A new study suggests that a probiotic supplement may protect against weight gain. The study apparently confirms the link between balanced intestinal flora and weight loss. Probiotics, known as "good bacteria," are thought to reduce the absorption of fat.
In the study, published in the journal Obesity, researchers at Virginia Tech studied 20 healthy men who followed a high-fat and high calorie diet for four weeks. Some men also consumed a milkshake containing VSL#3, a probiotic with multiple strains of bacteria including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. The others drank a placebo milkshake. The researchers found the men who drank the probiotic mix had lower body mass gain and fat accumulation than those who consumed the placebo milkshake.
The researchers of the VSL#3 study think the probiotics could have changed gut bacteria in a way that caused less body fat accumulation. They admit they’re not sure how the supplement works. They also suspect the probiotics could have reduced lipid absorption or had an impact on energy expenditure.