Probiotic supplements may enhance weight loss and improve the metabolic health of obese children, according to a research presented this week at the 58th Annual European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Meeting.
The double-blind trial randomised 54 obese children aged between 6 and 14 years, who were following a diet and exercise plan, to receive either a probiotic capsule containing Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus for 12 weeks (n=30) or placebo (n=24).
The study found probiotic consumption significantly reduced body mass index (BMI), inflammatory markers, triglycerides, fasting blood glucose, insulin and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR; P<.05 compared to the control group.>
The team now plan to conduct larger trials examining the effect of probiotics on the metabolic health of obese children, and to extend their investigations to analyse how they alter the gut, with the aim of better understanding the link between gut bacteria and obesity risk.
“Childhood obesity is a growing problem that needs early intervention to prevent long-term health problems; microbiome-based treatments could be a new and more effective strategy for tackling this serious epidemic,” said author, Professor Rui-Min Chen from Fuzhou Children’s Hospital of Fujian Province, China.