Posted on: November 1st, 2022

Recent experimental probiotic studies conducted at Rouen University Hospital in France demonstrated that giving Hafnia alvei (a gut bacterium) helps obese mice lose weight. The study moved on to human participants who were given oral dosages of Hafnia alvei. The research was promising, as humans show weight loss similar to that of mice.

Weight Loss Probiotic Study

The research team briefed 212 participants with an overweight body mass index (BMI) on how to reduce their calorie intake by one-fifth over three months. Participants were asked to continue any existing levels of physical activity.

Over the three-month study period, roughly half of the participants also took a pill containing Hafnia alvei twice a day. The other participants took a placebo twice daily. Participants in both groups were of a similar age, height, and starting weight.

What is Hafnia alvei?

Hafnia alvei is a bacterium not normally pathogenic to the human GI tract. Many animals (mammals, reptiles, and others), however, have H. alvei in their GI tracts. H. alvei is most commonly used as for lactate fermentation in dairy products consumed by people. More recently, probiotic blends have used H. alvei as part of probiotic nutritional supplements.

Existing research on H. alvei is scarce, as it has not yet been associated with health conditions or diseases in humans.

Results of the Study

55% of participants who took the supplement lost at least 3% of their body weight, compared with 41% of participants who took the placebo. Researchers also found that participants who took the supplement had substantially lower blood sugar levels than those in the placebo group. Furthermore, participants who took the supplement also reported feeling ‘fuller’ after meals and snacks than the placebo group.

The loss of body weight is an exciting piece of research data as it shows potential benefits including reducing obesity and other comorbid conditions. More exciting, perhaps, is the significantly lower levels of blood sugar found in participants who took the supplement. Any notable research into helping prevent type 2 diabetes may help direct future research toward new discoveries.

The results of this study are very promising. More research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of H. alvei as a probiotic that can help with weight loss. Future research will need to focus on diets and the lifestyles/physical activity of the participants.

Research at Biofortis

Biofortis is dedicated to protecting consumer health throughout the world by delivering a wide range of testing and consultancy services to the food, supplement, and nutrition industries. Biofortis supports this mission in two ways—through clinical trials and sensory and consumer insights testing. We specialize in clinical research targeting foods, ingredients, and dietary supplements that affect body structures, function, and overall health. Contact us with any clinical trial or scientific consulting needs.

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