Childhood obesity affects both the physical and psychosocial health of children and can lead to a number of life-threatening conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Treatment and prevention is a serious public health challenge. Probiotic bacteria, Bifidobacteria is a natural gut microflora that prevents infection from bacteria and digestion of carbohydrates and dietary fibre.
While digestion, they release chemicals called short chain fatty acids which play a key role in gut microbiome and controlling hunger. Less number of Bifidobacteria may impair digestion, food intake and energy expenditure leading to body weight gain and obesity. In previous study supplementing with single Bifidobacteria helps to restore the gut microflora which is an ideal approach in obesity management.
In this current research Dr. Flavia Prodam and her team at the university of piemonte orientale used combination of probiotic strains. The objective of the study is to assess the impact of Bifidobacteria probiotic treatment in children and adolescents with obesity on a controlled diet on weight loss and gut microbiota.
100 obese children and adolescents (6-18 years) were put on calorie controlled diet and randomly given either probiotics Bifidobacterium breve, BR03 and Bifidobacterium breve B632 or a placebo for 8 weeks. Clinical, Biochemical and stool sample were tested out to determine the effect of probiotic. The study found that obese children who were put on a calorie-restricted diet and given probiotics Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and Bifidobacterium breve B632 had a reduction in waist circumference, BMI, insulin resistance and E.coli in their gut.
It can be concluded that potential probiotic strains are helping to treat obesity in children and adolescents when undergoing dietary restrictions.