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Scientists Discover Special For Women Only Probiotic Causes Significant Weight Loss

Tim Boyer's picture
Special For Women Only Probiotic for Weight Loss

Can probiotics really help you lose your belly fat? That was the question asked in a recent article based on a Dr. Oz: The Good Life March/April 2014 issue that addressed what you need to know when choosing a probiotic for digestive troubles―including losing belly fat. While the article revealed that there were some promising weight loss results in animal studies, it was not clear that what works in mice will also work on humans. However, a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition concludes that scientists have discovered a probiotic that does cause significant weight loss—but for women only.

The following is a summary of the study and what special probiotic strain of bacteria helped these women lose a significant amount of weight.

Researchers from the Université Laval in Québec City performed a study that would determine if eating probiotics containing a specific strain of bacteria could essentially reset the intestinal flora in the human gut to be one that favors healthy weight management. Their study was based on previous research that showed that the gut bacteria in obese individuals differ from that found in thin people.

In the study, 125 overweight or obese male and female volunteers were placed under a 12-week long diet followed by a 12-week long weight maintenance plan. Each of the participants was measured for their body weight and composition for a baseline reading at the beginning of the study, then again at a 12-week mid-time point, and lastly at a 24-week end-of-study time point.

The study was designed as a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, where each subject swallowed two capsules per day of either a placebo or a probiotic supplement that contained a strain of bacteria named “Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724.” Each probiotic supplement capsule contained approximately 160 million colony forming units (CFUs).

At the end of the study the initial analyzed results showed no statistically significant weight loss differences between the placebo group and the test group. However, when the data was analyzed with respect to comparing differences in the placebo and test groups by participant sex, the researchers discovered that the women who were on the probiotic test supplement lost a statistically significant amount of weight in comparison to the women who had taken the placebo. The placebo group lost an average of 5.7 pounds whereas the probiotic test group lost an average of 9.7 pounds.

Furthermore, women in the probiotic test group continued to lose body weight and fat mass during the weight-maintenance period, whereas women in the placebo group regained lost fat and weight.

The continual loss of body fat and weight during the maintenance period is presumably due to the new bacteria in the probiotic replacing bad gut bacteria that cause weight gain and obesity. In fact, the probiotic test group demonstrated significant amounts of the new bacteria in their fecal matter, which indicates establishment of the new bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

Why there was no difference between the test group and placebo group with the male participants is not evident.

"We don't know why the probiotics didn't have any effect on men. It may be a question of dosage, or the study period may have been too short," states Professor Tremblay―the principal investigator of the study―in a press release.

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While the idea that a specific strain of bacteria used in probiotics may be responsible toward achieving weight loss as demonstrated in the study, the researchers do report that this is only one strain tested and that other strains may be equally beneficial as well.

Currently an internet search fails to reveal commercial probiotic sources containing the same exact strain of bacteria used in the study. However, the Culturelle brand of supplements listed below do reportedly contain a related bacterium:

• Culturelle DS

• Culturelle HS

• Culturelle Natural Health and Wellness

• Culturelle Digestive Health

• Culturelle for Kids

The aforementioned commercial products reportedly contain a related Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain of bacteria referred to as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103). Note that currently Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity; therefore, the potential risks and/or benefits of taking Lactobacillus rhamnosus are unknown.

For an informative article about losing belly fat with probiotics, click-on the titled link, “Solve Your Digestive Problems and Lose Belly Fat at the Same Time!”

Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket

Reference: Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women; British Journal of Nutrition Dec. 2013, FirstView Article pp 1-13, available on CJO2013. doi:10.1017/S0007114513003875; Marina Sanchez et al.