We should be familiar with terms bad and good bacteria, that is, probiotics, types of microorganisms that are consumed through food or drinks. These active and live cultures are beneficial in many ways, especially for bowel disorders and high cholesterol. Moreover, probiotics are also very beneficial for treating respiratory allergies. Science has now confirmed another benefit from probiotics, it can now help with weight loss.
Researchers from University Laval in Quebec, Canada, conducted a study which included 125 obese men and women. The study lasted for 24 weeks, and during these weeks, half of the participants took two daily pills of probiotic, which contained the equivalent probiotics in one serving of yogurt. The rest of the participants took placebo pills. Apart from that, participants were also put on a low-calorie diet during the first 12 weeks. Next 12 weeks, participants were put on a diet with a goal to maintain their weight.
The results after 12 weeks showed that women who took probiotic pills lost 9.7 pounds on average, while the women who took placebo pills lost 5.7 pounds on average. What was very interesting in this study is the fact that the women who took probiotic pills continue losing weight in the next 12 weeks, with losing 11.5 pounds on average. The group of women participants who took placebo pills only maintained their weight.
According to researchers our body needs probiotics in our guts because it helps improve our metabolism and digestion, that is, probiotics apparently influence the bacteria we already have in our stomach, enhancing its benefits. However, the probiotics were not that beneficial for men, and did not influence on their weight loss.
Experts at Yale University published a study in 2011 showing more positive benefits of probiotics, including those benefits in treating children diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, a certain type of infection and inflammation of the intestines (mostly seen in infants). They also showed data that proved the preventing benefits of probiotics in case of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, infectious diarrhea, and eczema associated with cow’s milk allergy.
Although the evidence is less convincing, the scientists also concluded that probiotics may be beneficial in treating vaginitis, Crohn’s disease and diarrhea caused by C. difficile bacteria. Another study, published in 2010, showed that probiotics may be beneficial for treating common childhood illnesses such as colds, strep throat and ear infection. Above all, probiotics seem to be very beneficial for the immune system.
Though probiotics are certainly health-boosting microorganisms, we are advised to be cautious due to the certain side effects, especially for people with weakened immune system or severe illnesses.
The probiotics are very popular, without no doubt, and we can see many sport drinks, yogurts, and even vitamins that display “with live culture” or “probiotics” on their package. However, we need to keep in mind that probiotics may not be present in the amounts suggested by labels on products. Probiotics are only helpful when they are alive, which is not always the case with many products. A large percent of beneficial bacteria may die before the product is even purchased. For start, to get the best out of probiotics, consider making your own kefir or Kombucha tea.
What do you think about probiotics?
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