One of the toughest health challenges we face in the US today is the ever-increasing rate of obesity. Obesity is a difficult and complex subject to talk about.
Overweightness affects your appearance, your health status and it can play unfair psychological games with you. Self-criticism, negative emotions and a dreadful feeling of being judged by others often surround a person who struggles with being overweight. That is exactly the reason why there are a variety of “solutions” to weight loss. Most of what is available in the market does not deliver what it promises, a quick and easy way to lose weight.
Approaches to Weight Loss
As a compounding pharmacist, I am often asked about different options to help individuals lose weight. Some approaches include balancing your thyroid hormones, addressing female and male sex hormones and treating adrenal fatigue syndrome. We also compound low dose appetite suppressants (by prescription) for patients who have side effects from a manufactured dose that is commercially available.
Patients often ask if they should take over the counter (OTC) products to help them lose weight. Of course, there are a number of supplements that promise you quick and easy weight loss. But do they really work? And even if you lose the extra pounds, keeping the weight off can be quite challenging. Only 1 in 6 overweight or obese US adults reports ever having maintained weight loss of at least 10% for 1 year.
Probiotics & its Benefits
In my search for answers that are backed by science, I came across a “probiotic” called UltraFlora Control which claims that it can help individuals lose weight. A 6-month clinical study in obese men and women was published in 2016 and showed that the bacteria in UltraFlora Control had the following benefits:
• Helps control body fat
• Helps control body weight and body weight regulation
• Helps reduce waist circumference
• Helps control abdominal fat
Over the past decade, increasing evidence has linked the intestinal microbiome (bacteria in the gut) with regulation of body weight and body fat mass.
There are 3 main differences between the gut bacteria of lean and obese individuals:
• Composition—Obese individuals tend to have more unwanted or potentially harmful bacteria
• Diversity—Obese individuals tend to have a less diverse type of good bacteria in the gut
• Functionality—Obese individuals tend to have different gut-derived signals that affect satiety (feeling full) and fat deposition
Of course, you don’t have to be obese or overweight to benefit from taking a probiotic. Research has shown many benefits to taking a good probiotic. Potential benefits of probiotics have been seen in the treatment or prevention of:
• irritable bowel syndrome
• ulcerative colitis
• Crohn’s disease
• H. pylori (the cause of ulcers)
• vaginal infections
• urinary tract infections
When in doubt, contact one of our knowledgeable pharmacists at Community Clinical Pharmacy. We are here to offer you solutions and assist you in making informed decisions about your health.