The global obesity epidemic has public health departments looking beyond diet and exercise for answers. Research now suggests a new avenue: the gut microbiota is linked to obesity, obesity-related inflammation and insulin resistance. While research has reported some beneficial effects of probiotics and/or prebiotics on obesity in adults, little has been done with children and adolescents.
Targeting obesity early, before or as it develops may be the best way of arresting the soaring numbers.
A new collaborative study includes children with obesity. Effects of synbiotic on anthropometry, lipid profile and oxidative stress in obese children by scientists in Turkey and Belgium appears in the journal Beneficial Microbes online in 2015.
All patients were in a one month treatment program:
- Group #1: received standard reduced calories and increased exercise.
- Group #2: received reduced calorie regimen and increased exercise as above along with daily synbiotic treatment.
Results were measured: anthropometric measurements, lipid profile and oxidative stress parameters.
- Group #2 saw reduced weight and BMI compared to Group #1
- Changes in serum lipid levels were better in Group #2 also.
- Changes in serum total oxidative stress levels were higher in Group #2
The authors state: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing the effects of synbiotics on oxidative stress in obese patients with an additional effect on weight loss regarding to previous studies.”