Probiotic cheese + low calorie diet shows weight and heart health benefits for obese

By Stephen DANIELLS

- Last updated on GMT

Probiotic cheese + low calorie diet shows weight and heart health benefits for obese

Related tags: Blood pressure

A low calorie diet plus daily consumption of a probiotic cheese may improve blood pressure and body mass index measures in obese adults with hypertension, says a new study.

Three weeks of consuming 1500 calories per day and the cheese containing Lactobacillus plantarum​ Tensia (DSM 21380) were associated with significantly improved BMI, compared with the low calorie diet plus a non-probiotic cheese, report scientists from the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Bio-Competence Centre of Healthy Dairy Products LLC (Estonia), and the University of Tartu (Estonia).

“There is good potential for probiotic cheese containing ​L. plantarum Tensia to be included in a hypocaloric diet to reduce the symptoms of metabolic syndrome,” ​they wrote in the Nutrition Journal. “This finding may broaden the area of non-medication methods that can be employed to achieve optimal arterial blood pressure values and normalization of the BMI, which currently includes healthy nutrition, quitting smoking, and increasing regular physical activity.”

The researchers also report that both groups experienced a lowering of blood glucose levels by 18%, and neither group had increased total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, or triglyceride levels.

Strain specifics

L. plantarum ​Tensia was isolated from the gastrointestinal tract of healthy Estonian children and was deposited in the German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH in 2008. The strain is patented​ as an antimicrobial and antihypertensive probiotic. Two of the authors of the new study are authors on the patents.

To support the potential benefits of the strain, the researchers recruited 40 obese Russian adults with hypertension and assigned them to a hypocaloric diet with cheese formulated with or without the probiotic strain.

Results of the three-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel pilot study, indicated that BMI was significantly reduced in the probiotic cheese group, compared with the control cheese group (−2 vs. -1.6 kg/m2, respectively).

Similar reductions in blood pressure were observed in both groups for people who were also taking BP-lowering drugs. However, higher Tensia levels were associated with lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the morning.

“The reduction in [systolic and diastolic blood pressure] after 8 weeks of intervention has been shown in mildly hypertensive subjects using ​Lactobacillus helveticus or ​Saccharomyces cerevisiae,”​ noted the researchers. “During casein degradation by ​Lactobacillus helveticus, angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptides were produced that exerted an antihypertensive effect ​in vivo. ACE is a highly selective ecto-enzyme that is involved in the regulation of peripheral blood pressure.

“We detected the ACE inhibitory activity of ​L. plantarum Tensia in preliminary in vitro studies (unpublished data).”

Source: Nutrition Journal
2013, 12​:138 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-138
“Hypocaloric diet supplemented with probiotic cheese improves body mass index and blood pressure indices of obese hypertensive patients - a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study”
Authors: K.K. Sharafedtinov, O.A. Plotnikova, et al. 

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