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

  • 2019-11-19
  • Nutrients 11(11)
    • Wen-Ching Huang
    • Mon-Chien Lee
    • Chia-Chia Lee
    • Ker-Sin Ng
    • Y. Hsu
    • Tsung-Yu Tsai
    • S. Young
    • Jin-Seng Lin
    • Chi-Chang Huang


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.

Keywords: Lactobacillus plantarum; body composition; endurance performance; muscle mass; probiotics.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus plantarum R1012Improved Exercise PerformanceBeneficial
Lactobacillus plantarum R1012Improved Fatigue-Associated FeaturesBeneficial
Lactobacillus plantarum R1012Increased Muscle MassBeneficial
Lactobacillus plantarum R1012Reduced Body FatBeneficial

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