After pregnancy, the most commonly used probiotics might help women better control belly fat, according to WebMD.
In a study from Finland, the probiotics lactobacillus and bifidobacterium were found to decrease central obesity — a body mass index of 30 or more and waist size of more than 31.5 inches.
Only 25% of women who received daily probiotic capsules, plus dietary advice, had central obesity following pregnancy, WebMD reports. That compared to 43% of women given dietary counseling alone.
Another study, from Toronto, connects beneficial bacteria with decreased anxiety levels in people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
The double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that a strain of Lactobacillus casei significantly decreased anxiety symptoms in 39 chronic fatigue patients.
The researchers noted that, in addition to this study, past research has shown an association between CFS and intestinal flora imbalances.
Results of the study were published in Gut Pathogens.
A virus called XMRV might be to blame for CFS, according to a report from RedOrbit.com. In a study, the virus, also linked to prostate cancer, was detected in 68 out of 101 CFS sufferers.
The study points out that additional research is needed to determine if the virus is a direct cause of CFS.
There is no known cure for the condition, which affects about 17 million people worldwide. However, people with CFS and fibromyalgia might find relief through cognitive behavioral therapy and nutrition.
In addition, a story from the Belleville News-Democrat says there is a link between Restless Legs Syndrome and intestinal bacteria.
In a small study, a gastroenterologist from Washington University in St. Louis looked at how an antibiotic, probiotics and zinc might play a role in relieving irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and RLS.
The doctor studied 13 people who suffered from IBS and RLS. Following treatment, all of the subjects experienced relief from IBS symptoms, and 10 showed improvement in the leg condition, according to the News-Democrat.
Studies suggest probiotics improve digestion, support gut health and strengthen the immune system. A good probiotic supplement should contain 3 billion or more “friendly bacteria.”