and an autoimmune disorder - fibromyalgia, inflammatory arthritis and eczema, particularly after consuming wheat. I've been taking a probiotic regularly with no changes to weight loss. Since reading about this research I've been looking for a probiotic which would help me lose weight and I haven't found one with these strains.

  • Response from OptiBac Probiotics

    Hi Miryana, thanks for the comment. I’m afraid we don’t know where you can locate these probiotic species, and it’s not clear which strains were being used in this small study. For the moment there is not a huge amount of trustworthy clinical research into specific probiotic strains and weight loss. At present we would always recommend customers find a high quality probiotic suited to their specific needs (eg. for those travelling / those taking antibiotics) etc as a general support for overall health, which in turn may help with weight management in those looking to lose weight. If you’d like to talk to one of our team about which probiotic is right for you, please don’t hesitate to call us on +44 1264 363 193, or email us on <a href="mailto">[email protected]</a>, and our naturopath Megan will get back to you.<br/>Best wishes, Soraya

  • I, too, have been unsuccessful trying to find yogurt with these strains of Bacteria. Is there anyone who can help?

  • Hi Miryana and Jeni,
    Thank you for your comments.
    Firstly, the bacteria mentioned in the blog are species not strains.For more information on this, check out our information page by clicking on ' About Live Cultures' then 'Glossary of Probiotic Terms' then scroll down to 'Strains' and 'Species.'
    The study mentioned did not specify which particular strains of Lactobacillus fermentum or amylovorus were used, but concluded that overall populations of the genus Lactobacillus improved in the subjects who were monitored.
    Ultimately, research into this area is concluding that improving populations of beneficial bacteria in the gut should help to improve digestion, nutrient absorption and metabolism, so supplementing with most species of Lactobacillus may help to do this. Most of our products contain the genus Lactobacillus and can be taken for this purpose.
    I hope this helps to answer your query, but if you need any further information, just ask!

  • Just came across the abstracts from a new japanese study done last year on fragmented L. Amylovorus. 200 obese patients involved, one control group, the other one given a drink with the l. amylovorus every day for 12 weeks. They checked a number of factors, and there was substantial improvements not only in body fat, but also in cholesterol, breakdown of sugars (great news for diabetics), and even uric acid (which would be a double benefit for me since i've been dealing with a lot of issues with gout). They also found no negative effects in any participant who took the l.amylovorus. This might be a massive game changer for the entire world, but for that reason good chances that FDA will refuse to allow it because it would cripple medical profits (given that obesity and related illnesses like diabetes is one of the biggest health issues in the US). really needing some supplement group to produce probiotics using these strains since vitamins and supplements can bypass a lot of FDA regulations

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