A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prebiotics and synbiotics effects on glycaemia, insulin concentrations and lipid parameters in adult patients with overweight or obesity

Published:October 20, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2014.10.004


      Background & aims

      Several studies have reported the effects of prebiotics and synbiotics supplementation in lipid profile and glucose homeostasis, however a pooled analysis of clinical trials that assessed these parameters has not been performed in overweight or obese individuals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of prebiotics and synbiotics on plasma lipid profile, fasting insulin and fasting glucose in adults with overweight or obesity.


      Randomized controlled trials were systematically searched before May 2014 in electronic databases and screening reference lists. Combined and stratified (diabetics and non-diabetics trials) meta-analyzes were performed.


      Thirteen trials, representing 513 adult participants with Body Mass Index ≥25 kg/m² were included. Prebiotic supplementation reduced plasma total cholesterol (SMD −0.25; 95% CI −0.48, −0.02) and LDL-c (SMD −0.22; 95% CI −0.44, −0.00) concentrations in overall analysis, and reduced triglycerides (SMD −0.72; 95% CI −1.20, −0.23) and increased HDL-c (SMD 0.49; 95% CI 0.01, 0.97) concentrations in diabetic trials. Synbiotic supplementation reduced plasma fasting insulin (SMD −0.39; 95% CI −0.75, −0.02) and triglycerides (SMD −0.43; 95% CI −0.70, −0.15) concentrations.


      The improvement of the evaluated parameters supports prebiotics and synbiotics supplementation as an adjuvant therapy in obesity-related comorbidities, such as dyslipidemia and insulin resistance.



      BMI (body mass index), CFU (Colony Forming Units), CI (confidence interval), EPHPP (Effective Public Health Practice Project), FOS (fructo-oligosaccharide), GOS (galacto-oligosaccharide), HDL-c (high density lipoprotein cholesterol), HOMA (homeostatic model assessment), LDL-c (low density lipoprotein cholesterol), LPS (lipopolysaccharide), PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis), RCT (randomized clinical trial), SMD (standardized mean difference), TLR (toll like receptor), USA (United States of America), VLDL (very low density lipoprotein cholesterol)
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