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Study Finds Probiotic Supplement Helps Reduce Body Weight

Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are probiotics that are found in fermented foods such as yogurt and kimchi. A recent study suggests that supplementation with a blend of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria may help reduce body weight, BMI, and waist circumference.

Participants included 220 adults with a BMI between 25 and 34.9 kg/m2. They took the probiotic supplement (50 billion cfu’s per capsule) or a placebo daily for 6 months. They were told to maintain their normal diet and lifestyle throughout the study period. Body weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure were evaluated at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. Fecal samples and blood samples were taken at baseline and at 6 months.

Participants in the probiotic group lost an average of 1.5% body weight (2.1 pounds) and saw a 1.5% decrease in BMI and a 0.9% decrease in waist circumference. No significant changes were seen in the placebo group. Participants in the probiotic group with high blood pressure lost an average of 2.5% of body weight, the largest weight loss seen.

The probiotic group also saw improvements in quality of life. Their General Wellness scores improved by 6.3% at 3 months and by 5.6% at 6 months, compared to the placebo group. In addition, the incidence of urinary tract infection symptoms was reduced by 40% in the probiotic group.

The study was conducted by researchers from Cardiff University and Imperial College London. It was published on March 6, 2020 in the journal Scientific Reports.

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