|Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor|
A 2006 study found that microbial populations in the guts of obese and lean people are different. This suggests that changing their gut microflora may help obese people lose weight. A new study has found that taking a probiotic supplement may result in an 8.5% decrease in abdominal fat in obese people.
The study included 210 healthy obese adults. Over the course of 12 weeks, one third of the group took a fermented milk product supplemented with 10 million cfus of Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 (LG2055), one third took the same product supplemented with 1 million cfus of LG2055, and one third took only the fermented milk with no supplementation.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted an 8.5% decrease in abdominal visceral fat in the 10 million group and an 8.2% decrease in the 1 million group. They also noted significant decreases in BMI, waist and hip circumferences, and body fat mass.
Additionally, the researchers noted that the changes were diminished four weeks after the conclusion of the study. This suggests that the supplement needs to be taken continually in order for the positive effects to continue.
Researchers from the Megmilk Snow Brand Company Limited conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 25, 2013, in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Probiotics are most commonly linked to improving digestion and gut health, but they have also been shown to have other health benefits, including a stronger immune system, and a reduced risk of chronic disease.
Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods, such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. You may also consider taking a high quality supplement but make sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture which can easily kill probiotics.