In recent years researchers have examined active cultures and bacteria in yogurt.  Their studies have yielded interesting findings: Bacteria in yogurt can help women lose weight and keep it off.  How’d they figure this out?

In a study of 125 obese men and women, researchers placed participants on a two-phase diet, which began with a restricted diet and ended with a meal plan but no restriction.  During this time, half the participants were also given two pills that contained as many probiotics (good bacteria) as can be found in one serving of yogurt.  Women who took the probiotic pills lost more weight than women who took the placebo in the first phase.  Interestingly enough, the group of women who took the placebo stopped losing weight in phase two: the maintenance phase.  However, the women who had been taking the probiotic pills continued to lose weight during the maintenance period.  Essentially, women who were consuming good bacteria found in yogurt lost more weight and more fat mass.  They also saw a drop in their level of leptin in their blood, which is a hormone that controls appetite and hunger.

These differences were not found in male participants.

So how does this work?  It appears that probiotics help reduce the amount of the bacteria in women’s stomachs that is linked to obesity.  The specific link this group of bacteria has to obesity is still unknown.  Further research on gut bacteria and on probiotics in the yogurt we eat may help researchers discern between those that help with weight loss and those that don’t.  Continued studies can potentially be used to help obese women who are trying to lose weight.

In the meanwhile, keep in mind that eating yogurt is beneficial, because it is a natural and calcium-rich food that can be consumed as a snack or as a part of a balanced meal.  It or other types of calorie-balanced dairy are an integral part of a healthy diet.   If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of yogurt and how to incorporate dairy into your diet, talk to our weight loss consultant today!

Please contact Florida Aesthetics and Medical Weight Loss to schedule a free consultation with our weight loss coach.