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Prebiotic May Help Children Lose Weight

Obese and overweight children tend to also be obese and overweight in adulthood. A recent study suggests that taking a prebiotic supplement may help reduce body fat in obese and overweight children.

Participants in the study included 42 children between the ages of 7 and 12 who were considered overweight or obese but healthy. Over the course of 16 weeks they were given either 8 grams of oligofructose-enriched inulin or a placebo daily.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers examined how much weight the children had gained and projected what their annual weight gain would be. For the prebiotic group, that came to 6.6 pounds, which is within the healthy range for children of this age. For the control group, however, the weight gain was 17.6 pounds, which is almost triple the normal annual weight gain for this age group.

Researchers from the University of Calgary led the study. It was published on May 30, 2017, in Gastroenterology.

Previous studies suggest that the prebiotic oligofructose may help aid with weight loss and improve digestive health. It can be found in onions, bananas, wheat, and fortified foods. It can also be taken in supplement form.

Inulin is soluble dietary fiber that is non-digestible. It passes through to the large intestine and becomes healthy intestinal micro flora. Dandelion root, chicory root and elecampane root all have high concentrations of inulin. Previous studies have shown that inulin strengthens the immune system, enhances the absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, improves digestion and lowers cholesterol.

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