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4 June 2011

'Good gut bacteria' may help fight obesity

LUND, Sweden, May 25 (UPI) -- Daily intake of lactic acid bacteria -- Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL19 -- may help prevent obesity and reduce low-level inflammation, Swedish researchers say.

"Rats who were given this specific lactic acid bacterium from their time in the uterus up to adult age put on significantly less weight than other rats," Caroline Karlsson, a researcher in food hygiene at Lund University, Sweden, says in a statement. "Both groups (of rats) ate the same amount of high-energy (high-calorie) food."

The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found the rats, given lactobacilli had a richer and better composition of the bacteria which occur naturally in the intestines.

A healthy gut flora should contain a large proportion of "good bacteria," such as lactic acid bacteria -- found in yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut, pickles, beer, wine, cider, chocolate and other fermented foods -- to keep the inflammation-causing bacteria in check, the study says

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