Women who start taking probiotics in the first trimester of their pregnancy are less likely to develop obesity within the first year of giving birth, a new study has found.
Finnish scientists studied 256 women divided into three groups. Two groups received dietary counseling, and one of those also received daily capsules of probiotics containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
The other group received a placebo, whereas the third group received placebo and no dietary counseling.
The capsules were continued for up to 6 months after giving birth.
The results found that 25 percent of the women who had been given the probiotics as well as diet advice had central obesity, defined as a body mass index of 30 or more or a waist circumference of over 80 centimeters.
Meanwhile, as much as 43 percent of those who got counseling alone and 40 percent of the women who got neither diet advice nor probiotics developed central obesity.
The scientists believe probiotics’ power to manipulate the balance of bacteria in the gut may help fight obesity.
Those who would like to control their weight or improve their digestive health may consider nutritional supplements containing probiotics.