Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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Regular exercise coupled with a healthy diet is a surefire approach to weight loss. Shedding visceral fat, however, may not require such strenuous measures. There is evidence that caring for the gut could be key to restoring metabolic balance. Some studies even suggest that by promoting healthy gut bacteria, supplements may significantly reduce abdominal fat within 60 days.
Mounting evidence suggests prebiotics and probiotic supplements may represent viable options for addressing inflammation and chronic diseases.
Prebiotics are defined as a group of nutrients that feed the gut microbiota, a system of micro-organisms in a person’s gastrointestinal system.
They work by changing the composition of the gut microbiome for the better and by supporting the immune system, explains Holland and Barrett.
Probiotics, which are live organisms, help maintain a healthy balance by aiding digestion and improving stomach-relating concerns.
Some studies suggest that when taken as a supplement, both prebiotics and probiotics could have a role in tackling visceral fat loss.
Last year, research published in the BMC journal of Genes and Nutrition set out to assess whether the gut-related benefits of each supplement could improve metabolic health.
The purpose of the study was to assess whether they could alter the molecules responsible for inflammation and chronic disease in overweight individuals.
Researchers also set out to determine whether any changes in the distribution of body fat would be possible with supplementation.
The results showed: “Compared to placebo, prebiotic/probiotic supplements was associated with a 35 percent reduction in visceral adipose tissue, but no change in body weight or overall percent body fat.”
More specifically, the prebiotic/probiotic group had a significant reduction in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) at 60 days (37 percent) and 35 percent at 90 days.
In comparison, individuals receiving a placebo had a “slight, nonsignificant increase” increase in VAT during the course of the study.
Other significant results emerged, showing reduced systemic inflammation and chronic disease risk among supplement takers.
The researchers explained: “The key findings support that 90-day prebiotic/probiotic supplementation may be associated with reduced adipose tissue inflammation, reduced systemic inflammation and reduced chronic disease risk.
“Combined with the unexpected findings of reduced visceral adipose tissue, this intervention may have resulted in improved overall health and reduced chronic disease risk.”
One well-established characteristic of both prebiotic and probiotic supplements is their anti-inflammatory effects.
This is important for tackling visceral obesity, and it “plays a vicious role in insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, a cluster of metabolism disorders […]”.
The understanding behind the weight loss mechanisms of prebiotics and probiotics is that any improvement in the number of bacteria in the gut positively affects overall health.
Without the right balance of bacteria, weight gain and increased fat storage are more likely, making weight loss more difficult.
It’s important to note that for optimal effects, supplementation with probiotics and probiotics should be coupled with a healthy lifestyle.
For the vast majority of people taking the supplements is safe, but seeking advice from a doctor first is recommended before taking live cultures supplements.
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