Probiotics and Obesity: An Update

Source: International Probiotics Association

The numbers are staggering: 650 million people on the planet are obese, nearly triple the number in 1975, reports the World Health Organization. Moreover the Food and Agricultural Organization reported that more people are suffering from overweight/obesity than from undernutrition.

Obesity — a big problem

Obesity can lead to heart disease, diabetes, skeletal problems, cancers and a slew of other disorders. With nearly three million people dying from obesity-related diseases every year, the world clearly faces more than one pandemic.

Experts agree that the major propellant is the abundance of fat and calorie dense foods paired with lifestyles that are ever more sedentary. When energy consumed tops energy burned, the excess is stored as body fat.

However — as the colossal diet industry attests — it’s not that simple. Given the importance to evolutionary survival, energy balance and reserves are defended or supported by an impressive array of physiological processes. As a result, obesity poses a multi-faceted and stubborn challenge which must be targeted from many directions.

Gut microbiota (GM) is one such area of heightened interest, especially given its important function in energy harvest.

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