Tag

Probiotics

Browsing

Based on the article published in last edition’s Weight Loss column, we know there’s a strong link between weight management and our gut bacteria. We also know that probiotics have been associated with positively altering the gut microbiome. So, is it safe to say that supplementing with a probiotic can help us lose weight? Let’s take a look at the research. In 2015, a systemic review and meta-analysis published in Nutrition Research identified 4 of 368 studies that were randomized controlled trials with adequate data assessing the efficacy of probiotic supplementation as a weight loss treatment. Results found no significant effects of probiotics on body weight or body mass index (BMI) when compared to placebo. Yet, researchers called for more “rigorously designed” randomized controlled trials with larger sample sizes to draw more accurate conclusions. Fast forward three years to a review and meta-analysis study published in Obesity Reviews. The study…

Cultivating a healthy microbiome plays a key role in preventing eczema. A review study looks at the effects of manipulating microbial health to prevent and treat eczema, specifically in infants. The study conducted analyses of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics (probiotics and prebiotics together) for eczema prevention. Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology  Results of the study show that scientific evidence supports supplementation with Lactobacillus strains prenatally, followed by long-term (greater than 6 months) postnatal supplementation in infants for eczema prevention. Long-term (greater than 6 months) postnatal prebiotic supplementation has also been successful for eczema prevention in formula-fed infants. Takeaway: Those infants at high risk for developing eczema react most readily to these preventative measures. It’s important to keep in mind that in order to reap the benefits from prebiotic and probiotic supplementation, both in the womb and post-delivery, maternal and infant nutrition is key. Microbiome-focused supplements are only as powerful…

Could probiotics be a lot of wishful thinking? Extensive reviews of the existing probiotic literature show that probiotics are really effective for just three conditions – infectious diarrhea, post-antibiotic diarrhea in children, and a rare gastrointestinal disease called necrotizing enterocolitis. In addition, studies show probiotics may be ineffective in altering gut bacteria composition or diversity long-term. Nutrition →Takeaway: Does this mean probiotic supplements are completely useless? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that a lot more research and regulation is needed. Your basic probiotic from the drug store is unregulated and oftentimes doesn’t contain what it says it does. In addition, more research is needed to identify specific strains and doses per condition. This will take some time. Lastly, lots of studies don’t take into account what the study subjects are eating. While taking a probiotic supplement, it’s paramount that you also eat foods high in indigestible plant fiber to feed the…