Probiotics Plus a Prebiotic May Help Lower Inflammation
A recent study suggests that a combination of seven probiotic strains and a prebiotic fiber may lower markers of inflammation in obese children.
Participants in the study included 70 overweight or obese children and adolescents. For a period of eight weeks, they were given either the supplement or a placebo.
The participants who received the supplement had significant decreases in two markers of inflammation: 8% in TNF-alpha and 8.3% IL-6. In comparison, the placebo group had increases of 10% in TNF-alpha and a 0.8% decrease in IL-6.
The researchers also noted increases in adiponectin in the supplement group. Adiponectin is a hormone released by fat cells that helps with the regulation of insulin sensitivity and energy.
Researchers from the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran conducted the study. It was published in the March 2014 issue of Jornal de Pediatria.
While probiotics are most commonly linked to improving digestion and gut health, they have also been shown to have other health benefits, including a stronger immune system, and a reduced risk of chronic disease.
Prebiotics help your body produce good bacteria called probiotics by serving as food for the friendly bacteria.
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.