A daily dose of probiotics really may help people lose weight, according to a recent review of research. But hold off on the happy dance—the actual weight loss experienced by study subjects was minimal.
Researchers from the Department of Cardiology at Taizhou People's Hospital in Taizhou, China, analyzed 25 different human studies, including 1,900 healthy adults, that investigated the impact of probiotic consumption on body weight and body mass index BMI. Taking the bugs was associated with reduced body weight and BMI, with the biggest effect on the most overweight subjects. Taking more than one type of probiotic and taking them for eight weeks or longer was associated with more weight loss.
How much weight did subjects lose with a probiotic push? They lost about .59 kg, about 20 oz.—about the weight of a Big Mac. Although the amount was minimal, even a small reduction can have enormous public health benefits, according to a release from the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, where the study was published. Earlier this year, a Virginia Tech study suggested that a daily microbe milkshake may help men lose weight, and a previous study suggested probiotics may help women lose weight and keep it off.