A recent test that was conducted in Canada has found that probiotic supplements helped women lose weight, and keep it off. Although the test was performed on both men and women, it appears that only the women lost the weight.
The test was conducted at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, where they tested 125 overweight men and women, who were put through a 12-week weight loss diet. After the diet period, a 12-week maintenance program was included in the total 24-week program.
During the program, half of the men and women took two capsules daily of one strain of probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamnosus. The other half took placebos.
What was most interesting is that the women were the only ones that the probiotic helped in the weight loss efforts. Researchers believe it could have to do with the type or strain used in the test, which may not effect men in regard to losing or gaining weight.
The results showed that even though all participants lost weight after the first part of the program, only the women who took the probiotic lost more weight than the others. And, during the maintenance portion, the women who took the probiotics continued losing weight, while the men and women not on the capsules, just maintained or gained.
So, the women in the probiotics group lost nearly twice as much weight overall on average. What’s more, women in the probiotic group also saw a 25 percent drop in their blood levels of leptin, a hormone that seems to be a key player in regulating appetite and metabolism.
However, the researchers were somewhat puzzled about the gender differences in the test and why the men didn't benefit from the probiotics.
Curiously, they used only used one probiotic strain, while other probiotic supplements may contain 14 strains. And fermented foods and beverages can contain even more. So the one strain may have not been effective on males due to the different intestinal bacteria and flora in men. But the strain certainly worked on women.
“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,” Angelo Tremblay, an obesity researcher a Laval who led the research, said in a statement.
It is possible that this one probiotic worked for half of the women who took it, but with the positive affects to only women and not men, it might not work for everyone.
But, a healthy diet that includes a lot of fresh fruit and veggies can help tremendously when battling weight, especially if they replace those burgers and fries.
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