There I was waiting in line at the store yesterday, a cart full of litter and food for shelter cats, when the cover of one of those check-out lane magazines I usually ignore jumped out at me.
“CURE FOR YO-YO DIETING,” Woman’s World shouted.
Because yo-yo dieting is obviously of interest to me, I threw a copy of the tabloid magazine in my cart. I got a chance to read it earlier today, and though most of the story’s facts come from just a couple of university studies, they do seem to stand up to some other studies I located on the Web.
The article’s claim is that probiotics help us lose weight by reinforcing good bacteria in our digestive tract. This good bacteria, according to the story, help combat the things that reduce good bacteria (stress, antibiotics, high-sugar diets). Probiotic supplements can also encourage the growth of good bacterial strains found in higher quantities in lean people. The story also mentions (but does not specifically cite) NYU research that proved probiotics can aid in appetite control and reduce cravings.
I don’t doubt the power of probiotics. Various doctors have told me time & again that I need to take probiotics to manage the myriad of digestive issues that have plagued me since I was a teenager. However, I only took probiotics for a short while in 2010 before I gave them up due to their high cost, so I really never gave myself the chance to measure their effects.
But this Woman’s World story has given me food for thought, you might say, and I think I’ll make another trip to the store today to pick up some probiotics. Especially after reading this 2010 Japanese study on the fat reduction experienced in subjects who took probiotics.
As with any weight-loss claim, I don’t think we can rely on probiotics alone to yield weight loss results (especially according to one University of Alberta doctor quoted in this 2008 article). As nice as that would be, I’m going to have to step up the dieting and exercising efforts needed to combat my latest weigh-in results. However, I will be watching for signs that the probiotics are working – whether through successful weight loss or through diminished cravings.
Here’s some more information on probiotics:
Probiotics – MedicineNet (lots of info on probiotic sources, different kinds of probiotics, side effects, etc.)
Please visit my disclaimer page for info regarding the mention of weight-loss methods on this blog. As always, check with your doctor before trying any weight-loss supplement, program, or diet.