To Your Health
October, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 10)
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Probiotics: The Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

By Editorial Staff

A calorie-controlled diet may help obese children lose weight, but the results can be even better with the addition of probiotics, suggests research. Probiotics or "good bacteria" help replenish the gut microbiome, which often displays depleted levels of healthy bacteria due to antibiotic use, diet and other factors. Research reported by the  European Society of Endocrinology at its 2020 conference suggests obese adolescents (ages 6-18 years) whose weight-loss diets were supplemented with two specific probiotics – Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and Bifidobacterium breve B632 – lost more weight over an eight-week period than children provided with a placebo only.

probiotics - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark The study involved 100 children who were randomly assigned to a probiotic or placebo group, meaning they were unaware of whether they were taking the probiotics or an inactive substance (the placebo). Children who received probiotics "had a reduction in waist circumference, BMI, insulin resistance and E. coli in their gut" that was more significant than children who did not receive probiotics, suggesting probiotics may be a valuable tool for weight loss, as well as GI health, in obese children.

Talk to your doctor about the health benefits of probiotics – and not just for weight loss. Research also suggests probiotics are beneficial for overall health and vitality, both for children and adults. And if your child is suffering from obesity, your doctor can help design a safe, sensible weight-loss program that will help them regain their health.