British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Human and Clinical Nutrition

Effects of synbiotic supplementation on insulin resistance in subjects with the metabolic syndrome: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study

Tannaz Eslamparasta1a2, Farhad Zamania3, Azita Hekmatdoosta1 c1, Maryam Sharafkhaha2, Sareh Eghtesada2, Reza Malekzadeha2 and Hossein Poustchia2 c1

a1 Department of Clinical Nutrition and Diet Therapy, Faculty of Nutrition and Food Technology, National Nutrition and Food Technology, Research Institute Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran

a2 Liver and Pancreatobiliary Diseases Research Center, Digestive Diseases Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran

a3 Gastroenterology and Liver Disease Research Center, Firoozgar Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

To evaluate the effects of synbiotic supplementation on insulin resistance and lipid profile in individuals with the metabolic syndrome, we conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study on thirty-eight subjects with the metabolic syndrome; they were supplemented with either synbiotic capsules containing 200 million of seven strains of friendly bacteria plus fructo-oligosaccharide or placebo capsules twice a day for 28 weeks. Both the synbiotic (G1) and the placebo (G2) groups were advised to follow an energy-balanced diet and physical activity recommendations. Parameters related to the metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance were measured every 7 weeks during the course of the study. After 28 weeks of treatment, the levels of fasting blood sugar and insulin resistance improved significantly in the G1 group (P< 0·001). Both the G1 and G2 groups exhibited significant reductions in TAG levels ( − 71·22 v. − 10·47 mg/dl ( − 0·80 v. − 0·12 mmol/l) respectively; P< 0·001) and total cholesterol levels ( − 21·93 v. − 14·2 mg/dl ( − 0·57 v. − 0·37 mmol/l) respectively; P= 0·01), as well as increases in HDL levels (+7·7 v. +0·05 mg/dl (+0·20 v. +>0·01 mmol/l) respectively; P< 0·001). The mean differences observed were greater in the G1 group. No significant changes were observed in LDL levels, waist circumference, BMI, metabolic equivalent of task and energy intake between the groups. The present results indicate that synbiotic supplementation increases the efficacy of diet therapy in the management of the metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.

(Received January 15 2014)

(Revised March 10 2014)

(Accepted March 26 2014)

(Online publication May 22 2014)

Key Words:

  • Metabolic syndrome;
  • Synbiotic supplementation;
  • Insulin resistance;
  • Gut flora

Correspondence

c1 Corresponding authors: A. Hekmatdoost, fax +98 2122360657, email a_hekmat2000@yahoo.com; H. Poustchi, fax +98 2182415400, email: h.poustchi@gmail.com

Footnotes

  Abbreviations: DDRI, Digestive Diseases Research Institute; G1, synbiotic; G2, placebo; HOMA-IR, homeostasis model assessment – insulin resistance; LPS, lipopolysaccharides; MET, metabolic equivalent of task; NNFTRI, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute; QUICKI, quantitative insulin sensitivity check index; TC, total cholesterol

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