An obesity-related prediabetic state is characterised by metabolic abnormalities such as post-glucose load hyperglycaemia and dyslipidaemia and consequently increases the risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This study aimed to investigate the effects of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS) on metabolic abnormalities in obese prediabetic subjects in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Herein, 100 obese subjects (body mass index ≥25), who had moderate post-load hyperglycaemia (1-hr post-load plasma glucose (PG) levels ≥180 mg/dl during the oral glucose tolerance test), consumed LcS-fermented milk or placebo milk daily for 8 weeks. The post-load PG and fasting blood markers were evaluated. Although post-load PG levels were not significantly different between the groups, 1-hr post-load PG, glycoalbumin, and HbA1c levels decreased at 8 weeks compared with the baseline levels only in the LcS group (p=0.036, p=0.002, and p=0.006, respectively). The reduction in glycoalbumin levels was statistically significantly greater in the LcS group than in the placebo group (p=0.030). Stratified analyses revealed significantly improved 1-hr post-load PG and glycoalbumin levels in the LcS group compared with the placebo group among subjects with severe glucose intolerance (2-hr post-load PG levels higher than the median at baseline; p=0.036 and p=0.034, respectively). In terms of lipidic outcomes, total, low-density lipoprotein, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were significantly lower in the LcS group than in the placebo group (p=0.023, p=0.022, and p=0.008, respectively). These findings suggest that LcS may favourably affect metabolic abnormalities in obese prediabetic subjects, though the effects on glycaemic control may be limited.
Over the past decade, the gut microbiota has emerged as an essential mediator in the pathophysiology of obesity and related metabolic disorders. In this context, the reciprocal interactions of the gut microbiota structure and their metabolite profiles with host metabolism predisposing to a range of pathological conditions (e.g., insulin resistance) related to energy homeostasis have been increasingly discussed in various animal models and human cohorts. Remarkably, as the role of gut microbial metabolites as critical signaling molecules that function through the complementary host receptors has come to be appreciated, tremendous attention has been focused on the proposed diet-gut microbiota-host homeostasis axis, entailing extensive cross-disciplinary efforts in medical, pharmaceutical, and agricultural sciences. This review will discuss the recent advances in understanding the mechanisms whereby the gut microbiota modulates the effects of diet and shapes the host metabolism either towards or away from obesity and related metabolic conditions. In particular, the interactions of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), a subset of key gut microbial metabolites, with their specific receptors will be reviewed in relation to host energy homeostatic regulation and evaluated for potential as novel therapeutic targets for diet-induced obesity.
It has been demonstrated that an immune-modulating enteral formula enriched with whey peptides and fermented milk (IMF) had anti-inflammatory effects in some experimental models when it was administered before the induction of inflammation. Here, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of the IMF administration after the onset of systemic inflammation and investigated whether the IMF could improve the remote organ injuries in an acute pancreatitis (AP) model. Mice were fasted for 12 hours and then fed a choline-deficient and ethionine-supplemented diet (CDE diet) for 24 hours to induce pancreatitis. In experiment 1, the diet was replaced with a control enteral formula, and mice were sacrificed at 24-hour intervals for 96 hours. In experiment 2, mice were randomized into control and IMF groups and received the control formula or the IMF respectively for 72 hr or 96 hr. In experiment 1, pancreatitis was induced by the CDE diet, and inflammatory mediators were elevated for several days. Remote organ injuries such as splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, and elevation of the hepatic enzymes developed. A significant strong positive correlation was observed between plasma MCP-1 and hepatic enzymes. In experiment 2, the IMF significantly improved splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, and the elevation of hepatic enzymes. Plasma MCP-1 levels were significantly lower in the IMF group than in the control group. Nutrition management with the IMF may be useful for alleviating remote organ injuries after AP.
Antibiotic resistance genes in the feces of healthy young adult Japanese were analyzed with polymerase chain reaction using specific primers. Antibiotic resistance genes against macrolides (ermB, ermF, ermX, and mefA/E), tetracyclines (tetW, tetQ, tetO, and tetX), ß-lactam antibiotics (blaTEM), and streptomycin (aadE) were detected in more than 50% of subjects. These antibiotic resistance genes are likely widespread in the large intestinal bacteria of young adult Japanese.
Being an autochthonous species in humans, Lactobacillus gasseri is widely used as a probiotic for fermented products. We thoroughly compared the gene contents of 75 L. gasseri genomes and identified two intraspecific groups by the average nucleotide identity (ANI) threshold of 94%. Group I, with 48 strains, possessed 53 group-specific genes including the gassericin T cluster (9 genes) and N-acyl homoserine lactone lactonase. Group II, with 27 strains, including the type strain ATCC 33323, possessed group-specific genes with plasmid- or phage-related annotations. The genomic differences provide evidences for demarcating a new probiotic group within L. gasseri.
Black currant (Ribes nigrum) has various beneficial properties for human health. In particular, polysaccharide from black currant was found to be an immunostimulating food ingredient and was reported to have antitumor activity in a mouse model. We named it cassis polysaccharide (CAPS). In a previous study, CAPS administration caused tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) production in vitro and in vivo, but the immunological mechanism of CAPS was not demonstrated. In this study, we revealed the CAPS immunostimulating mechanism in vitro. First, we found that CAPS activated dendritic cells (DCs). Second, we investigated whether it depends on Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and myeloid differentiation primary response (Myd). We concluded that CAPS stimulates DCs through Myd88 depending TLR4 signaling and activates Th1-type cytokine release.
Potential fructophilic characteristics of Lactobacillus apinorum, originally isolated from the guts of honeybees (Apis mellifera), were studied in the present study. The species showed typical fructophilic growth characteristics, i.e., active growth on D-fructose, poor growth on D-glucose, and accelerated growth on D-glucose in the presence of electron acceptors. Biochemical characteristics strongly supported classification of the species into fructophilic lactic acid bacteria (FLAB). Furthermore, genetic analyses suggested that the species underwent extensive gene reduction, similar to that recorded for Lactobacillus kunkeei and other FLAB. These data clearly indicated that L. apinorum is the second fructophilic species within the genus Lactobacillus.
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