Can Kimchi Be Used to Help Battle Obesity? New Research Suggests Yes

Can Kimchi Be Used to Help Battle Obesity? New Research Suggests Yes
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Photo Credit: Flickr/Craig Nagy

Fermented kimchi may offer an interesting method of helping human metabolism, suggests a new study from researchers in South Korea.

Fermented kimchi contains lactobacilli, a helpful bacteria that is also found in yogurt, and has been found to positively affect a number of digestion problems and bacterial infections.

In a study conducted by researchers at Dongguk University and ChunLab Inc. at Seoul National University, scientists found that an eight-week diet of daily kimchi consumption was associated with a significant change in expression level of a number of genes "related to metabolic pathways and immunity," according to the study published in the journal of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.

Fermented kimchi, more than fresh kimchi, was found to produce a significant drop in the ratio of two types of gut bacteria -- Firmicutes to Bacteroides -- in a population of 24 obese Korean women, and was shown to increase metabolic activity.

According to the study:

It is conceivable that consumption of fermented kimchi can either directly or indirectly influence human expression of genes related to metabolic and immunity pathways or indirectly influence human metabolism by altering microbial composition.

Consumption of the fermented kimchi also yielded positive effects in gene expression linked to circulation, digestion, and blood pressure.

- Karen Lo, The Daily Meal

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