A new meta-analysis, recently published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, has shown that consuming probiotics can reduce body weight and body mass index (BMI).
Doubt was recently cast over the use of probiotic products in otherwise healthy individuals when a systematic analysis conducted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen of seven previously published randomised controlled trials of healthy adults receiving different types of probiotics found that there was no demonstrable benefit to consuming fermented vegetables, sour milk products or other probiotic-enriched foods and drinks. The research, which was published in the scientific journal Genome Medicine, reveals that eating probiotics does nothing to increase or improve gut flora in otherwise healthy individuals. However, this new meta-analysis, conducted by researchers from the Department of Cardiology, Taizhou People’s Hospital, Taizhou, China, combined the findings of 25 randomised human trials investigating the impact of probiotic consumption on body weight and BMI in over 1,900 healthy adults. They found that taking probiotics reduced BMI and body weight with the greatest reduction in BMI occurring in overweight adults. Interestingly, ingesting more than one type of probiotic and taking probiotics for eight weeks or more resulted in increased weight loss.