Wednesday Bubble: Can probiotics keep you slim?

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in weight | 0 comments

Bubble Abstract

I’m not quite certain as to whether this story will ultimately become a bubble worth bursting but today, researchers believe that bacteria that make up the environment (i.e. the flora) of your gut may actually play a role in weight gain. This is based on previous studies in laboratory animals and humans that suggest that obesity is connected with a certain type of bacteria in the gut that is able boost the conversion of undigested carbohydrates into energy and favor weight and fat gain. On the flip side? Leaner animals don’t appear to have this bacteria.

Nutrition experts from the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Life Sciences believe that specific probiotics not only influence the flora of the gut, but also may trigger a feeling of fullness. They say that this could mean that a person would feel fuller sooner and as a result, eat less food. According to the University’s press release, which cites an analysis of 57 studies, even moderate obesity can slice life expectancy by as much as three years.

While they are not yet certain how probiotics can cause a person to feel fuller, they say that it may be linked to their ability to trigger hormones from the gut that induce this feeling.

It’s truly too early to make any predictions. However, do you recall the Dannon Activia commercials and weight loss claims? The company may have been slapped by the FTC for an inability to provide evidence but who knows, perhaps a link will be found (although not necessarily between weight maintenance and the specific probiotic in Activia).

Meanwhile, accumulating data suggest potential health benefits for probiotics e.g., protection against liver disease. Maybe they will eventually prove to be good for staying fit and optimizing your weight too.


Stay tuned!

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