Certain probiotics could help women lose weight and keep it off, according to a recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Various studies have previously shown that that the intestinal flora of obese individuals differs from those of thin people. This may be because a diet high in fat and low in fiber promotes certain bacteria at the expense of others.
A Professor Tremblay and his team performed a study to determine if taking probiotics could help reset the balance of the intestinal microbiome in favor of bacteria that promote a healthy weight.
125 overweight men and women completed a 12-week weight-loss diet, followed by a 12-week period aimed at maintaining their body weight.
Throughout the entire study, half the participants swallowed 2 pills daily containing probiotics from the Lactobacillus rhamnosus family, while the other half received a placebo.
After the 12-week diet period, researchers observed an average weight loss of 4.4 kg in women in the probiotic group and 2.6 kg in the placebo group.
However, no differences in weight loss were observed among males in the two groups.
“We don’t know why the probiotics didn’t have any effect on men. It may be a question of dosage, or the study period may have been too short,” says Professor Tremblay, who is also the Canada Research Chair in Environment and Energy Balance.
After the 12-week maintenance period, the weight of the women in the placebo group had remained stable but the probiotic group had continued to lose weight, for a total of 5.2 kg per person.
In short, women consuming probiotics lost twice as much weight over the 24-week period of the study.
Researchers also noted a drop in the appetite-regulating hormone leptin in this group, as well as a lower overall concentration of the intestinal bacteria related to obesity.
According to Angelo Tremblay, probiotics may act by altering the permeability of the intestinal wall. By keeping certain pro-inflammatory molecules from entering the bloodstream, they might help prevent the chain reaction that leads to glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Please note- every person’s body is different, so there is no single approach that works well for everyone. Weight loss is complex issue, and it is likely that there will be a number of imbalances in each person’s body that will be factors behind them putting on weight.
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