Last week, a study reported that "Probiotics Cut Belly Fat After Pregnancy." Is this a dream come true or wishful thinking? Well, the evidence is not overwhelming, but there is little downside to possibly less of the fat side.
What is a probiotic?
Probiotics are often referred to as “good bacteria” that are tiny, living organisms that reside in many places in the body, but most often we think of them in the gut or vaginal flora. This good bacteria protects or benefits our body.
How do probiotics decrease belly fat?
First, this was one small study and it is not conclusive. It does support other studies that show a relationship between the good bacteria found in the gut and the way we metabolize food. Studies in mice have shown that obese mice have different gut flora than lean mice - the thought being that the good bacteria gets rid of the food quicker or doesn’t allow every calorie to be absorbed, so it doesn’t go to fat.
The pregnant women in this study were divided into three groups during the first trimester. The first group received dietary education and a probiotic supplement. The second received dietary education and a placebo. The third group only received placebo. Women with the probiotic group had the lowest BMI average, smallest waist measurement as well as the lowest body fat one year after delivery. This central body fat is the most harmful fat to health so it makes the results even more impressive. Click here for more information about the study: https://profreg.medscape.com/px/getlogin.do?urlCache=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5tZWRzY2FwZS5jb20vdmlld2FydGljbGUvNzAyNTU3P3NyYz1tcG5ld3Mmc3Bvbj0xNiZ1YWM9MTgwNDNCWg==
Where do we get probiotics?
There are many places that claim to offer probiotics, and this is another one of those unregulated complementary medicine products, so you have to really be careful about what you buy. Studies have shown that many products that claim to be probiotics do not have enough active or sometimes any bacteria at all.
The International Probiotics Association (IPA) has set criteria for a labeling scheme that will allow probiotics products to bear a quality seal.