A new study adds to the growing list of benefits from probiotics. Researchers from the Universite Lavel in Canada found that taking certain probiotics enhanced weight loss efforts in women.
According to Science Daily, earlier studies have demonstrated that intestinal flora differs in obese people compared to thin individuals. The reason behind that difference may lie in the fact that obese people are more likely to have a diet high in fat and low in fiber, which encourages certain bacteria instead of others.
In a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers enrolled 125 overweight people to participate in a weight loss program. The study consisted of 12 weeks of focused weight loss efforts followed by a 12 weeks of a weight maintenance program. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either probiotic pills or placebo pills to be taken every day throughout the study.
By the end of the first 12 weeks, the women in the probiotic group had dropped 4.4 kg on average compared to just 2.6 kg lost in the placebo group, (or 9.7 lbs lost compared to 5.7 lbs). In the second half of the study, during the weight maintenance period, the women in the placebo group maintained a stable weight. However the women in the probiotic group lost an additional 5.2 kg (11.46 lbs) per person. They also experienced a decreased concentration of the intestinal bacteria tied to obesity, as well as a drop in the appetite-regulating hormone, leptin.
These changes were not seen in men however. It’s possible that the dosage may have been too low or the study period too short to see the effects in men, the authors hypothesized. Still the results of their study show that probiotics may play an important role in the prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes, when used in combination with weight loss efforts like diet and increased physical activity.
The study specifically focused on lactobacillus rhamnosus, a probiotic strain that belongs to Nestle and is only available in European markets. However, the study authors suspect that North American products could have similar results.
Being overweight is known to exacerbate chronic musculoskeletal conditions, which is why many chiropractors advise their patients on safe, natural ways to lose and maintain weight.
Marina Sanchez, Christian Darimont, Vicky Drapeau, Shahram Emady-Azar, Melissa Lepage, Enea Rezzonico, Catherine Ngom-Bru, Bernard Berger, Lionel Philippe, Corinne Ammon-Zuffrey, Patricia Leone, Genevieve Chevrier, Emmanuelle St-Amand, André Marette, Jean Doré, Angelo Tremblay. Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women. British Journal of Nutrition, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0007114513003875.
Université Laval. “Certain probiotics could help women lose weight, study finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140128103537.htm>.