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Health Brief – Promote Healthy Weight with Probiotics

The human gastrointestinal tract requires “good bacteria” to help the body to absorb and utilize nutrients from food properly.  Previous studies demonstrate that the intestinal flora of obese individuals differs from that of people of normal weight.

Angelo Tremblay, from Laval University (Canada), and colleagues enrolled 125 overweight men and women to undergo a 12-week weight-loss diet, followed by a 12-week period aimed at maintaining body weight. Throughout the entire study, half the participants swallowed 2 pills daily containing probiotics from the Lactobacillus rhamnosus family, while the other half received a placebo.

After the 12-week diet period, researchers observed an average weight loss of 4.4 kg in women in the probiotic group,  as compared to 2.6 kg in the placebo group.  After the 12-week maintenance period, the weight of the women in the placebo group had remained stable but the probiotic group had continued to lose weight, for a total of 5.2 kg per person.  In other words, the women consuming probiotics seemed to have lost twice as much weight over the 24-week period of the study. Researchers also noted a drop in the appetite-regulating hormone leptin in this group, as well as a lower overall concentration of the intestinal bacteria related to obesity.

Speculating that probiotics may act by altering the permeability of the intestinal wall (aka Leaky Gut) and keep certain proinflammatory molecules from entering the bloodstream, which may help to prevent the chain reaction that leads to glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes, and obesity and is also the most recent theory for autoimmune disease.

Previous studies transplanting gut bacteria from obese rats to lean rats  caused the lean rats to gain weight and gut bacteria from lean rats to obese rats caused the obese rats to loose weight.

It has been known for years by the cattle industry that altering the gut bacteria of cattle caused them to gain weight, which is one reason they fee cattle antibiotics in their grain. This kills off the normal bacterial flora and allows the growth of abnormal bacteria, which can actually digest fiber. All carbohydrates (including fiber) if digested turn into sugar and excess sugar becomes fat and is deposited in fat cells. In addition, fiber, normally passes through the intestinal tract and carries some of both sugar and cholesterol with it. This is one way fiber also helps prevent weight gain. Fortunately, Congress has finally done something beneficial by passing a law outlawing the routine use of antibiotics in cattle feed.

Takehome:

Probiotics can help you loose weight, along with eating healthy, exercise and optimally balancing your hormones! See my article on Anti-Aging for more information on hormone optimization and balancing.

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