Researchers have found that probiotics can lower fat accumulation in the liver of rats. The study could help in the fight against Non-Alcolohic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Granada, found that using probiotics for 30 days reduces levels of fat in livers of test rats. Using the microbes won't cure the disease, however, probiotics could be used along with standard treatment, researchers said.

Deposition of fat in the liver is the first stage of NAFLD disease. Obesity and diabetes rates have increased worldwide, which has led to an increase in the number of people suffering from fatty liver disease. A Private company HERO SPAIN S.A funded the research.

Probiotics are microbes, usually bacteria, which are considered beneficial to the human health. Earlier, researchers considered only live microbes as probiotic. However, recent studies have shown that even dead bacteria, or some of their components, can affect human health.

For the study, researchers looked at the effects of three bacterial strains; Lactobacillus paracasei CNCM I-4034, Bifidobacterium breve CNCM I-4035 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus CNCM I-4036.

As part of the study, researchers administered the bacterial strains to healthy volunteers. The team found that the strains were well-tolerated and didn't cause any disease.

Next, researchers supplemented diet of test rats with the bacterial strains. The rats used in the study were genetically altered to develop obesity.

The team found that rats that were exposed to the probiotics had lower accumulation of fat in the liver than the control group.

The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.