Science shorts: Latest findings on benefits of probiotics, extra virgin olive oil on obesity

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

 Latest findings on benefits of probiotics, extra virgin olive oil on obesity

Related tags Probiotics Olive oil Weight management

This round-up looks at the latest health and nutrition research on the benefits of probiotics and extra virgin olive in overweight and obese individuals, including L. bulgaricus's effects in lowering blood triglyceride levels in overweight individuals, and how consuming meals prepared using extra virgin olive oil could lower bad cholesterol and inflammatory marker in individuals with central obesity.
Green tea does not appear to reduce lung cancer risk, more studies needed to understand health benefits​  

Green tea intake does not appear to reduce the risk of lung cancer, but researchers say more investigations are needed to understand the potential health benefits of its bioactive compounds.

Writing in Frontiers in Nutrition, ​the researchers said their findings, consistently showed no significant associations between green tea intake and lung cancer risk, based on primary inverse-variance weighted analyses and various sensitivity analyses.

However, they pointed out that their findings stood in stark contrast to existing findings, which showed that the protective effect of green tea was particularly striking in Asian populations.

New research linking ultra-processed food consumption with adverse health outcomes divides experts in Australia

New research linking ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption with various adverse health outcomes has divided experts in Australia, with some using it to demand immediate policy action against food firms, and others stressing that high quality studies are needed to show causality.

Based on systematic analysis, the researchers wrote in The BMJ ​that greater exposure to UPFs, be it additional servings per day or a 10 per cent increment, was consistently associated with a higher risk of adverse health outcomes.

Dr Daisy Coyle, research fellow and accredited practising dietitian at The George Institute for Global Health, said that the findings showed a “troubling reality”, but Dr Alan Barclay, a consultant dietitian, nutritionist, chef and an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney, said more research was needed. 

Probiotic L. bulgaricus may not help with weight loss but could decrease blood triglyceride levels – new trial​  

Supplementation with the probiotic L. bulgaricus​ may not be helpful for losing weight, but it has the potential to decrease blood triglyceride levels, a new trial has reported.

Writing in Metabolites, ​a group of researchers reported that L. bulgaricus ​did not affect the body weight, fat percentage, or body mass index in a 12-week RCT involving 36 overweight participants in Taiwan.

However, they noticed a notable decrease in blood triglyceride levels of the intervention group, adding that further large-scale and long-term trials with higher dosage treatments would be needed to clarify L. bulgaricus’s ​effectiveness.

Probiotics shown to improve BMI, inflammation in obese teens – meta-analysis

Probiotic supplementation could improve body mass index, fasting blood glucose, and reduce inflammation among obese and overweight teenagers, according to a meta-analysis by China researchers.

Writing in Frontiers in Endocrinology, ​they found that probiotics supplementation could manage fasting blood glucose, BMI, and the inflammation-related C-reactive protein.

However, there was no significant reduction seen in other inflammatory markers, such as IL-6, and TNF- α.

Extra virgin olive oil lowers bad cholesterol, inflammatory marker in people with central obesity – 12-week RCT​  

Consuming meals prepared using extra virgin olive oil for 12 weeks has showed benefits for cardiometabolic health in individuals with central obesity, such as a reduction in bad cholesterol and the inflammatory marker hs-CRP.

The effects of extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, and red palm olein oil in cardiometabolic health were assessed in this RCT.

Writing in the European Journal of Nutrition, ​the researchers reported that the three types of oils have produced similar cardiometabolic effects, but there were differences in their impact on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or the “bad” cholesterol, the inflammatory marker high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and alpha- and beta-carotene levels.

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