Effect of Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10 on Exercise Physiological Adaptation, Performance, and Body Composition in Healthy Humans.

Nutrients. 2019;11(11)
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Probiotics are widely used for health promotion. This study specifically looks at one strain of Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10 and its effects on physiology and body composition in 54 healthy participants (50/50 men and women), aged 20-30 years, none of which were professional athletes. The double-blind placebo-controlled experiment divided the participants into groups of placebo, low dose probiotics and high dose probiotics to determine the effects of probiotics on exercise performance over a 6 week period. During this time the participants were required to carry out a series of treadmill exercises and biometric exams including monitoring heart rate, oxygen consumption, body mass, and fatigue parameters measured in blood work (serum lactate, ammonia, glucose, creatine kinase, aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, and uric acid) for physiological adaption. The results showed that the probiotics elevated exercise performance and improved fatigue in a dose-dependent manner. They observed that muscle mass increased and fat mass decreased in the treatment groups compared to the placebo. As such they conclude that Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10 has beneficial physiological effects to improve aerobic performance.


Probiotics have been rapidly developed for health promotion, but clinical validation of the effects on exercise physiology has been limited. In a previous study, Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10 (TWK10), isolated from Taiwanese pickled cabbage as a probiotic, was demonstrated to improve exercise performance in an animal model. Thus, in the current study, we attempted to further validate the physiological function and benefits through clinical trials for the purpose of translational research. The study was designed as a double-blind placebo-controlled experiment. A total of 54 healthy participants (27 men and 27 women) aged 20-30 years without professional athletic training were enrolled and randomly allocated to the placebo, low (3 × 1010 colony forming units (CFU)), and high dose (9 × 1010 CFU) TWK10 administration groups (n = 18 per group, with equal sexes). The functional and physiological assessments were conducted by exhaustive treadmill exercise measurements (85% VO2max), and related biochemical indices were measured before and after six weeks of administration. Fatigue-associated indices, including lactic acid, blood ammonia, blood glucose, and creatinine kinase, were continuously monitored during 30 min of exercise and a 90 min rest period using fixed intensity exercise challenges (60% VO2max) to understand the physiological adaptation. The systemic inflammation and body compositions were also acquired and analyzed during the experimental process. The results showed that TWK10 significantly elevated the exercise performance in a dose-dependent manner and improved the fatigue-associated features correlated with better physiological adaptation. The change in body composition shifted in the healthy direction for TWK10 administration groups, especially for the high TWK10 dose group, which showed that body fat significantly decreased and muscle mass significantly increased. Taken together, our results suggest that TWK10 has the potential to be an ergogenic aid to improve aerobic endurance performance via physiological adaptation effects.

Lifestyle medicine

Fundamental Clinical Imbalances : Detoxification and biotransformational ; Structural
Patient Centred Factors : Triggers/Probiotics
Environmental Inputs : Microorganisms
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Exercise and movement
Functional Laboratory Testing : Blood
Bioactive Substances : Probiotics ; Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10

Methodological quality

Jadad score : 4
Allocation concealment : No