Losing weight can be very hard. Some people swear it's nearly impossible. But what if losing weight was simply a matter of balancing the bacteria in your gut? Well, a new study suggests it might be just that easy.
In this study, the researchers wanted to see if they could fight the obesity and diabetes epidemic with probiotics. When I first saw their goal, I was skeptical. The last thing we need is another silver-bullet diet pill. But I read on and was impressed.
First, they didn't use just any garden variety of probiotic. And they didn't simply give the participants yogurt or fermented foods. They used an expensive brand of probiotics call VSL#3 from Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals. Because it's a pharmaceutical company, Sigma-Tau sells its products through pharmacies, but many of their products don't require a prescription.
The researchers gave these probiotics to mice and measured their weight and insulin resistance. They found that the probiotics suppressed their weight gain and their insulin resistance without any side effects. The researchers also found that the mice didn't eat as much, indicating the added gut flora helped curb their appetite.
The researchers said the additional gut bacteria caused the body to release hormones that reduced food cravings and promoted glucose tolerance.
So what's in these "specialty" probiotics that makes them work so well? Really nothing that special. Here's a list of the probiotics they contain:
- Bifidobacterium breve
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Bifidobacterium infantis
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus paracasei
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
- Streptococcus thermophilus
As you can see, these are fairly common strains. The amounts Sigma-Tau uses vary depending on the product. But you can find these strains at any health food store and online.
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The VSL3 website has the stats for their products. You can compare their amounts to other products. Advanced Probiotic Formula contains several of these strains and many others that will have similar effects. What's more, independent labs have found their levels to be extremely high. So make sure you add these to your daily supplement regimen.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.