As science uncovers more about the gut and how it can impact health, a new study from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, is claiming a specific bacterium may be coming out the winner against NAFLD.
The researchers say Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a type of bacteria, improved NAFLD in laboratory mice when administered orally.
The strain had previously been found to be beneficial in other bodily inflammatory conditions when given to mice, but a potential NAFLD application is new to the scientific community, according to the researchers who spearheaded the study.
The scientists first recorded that individuals suffering from NAFLD have, overall, a lower F. prausnitzii presence in the gut as compared to other microbes, as well as a higher overall level of inflammation, particularly in fatty tissues.
Though it was not established whether a lack of the bacteria (v. too much of, for instance, another strain of bacteria) was contributing to fatty liver or whether the NAFLD condition was impacting the bacteria, the research group decided to start by adding F. prausnitzii into the mice’s diet.
Initial results have been promising.
According to the abstract,
“Compared to the high-fat control mice, F. prausnitzii-treated mice had lower hepatic fat content, AST and ALT, as well as increased fatty-acid oxidation. In addition, hepatic lipidomic analyses revealed decreases in several species of triacylglycerols, phospholipids and cholesteryl esters. Expression of adiponectin, which is one of the main beneficial mediators of metabolism, was increased in the visceral adipose tissue. While the F. prausnitzii-treated mice, in fact, had more subcutaneous fat, the fat was healthy as it was more insulin sensitive and less inflamed. Interestingly, F. prausnitzii treatment increased muscle mass, which may be linked to enhanced mitochondrial respiration. This is an issue that, according to Pekkala, definitely should be studied further.”
This is groundbreaking, as it would appear that the addition of F. prausnitzii directly caused initial healing and an overall health boost in the mice during the study.
Should You Try It?
Since the results are preliminary, we extend our usual caution of awaiting further information and of asking your doctor’s advice before starting a new health regimen.
However, there is mounting evidence that probiotics in general can be helpful to the body.
If you decide to try this or another probiotic/bacteria strain, start out slowly with the lowest recommended dose. Work your way up to your full daily dose. If you experience negative symptoms that don’t go away within two weeks, such as stomach upset, diarrhea or constipation, anxiety and agitation, insomnia, or lightheadedness, discontinue use and call your doctor.