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Probiotic & Prebiotic Combination May Help Support Weight Management in Children

Supplements that are a combination of prebiotics and probiotics, are often called synbiotics. They typically contain prebiotic compounds that selectively favor the growth of probiotics.  According to a new study, supplementation with a synbiotic combined with diet and increased exercise may help decrease body weight, BMI, and waist size.

The researchers selected 61 obese children between the ages of 8 and 17 to participate in the study. Half were given a synbiotic containing 430 million CFUs of Lactobacillus acidophilus, 430 million CFUs of Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus, 430 million CFUs of Bifidobacterium bifidum, 430 million CFUs of Bifidobacterium longum, 820 million CFUs of Enterococcus faecium, 625 mg of the prebiotic fructo-oligosaccharides, and 400 mg of the prebiotic lactulose daily for 12 weeks. The other half were given a placebo. All the participants were assigned to a standard diet and increased exercise.

The researchers measured body weight, BMI, hip circumference, and waist size at baseline and at the end of the study period. They also measured serum glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels at baseline and at the end of the study period.

Participants in the synbiotic group saw an average 4% reduction in body weight and an average 5.1% reduction in BMI compared to baseline. They also saw an average 6% decrease in waist circumference and an average 2.4% decrease in hip circumference. These reductions were significantly higher than those seen in the placebo group.

No differences were seen between the two groups in glucose metabolism or lipid parameters.

The study was conducted by researchers from Eskisehir Osmangazi University. It was published on July 1, 2022, in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

An extract derived from gynostemma pentaphyllum was found to help reduce body weight and BMI in a previous study.

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