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Development of functional foods to fight against obesity
Opportunities for probiotics and prebiotics

*Corresponding author
1. Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry of Dairy Products, Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IPLA-CSIC),
Paseo Río Linares s/n, Villaviciosa, Asturias, 33300, Spain
2. Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain Drug Research Institute, Metabolism and Nutrition Research Group, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
3. University of Oviedo, Department of Functional Biology, Facultad de Medicina, C/Julián Clavería s/n, Oviedo, Asturias, 33006, Spain


Obesity is a complex and multifactorial disorder that has become one of most prevalent health issues of the 21st century. Recent evidence suggests that an altered composition and functionality of the gut microbiota plays a key role in the increased prevalence of obesity. In this regard, gut microbiota modulation through the diet emerges as an efficient approach for the management of obesity. We provide an overview of the current evidence regarding the potential benefits of functional foods containing probiotics and prebiotics on reduction of weight and body fat and the use of these nutritional ingredients for the development of tailor-made solutions to fight against the epidemic of obesity.


Obesity has recently received considerable attention as a major health hazard and has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global epidemic (1). Obesity is a complex and multifactorial disorder, resulting from the interaction between genotype, environment and human behaviour such as excessive consumption of energy-dense foods and a sedentary lifestyle. Apart from the traditional explanation about a dysbalance between energy intake and physical activity, the gut microbiota dysbiosis, defined as an imbalance in the structural and/or functional configuration of the microbiota, leading to a disruption of host–microorganism homeostasis, can contribute to the predisposition of obesity and has recently become a major topic of research. Due to the inefficiency of current anti-obesity medicine, the management of obesity through diet can be helped by identifying functional foods ingredients that could modulate the composition and functionality of the gut microbiota in a beneficial way. The present article underlines the potential effect of dietary supplementation with functional foods containing probiotics and prebiotics on reduc ...

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