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Kimchi therapy for weight loss and skin care

Posted June. 09, 2017 07:08,   

Updated June. 09, 2017 07:22

Last month, Choi Hak-jong, head of research and development of the World Institute of Kimchi, showed a Dong-A Ilbo reporter a picture of two rats with different sizes. One seemed overweight and the other of normal weight if not a bit chubby. He said that the chubby rat managed to stay fit as it ate lactobacillus on a daily basis.

○ The chubby ate kimchi and the overweight didn't eat kimchi

Researchers at the institute verified the effects of lactobacillus WIKIM31 took out from kimchi on curbing obesity. WIKIM31 is titled so as the institute abbreviated as WIKIM took the 31st lactobacillus out of kimchi.

Researchers raised together two rats that were just four weeks old. Both rats were given high calory rat food full of fat. One was given 1 billion WIKIM31 units. Both rats gained weight but the body shape showed difference. In just three months the two rats showed 3-4 kilograms of weight difference despite their similar food intake and activities.

"When WIKIM31 enters the intestine it helps the body gain less weight," Choi said. The chubby rat had more bacteroides, microorganism in the intestine that facilitates secretion of steatolytic enzyme, and akkermansia, another microorganism that prevents infection and obesity. In other words, the body became more adepted to split fat.

The researchers identified that the chubby rate had less fat compared with the overweight one. The amount of muscle was similar between the two, but the chubby had 30 percent less abdominal and epididymal fat. Blood cholesterol and neutral fat concentration, as well as liver function and obesity related metabolic disease indicators also improved.

○ Kimchi therapy for improving skin health and curing intestine disease

Moderately seasoned kimchi has more than 100 million lactobacillus per 1 gram. Koreans eat 70 grams of kimchi on daily average, meaning they eat 7 billion lactobacillus a day through kimchi. The researchers store lactobacillus that show special effects like the WIKIM31 at the microorganism gene bank. WIKIM28 eases atopic dermatitis symtoms while WIKim38 helps cure interstinal disease.

In the end, the researchers hope to materialize "kimchi therapy," referring to kimchi itself becoming a health functional food. For example, kimchi that contains only WIKIM31 whose obesity prevention effect was proven could be made so that kimchi makes people gain less weight. The kimchi lactobacillus that the institute has discovered so far amount to 35,000 types. Since production methods and ripening environment varies according to regions, it is likely that various types of lactobacillus could be found in the future. The prospects for kimchi therapy transformation are bright.

If kimchi therapy materializes, people can be more healthy as they normally eat kimchi as meals," Choi said. "We plan to promote clinical trials for lactobacillus whose efficacy is verified to make "pharma biotics" products that use lactobacillus as drugs.