I recommend probiotics to nearly all of my patients. They are the healthy flora that live in your large intestines and help you to fight off bugs while keeping things regular. A recent study presented at the 2009 European Congress on Obesity found that taking probiotic supplements which contained Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, starting in the first trimester and continuing for at least a year post-partum were less likely to develop that central abdominal fat.
They compared 256 pregnant women who took the probiotic and received dietary advice, only received the dietary advice, or didn’t receive anything and found that probiotics plus the counseling led to only 25% of the group keeping their apple shaped abdomens. The rest lost it! Advice alone (no supplement) left 43% with the fat and 40% of the control group (no supplement or advice) had still had central belly weight.
When looking for a good probiotic, make sure it is dairy-free, refrigerated, and has a quantity in the billions! Do your research first as not all probiotics are created equal. Sometimes probiotics actually cause a little gas at first as it’s moving out the old and unhealthy to make way for the fresh and clean. If this happens to you, consider switching brands or take your supplement at night before bed.