Correa, MarÃa LujÃ¡n1; Ojeda, Marta Susana2; Lo Presti, MarÃa Silvina3
Introduction: Several studies suggest that the restoration of intestinal microbiota can reverse obesity and associated metabolic defects. One way to achieve this is through the use of prebiotics and probiotics.
Aim: To evaluate the consumption of foods containing prebiotics and probiotics in a population of students and to study their effect upon risk markers of metabolic syndrome (MS).
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out with 120 volunteer university students from both sexes, from the National University of San Luis, Argentina. Anthropometric (weight, height, body mass index -BMI-, waist circumference and hip circumference), biochemical (glycemia, total cholesterol, HDLc, LDLc, triglycerides and VLDL) and food consumption variables were recorded in relation to the consumption of prebiotics and probiotics. Significance level: P <0.05; statistical software used: InfoStat.
Results: The sample consisted of 91 female students and 29 male students. The average age of the students was 24.18 ± 3.09 years and the average BMI of 24.02 ± 3.95. 73 % of the students consume prebiotics regularly, mainly the female sex (P <0.01); approximately half consume probiotics regularly, without differences between men and women. Weight and body mass index were lower in those who consumed prebiotics (P <0.05); glycaemia, total cholesterol and cHDL were lower in those who consumed probiotics (P <0.001). The consumption of probiotics protects between 76 % and 86 % on the risk / presence of MS; the consumption of prebiotics does not influence significantly, although in those individuals who consume prebiotics, a lower proportion of overweight and obese individuals was found (P <0.001).
Discussion: It would seem that the consumption of prebiotics affects / modifies the anthropometric variables, while the consumption of probiotics affects the biochemical variables related to MS.