Research Papers

Probiotics and Dietary Fiber are Safe and Effective at Reducing Anti-Psychotic Medication Induced Weight Gain


Literature shows that almost all anti-psychotic medications induce weight gain and other metabolic changes such as insulin resistance. These factors then contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular complications and death. Since probiotics and dietary fiber have a wide range of health benefits, the purpose of this paper was to compare the effects of probiotics and dietary fiber on weight gain associated with anti-psychotic medication in individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. This paper is a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial including 136 participants. The authors found that when probiotics and dietary fiber are used together, it is far more beneficial for weight loss and cardiovascular protection than probiotics alone or dietary fiber only, however individually they can still help manage weight gain. The placebo group showed inferior results when analysing weight, total cholesterol reduction and insulin resistance. These results suggest that the use of probiotics and dietary fiber individually and together are safe and effective methods to reduce weight gain for patients taking anti-psychotic medication.

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Probiotics plus dietary fiber has demonstrated efficacy in improving metabolic abnormalities. However, the efficacy of probiotics and dietary fiber as well as their association with microbiota in attenuating antipsychotic-induced weight gain and metabolic disturbance remains poorly understood. Here we analyzed results from the double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study to compare and evaluate the effects of probiotics, dietary fiber, and their combination for antipsychotic-induced weight gain in patients with a severe mental disorder. We found that probiotics plus dietary fiber was significantly superior to probiotics alone, dietary fiber only, and the placebo for weight, BMI, and total cholesterol reduction; insulin resistance was worse in the placebo group, with significant increases during the 12-week treatment; probiotics plus dietary fiber significantly reduced weight and prevented further deterioration of metabolic disturbances; and probiotics or dietary fiber alone can prevent further weight gain. We further performed 16 S ribosomal RNA sequencing revealed an increased abundance of microbiota after probiotics plus dietary fiber treatment. Moreover, logistic regression analyses revealed that the higher richness of microbiota was associated with favorable weight loss. These findings suggested that probiotics and dietary fiber co-administration were safe and effective interventions to reduce weight gain in patients treated with antipsychotic medications.

Article Publication Date: 04/05/2022
DOI: 10.1038/s41398-022-01958-2

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