Studies Suggest Gut Bacteria Could Help with Weight Loss

Weight loss is a big deal.  There are millions in the US alone who are obese, and finding ways to shed the pounds and fight illnesses such as diabetes can often be difficult.  In severe cases, there is the option of bariatric surgery, which seals off part of the stomach and links part of the intestines directly to the smaller stomach.  This is a highly effective treatment for many who are obese.  In fact, those who have this procedure often lose up to 75 percent of their body fat.

Studies show that certain microbes may be helpful with weight loss

Studies show that certain microbes may be helpful with weight loss

Until now, scientists have not been certain as to the full effects of this procedure.  It was known that the procedure itself is highly effective, but the bacteria found in the gut might have something else to do with the weight loss.  Studies on mice that had undergone bariatric surgery found that there were different microbes in the feces of these mice than what was found in the feces of the mice that had not had the surgery.

They then gave the bacteria to overweight mice, without using surgery and found that these were able to lose 20 percent of their extra weight.  This suggests that the bacteria can help patients to lose weight without having the invasive bariatric procedure and shows promise.  Human trials and use are still a long way from being ready, but researchers are eager to begin the next stage of studies.

Consuming dairy products that contain the probiotic known as Lactobacillus gasseri has long been thought to have positive effects on maintaining body weight and preventing obesity.   In 2010, a study was done on Europeans and found that when 7oz. were consumed daily, participants saw an increased reduction in the amounts of belly fat and overall weight.

Another study done in 2010 that was published in Microbiology found that a strain of lactobacillus that was specially developed for the study actually helped to boost metabolism and change the composition of body fat in the body of mice that were studied.

Additionally, probiotics have been helpful in treating other conditions that include IBS, irregularity, eczema, and can be helpful when working to reduce negative side effects of taking certain antibiotics.  Probiotics may have side effects that include gas and bloating, so those considering increasing their intake should do so slowly to help prevent issues.

In the mean time, researchers feel remarkably positive about the implications of their most recent study and are hopeful that developing a treatment out of microbes that boost weight loss in bariatric patients well be developed and provide patients with a safe and effective method for losing weight.

Until then, for those that want to become healthier and lose weight, there are options to consider.  Health care providers can be a good resource for helping people to find the best weight loss plan for their needs.

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Written by Heidi Shepard

Heidi was born and raised in Vero Beach, Florida. At a very young age she discovered her passion for writing, and graduated in 1996 from Florida State University with a major in journalism and minor in Nursing. She is a licensed RN part-time and also works full-time writing for various local health journals and papers. She is a definite asset to Newhealthalert. Not only does her experience and passion show through her keen writing, but her expertise in the medical field enables her to capture the best news topics and subjects found in the health niche.

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