Digestive Care Expert Brenda Watson
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Gut Balance the Missing Solution for Overweight Children and Teens?

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years. According to the CDC, in 2012 more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. The long-term health effects of obesity in children include an array of chronic diseases. More needs to be done to prevent childhood obesity so that the children of today do not grow up to be the chronically ill of tomorrow.

Probiotic Prebiotic Lower Inflammation

In a recent study published in the monthly publication of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics, Jornal de Pediatra, researchers studied overweight and obese children and teens taking the prebiotic fructooligosaccharide (FOS) in addition to vitamins A, C, and E plus a multi-strain probiotic formula containing the following strains:

Lactobacillus casei
Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Lactobacillus acidophilus
Lactobacillus bulgaricus
Streptococcus thermophilus
Bifidobacterium breve
Bifidobacterium longum

They found that, when compared to children taking a placebo, those children taking the synbiotic (probiotic + prebiotic) formula experienced a decrease in weight associated with a decrease in two inflammatory markers in the blood, TNF-alpha and IL-6, as well as an increase in adiponectin, a hormone released from fat cells that plays a role in regulation of insulin sensitivity (blood sugar control) and energy.

They found that, when compared to children taking a placebo, those children taking the synbiotic (probiotic + prebiotic) formula experienced a decrease in weight associated with a decrease in two inflammatory markers in the blood, TNF-alpha and IL-6, as well as an increase in adiponectin, a hormone released from fat cells that plays a role in regulation of insulin sensitivity (blood sugar control) and energy.

“It appears that, because of the association between obesity and inflammation, it can be proposed that the favorable effects of probiotics in controlling inflammation may play a role in obesity prevention and control,” stated the researchers.

This study is more evidence of a strong link between gut bacteria and metabolic health. Truly, our gut bacteria are in control of our health and affect all areas of the body—especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. We can no longer consider that food and exercise are the only factors in achieving an ideal weight. As it turns out, the bacteria in our guts have a bigger say than even the foods we eat.

Many people do not yet realize that probiotics and prebiotics can have excellent benefits outside of the digestive tract, as found in this study. While it is true that a healthy diet plays a main role in helping children and teens get healthy—and stay healthy, balancing gut bacteria may be the missing piece that prevents these children from getting well. Share this article with parents you know who might not be aware of the wide-ranging positive effects of gut balance.

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Written by Brenda Watson

Brenda Watson is among the foremost authorities in America today on natural digestive care, herbal cleansing and nutrition. A dynamic health advocate, best-selling author and celebrated PBS-TV health educator, Brenda overcame her own battle with chronic illness and has since helped millions of people improve their well-being through optimal digestion and nutrition. She continues to share her knowledge with the world through her books, online media, and radio and television appearances. Sign up today to receive Brenda’s Healthy Living eNewsletter full of do-it-yourself tips, recipes, and exclusive offers!

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