Glendale, California (PressExposure) August 03, 2015 -- A healthy supplement similar to the acidophilus used in yogurt has been found in a Canadian study to help overweight women to lose weight and keep it off. Known as "probiotics", these healthy bacteria in the intestine are "pro" or beneficial to the health of the body. They stimulate the immune system to be stronger, keep the stomach and bowels healthy, and help urinary health.
In addition, a 2006 Stanford University study found that obese people have different gut bacteria than normal-weighted people -- a first indication that gut bacteria can play a role in overall weight.
The Stanford University research has now spurred a new study, done by a team of researchers at the University of Laval in Quebec Canada. Headed by Professor Angelo Tremblay, the researchers sought to confirm the premise that consuming probiotics could help reset the balance of intestinal flora in favor of those that promote a healthy weight.
It may be that a diet high in fat and low in fiber leads to certain bacteria flourishing at the expense of others. They recruited 125 overweight people to test this theory.
During the first 12-week period of the Canadian study, the subjects underwent a weight-loss diet. This was followed by a 12-week period aimed at maintaining their body weight. Throughout the entire 24 weeks, half of the subjects took two pills daily containing probiotics, while the other half received placebos.
After the 12-week dieting period, there was an average weight loss of 8.8 pounds in the women in the probiotics group and 5.7 pounds for women in the placebo group.
The interesting difference is that at the end of the 12-week maintenance period, the weight of the women in the placebo group stayed the same, but the probiotics group continued to lose weight - a total of 11.5 pounds per person. Upon testing, these women demonstrated having a drop in an appetite-regulating hormone, as well as less of the intestinal bacteria related to obesity.
Professor Tremblay concludes that probiotics may make the intestinal wall stronger and more able to prevent inflammatory substances from passing into the intestine and entering the bloodstream. Those substances and molecules that can lead to diabetes and obesity. He believes that several types of the probiotics found in yogurt and supplements can have a similar effect. Their study was published in the British Journal of Nutrition.