The Powerful Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is great for weight loss! Do a Google search and you’ll find plenty of stories (like this one) about how people who turned to intermittent fasting, or “IF” for short, have lost weight. And we’re not talking about individuals who needed to lose only a couple pounds either.

Many of the intermittent fasting weight loss success stories come from people who struggled for years with obesity. When other diets failed, they found the IF approach made it easier to stay with it. Best yet, by continuing to practice IF, they’ve kept the weight off!

There is one thing to understand about intermittent fasting. It’s not a diet. Research may show it works for weight loss, but IF is really a way of life which is what makes it so easy to follow.[i],[ii] More importantly, its benefits go far beyond weight loss and weight management.

Let’s take a closer look at intermittent fasting and the many powerful health benefits it offers…

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting describes a lifestyle featuring a pattern that switches between normal eating and periods of fasting. A popular practice is the 5:2 method. You eat a normal diet for five days a week. Then, two days a week you eat at most 25% of your normal dietary calories. For a 2,000-calorie diet, that’s 500 calories; an 1,800-calorie diet would be 450 calories.

The practice doesn’t define which days you fast. It’s only important that you do it twice a week. It’s generally recommended to space the days so there is at least one non-fasting day between the two on which you do fast.

Intermittent fasting is different from continuous caloric restriction, aka dieting or severe fasting, where you restrict calories all the time. This makes IF easier to do as hunger pangs aren’t constant. It also allows for a normal diet the rest of the time, so you keep up your nutrient intake to keep your body fueled with the vitamins and minerals it needs.

A normal diet doesn’t, of course, include “junk food” which would counteract or negate the value of the fasting periods – and could lead to weight gain! But as noted, weight loss isn’t the only major benefit of intermittent fasting. Here are many other powerful benefits of intermittent fasting researchers have reported:

Speeds Up the Metabolism

Studies show people who do intermittent fasting enjoy lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.[iii],[iv] Based on results from one small study, this may have to do with an ability to metabolize fats better.[v] Their bodies simply cleared fat out of the system faster after they ate. This leads to more energy, faster recovery from exercise and other physical labor and a clearer mind.

Regenerates Intestinal Cells to Improve Digestion

Intermittent fasting “turns on” stem cells which are responsible for regeneration and renewal of the intestinal lining.[vi] This process is essential to keep the intestines working at top efficiency.

Symptoms like indigestion, gas, bloating and generally irritable bowels indicate incomplete digestion and often occur as a result of a poor diet, illness and age. Whatever the cause, these symptoms also mean the lining of the intestines is breaking down. The research suggests intermittent fasting gives the intestines a chance to recover which would help improve digestion, nutrient absorption and may reduce the unpleasant gas, bloating and other uncomfortable issues that happen with poor digestion.

Lifts the Mood

In one study, people with multiple sclerosis who practiced intermittent fasting showed “significant improvements” in their overall emotional well-being.[vii] Intermittent fasting has been shown to boost levels of BDNF, a protein in the brain associated with improving mood and memory.[viii]

Protects the Brain

Intermittent fasting has been shown to prompt a process called autophagy that clears old or dead cells from the body. It also does this in the brain.[ix] This has a profoundly positive impact on the brain as it promotes the creation of new brain cells, which are essential to protect your memory, support a positive mood and think clearly![x]

IF Boosts Levels of Growth Hormone

Human growth hormone supports your body’s natural healing processes. It also supports brain health and keeps your cells working the way they’re supposed to. Research shows intermittent fasting naturally encourages your body to produce more HGH which helps keep the body in a regular state of renewal.[xi],[xii]

Improves Insulin Response and Blood Sugar

Researchers have observed improvements in fasting insulin levels and reduced insulin resistance in people who do intermittent fasting.[xiii]

Supports Heart Health

The weight loss, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and better blood sugar that comes from improved insulin response also support heart health.[xiv] Additional research shows it supports lower blood pressure and higher HDL-cholesterol (the good cholesterol) levels.[xv]

IF Increases Resistance to Oxidative Stress & Inflammation

Intermittent fasting also increases the body’s ability to respond to chronic inflammation. In one study, researchers looked at the effect of IF on patients with asthma and discovered that the diet decreased inflammation in their airways and improved their overall breathing.[xvi]

Slows Aging and Promotes Longevity

Intermittent fasting has been shown to turn on specific genes called sirtuins. These genes are known for their anti-aging effects, especially the way they improve metabolism, encourage antioxidant response, help the body handle stress and support the removal of old, malfunctioning or dead cells.[xvii] By promoting cellular renewal, sirtuins slow aging and may support a longer, healthier life!

References:

[i] Tinsley GM, et al. Effects of intermittent fasting on body composition and clinical health markers in humans. Nutr Rev. 2015 Oct;73(10):661-74. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuv041. Epub 2015 Sep 15.

[ii] Wilson RA, et al. Intermittent Fasting with or without Exercise Prevents Weight Gain and Improves Lipids in Diet-Induced Obese Mice. Nutrients. 2018 Mar 12;10(3). pii: E346. doi: 10.3390/nu10030346.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Tinsley GM, et al. Effects of intermittent fasting on body composition and clinical health markers in humans. Nutr Rev. 2015 Oct;73(10):661-74. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuv041. Epub 2015 Sep 15.

[v] Antoni, R., Johnston, K., Collins, A., & Robertson, M. (2018). Intermittent v. continuous energy restriction: Differential effects on postprandial glucose and lipid metabolism following matched weight loss in overweight/obese participants. <i>British Journal of Nutrition,</i> <i>119</i>(5), 507-516. doi:10.1017/S0007114517003890

[vi] Mihaylova MM, et al. Fasting Activates Fatty Acid Oxidation to Enhance Intestinal Stem Cell Function during Homeostasis and Aging. Cell Stem Cell. 2018 May 3;22(5):769-778.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.04.001.

[vii] Fitzgerald KC, et al. Effect of intermittent vs. daily calorie restriction on changes in weight and patient-reported outcomes in people with multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2018 May 5;23:33-39. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2018.05.002. [Epub ahead of print]

[viii] Mattson MP1, et al. Meal size and frequency affect neuronal plasticity and vulnerability to disease: cellular and molecular mechanisms. J Neurochem. 2003 Feb;84(3):417-31.

[ix] Alirezaei M, Kemball CC, Flynn CT, Wood MR, Whitton JL, Kiosses WB. Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagyAutophagy. 2010;6(6):702-710. doi:10.4161/auto.6.6.12376.

[x] Manzanero S, Erion JR, Santro T, et al. Intermittent fasting attenuates increases in neurogenesis after ischemia and reperfusion and improves recoveryJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism. 2014;34(5):897-905. doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2014.36.

[xi] Aberg ND1, et al. Aspects of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I related to neuroprotection, regeneration, and functional plasticity in the adult brain. ScientificWorldJournal. 2006 Jan 18;6:53-80.

[xii] Ho KY, Veldhuis JD, Johnson ML, et al. Fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in manJournal of Clinical Investigation. 1988;81(4):968-975.

[xiii] Adrienne R. et al. Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings. Translational Research, Volume 164, Issue 4, 2014, Pages 302-311, ISSN 1931-5244.

[xiv] Mark P. Mattson, et al. Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting and caloric restriction on the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Volume 16, Issue 3, 2005, Pages 129-137, ISSN 0955-2863.

[xv] Sundfør TM1, et al. Effect of intermittent versus continuous energy restriction on weight loss, maintenance and cardiometabolic risk: A randomized 1-year trial. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2018 Mar 29. pii: S0939-4753(18)30100-5. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2018.03.009. [Epub ahead of print]

[xvi] Johnson JB, Summer W, Cutler RG, et al. Alternate Day Calorie Restriction Improves Clinical Findings and Reduces Markers of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Overweight Adults with Moderate AsthmaFree radical biology & medicine. 2007;42(5):665-674. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2006.12.005.

[xvii] Zhu Y1, et al. Metabolic regulation of Sirtuins upon fasting and the implication for cancer. Curr Opin Oncol. 2013 Nov;25(6):630-6. doi: 10.1097/01.cco.0000432527.49984.a3.

The Connection Between Metabolism and Your Health

Fitness and health experts talk all the time about boosting the metabolism to burn fat, lose weight and stay healthy. This begs the question, what exactly does metabolism have to do with your health? The simple answer is…everything.

Your metabolism defines your health. It determines your quality of life. The reality is, metabolism is life itself.

And that’s why there’s so much talk about boosting metabolism. Good health needs an active metabolism. When you’ve got an active metabolism, you have energy, you feel better – physically, mentally and emotionally, and you don’t get sick often. Here’s why…

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is often described by its relationship to food and fat. Your metabolism turns food into energy or, if it’s slow, fat. This definition does not communicate the full extent of what your metabolism does.

Your metabolism includes every biochemical reaction in your body. Metabolism breaks down and builds up substances, aka the chemicals we need to live.[i] For example, through the action of enzymes metabolism starts in the mouth as you chew food and continues through every process down to the cellular level.

Metabolism also breaks down free radicals created during the energy creation process which would otherwise damage the cell or DNA. Your metabolism also neutralizes toxins that get into the body via food and environment, and pathogens like viruses, bacteria and fungi that would do you harm.

As part of the process, your metabolism builds the chemicals needed to drive this process. It builds new DNA as damaged cells are replaced. And of course, it builds ATP, the fundamental energy molecule needed in every chemical reaction.

Every process you can think of in your body – digestion, immune system, waste removal, muscle function including heart health, and more! – they all belong to the process we call metabolism.

Metabolism is your health.

The Importance of an Efficient Metabolism

An efficient metabolism gets the most work done for the least amount of energy. If you think of the trillions of chemical reactions taking place every second, the need for efficiency makes sense.

Wasted energy forces the body to prioritize what processes get energy and which have to wait. Over time, the waiting leads to inefficient conversion of food into energy, forcing the production of fat cells to store it. The immune system is less active allowing infectious germs to cause illness. Waste builds up throughout the body.

What Disrupts Your Metabolism

You have a lot of control over your metabolism. While some factors may be beyond your complete control such as exposure to infection, genetics and aging, there are some you do control. Diet is one example.

After 70+ years of the Western diet, the terrible impact of a carb-heavy diet featuring starches and added sugars on the metabolism is generally well-accepted by the scientific community. Added sugars provide no nutritional value and burn a lot of energy to convert them into energy. This taxes the digestive tract, the liver, the pancreas and the immune system.

Although the body uses glucose, a form of sugar, for energy, added sugars end up providing the body with too much. This sugar gets turned into fat which creates stress on the entire body. And in 2018, the results are telling:

  • Heart disease is still the #1 killer of both men and women in the United States.[ii]

 

  • Fatty liver disease, a condition which in the past only affected alcoholics (with rare exceptions), now afflicts more than 30% of the population.[iii]

 

  • Nearly 40% of U.S. adults are obese, according to the CDC.[iv]

Researchers have confirmed the relationship between fatty liver and obesity.[v] But health experts have also recognized the connection between these conditions and other chronic conditions such as diabetes. Many of these chronic diseases are now referred to as metabolic diseases.

Of course, diet is only one cause of an inefficient metabolism. A lack of exercise is another. And research continues to show how exercise boosts metabolism.[vi]

What You Need for an Efficient Metabolism

The first step for an efficient metabolism is good digestion. Your body needs the raw materials like vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to drive its metabolic processes. You also need adequate enzymes.

Although energy is needed to power the chemical reactions of metabolism, enzymes are the molecules that make those chemical reactions possible. Without enzymes, the energy molecules alone would not be enough. Digestive enzymes improve the efficiency of food break down and nutrient absorption into the bloodstream.

Of course, digestive enzymes are only a small group of enzymes. Every other chemical reaction in the body needs enzymes too. These enzymes are called metabolic enzymes. They keep the blood clean, make immune response possible, support waste removal and more.

Unfortunately, as you age, enzyme levels naturally drop.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your metabolism running strong. And when you do, you’ll not only find it easier to maintain the weight you want, but you’ll have more energy, look great, and feel better too…not to mention enjoy better health as you reduce the risk of metabolic diseases.

How to Keep Your Metabolism Strong and Efficient

Diet and exercise are two of the simplest ways to support metabolism. Eating raw, natural, non-processed food and exercising regularly are the two most basic ways to support or even boost your metabolism. They aren’t the only ones.

Here are a few other ways to support a healthy metabolism:

  • Eat breakfast. Research shows eating breakfast gets the metabolism going in the morning with people who eat breakfast showing higher metabolic rates.[vii]

 

  • Drink water. It might seem odd, but dehydration is a quick way to slow down the metabolism. Researchers report that drinking 500 ml of water increases the metabolic rate by 30% with increases being observed in as little as 10 minutes.[viii]

 

  • Get enough sleep. Your metabolism requires a full night’s sleep in order to perform efficiently according to studies.[ix]

 

  • Supplement as needed. Finally, take supplements as needed to ensure you get enough vitamins, minerals and enzymes in your diet. These are the building blocks your body needs to fuel your metabolism.

References:

[1] https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4359

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

[1] Le MH, Devaki P, Ha NB, et al. Prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and risk factors for advanced fibrosis and mortality in the United States. Yu M-L, ed. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(3):e0173499. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0173499.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

[1] Le MH, Devaki P, Ha NB, et al. Prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and risk factors for advanced fibrosis and mortality in the United States. Yu M-L, ed. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(3):e0173499. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0173499.

[1] Kristin I. Stanford, et al. 12,13-diHOME: An Exercise-Induced Lipokine that Increases Skeletal Muscle Fatty Acid Uptake. Cell Metabolism, 2018; 27 (5): 1111 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.03.020

[1] Ruddick‐Collins LC, Johnston JD, Morgan PJ, Johnstone AM. The Big Breakfast Study: Chrono‐nutrition influence on energy expenditure and bodyweight. Nutrition Bulletin. 2018;43(2):174-183. doi:10.1111/nbu.12323.

[1] Michael Boschmann, Jochen Steiniger, Uta Hille, Jens Tank, Frauke Adams, Arya M. Sharma, Susanne Klaus, Friedrich C. Luft, Jens Jordan; Water-Induced Thermogenesis, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 88, Issue 12, 1 December 2003, Pages 6015–6019, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-030780

[1] Sharma S, Kavuru M. Sleep and Metabolism: An Overview. International Journal of Endocrinology. 2010;2010:270832. doi:10.1155/2010/270832.

Probiotics vs. Prebiotics: What’s the Difference?

Probiotics and prebiotics are both essential for good health and a great quality of life. You’re probably familiar with probiotics, the health-promoting bacteria that live in your digestive tract. More recently there’s been a lot of talk about prebiotics.
Prebiotics are equally important to your health with significant impacts on your health and well-being. But what’s the difference? Let’s take a close look…

What is a Prebiotic?

A prebiotic is a form of non-digestible fiber that stimulates the activity of probiotics. While it’s true that all prebiotics are fiber, not all types of fiber are prebiotics. Perhaps the easiest way to think about prebiotics is as food for probiotic bacteria.
Researchers have defined three qualities that define whether a fiber is a prebiotic or not. To be a prebiotic, a fiber must :

– Survive stomach acids and digestion in the small intestine;
– Ferment in the large intestine; and,
– Encourage the growth and/or action of the intestinal, or probiotic, bacteria that support your health.

Since prebiotics feed probiotics, it’s essential to get enough prebiotic fiber in your diet. When you do, you’ll support the good probiotic bacteria living in your digestive tract which translates into better digestion and incredible health benefits.

Benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics

Probiotics have been shown to have amazing impacts on every aspect of human health. Researchers have found getting and maintaining healthy probiotic levels:

– Improves digestion
– Decreases digestive discomfort like gas, bloating and indigestion
– Reduces inflammation in the colon
– Protects the intestines from damage in people sensitive to gluten
– Limits or prevents food allergies

And that’s only the digestive benefits of probiotics! Your entire body and even how you feel is affected by probiotics. Studies show probiotics –

– Improve thinking and reasoning
– Protect memory, with researchers seeing “significant” results in those who consume probiotics
– Promote a positive mood ,
– Boost your immune system and immune response
– Make you more resistant to cold viruses
– Enhance your ability to deal with stress
– Strengthen bones by increasing bone mass
– Support healthy blood sugar and protect against fatty liver ,
– Offers general protection to the liver
– Helps with weight loss

Now, as prebiotics support probiotics in your digestive tract, they would indirectly support all of these health benefits. Researchers however report taking prebiotics is associated with health benefits of their own.
In one study, taking prebiotics reduced appetite and feelings of hunger in a placebo-controlled trial involving overweight children. Other health benefits according to researchers include :

– Reducing the risk of heart disease
– Improving blood sugar levels
– Promoting regularity and bowel health
– Supporting a healthy body weight
– Helping reduce inflammation throughout the body
– Increasing absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients

Some researchers have investigated the effect of supplements that include both prebiotics and probiotics. One study found the combination improved inflammation and supported liver health by reducing the impact of fatty liver disease in patients with normal body weight. In another study, researchers found the combination improved male fertility. Additional research suggests the combination improves many of the health benefits listed above.
Based on the research, it’s not prebiotics vs. probiotics. It should be prebiotics and probiotics. Quite simply, you want them both.

Types and Best Sources of Prebiotics

As noted above, not all fiber provides prebiotic benefits. Scientists have identified the following fibers as meeting all three requirements to qualify as a prebiotic :

– Inulin
– Lactulose
– Galactooligosaccharides (GOS)
– Psyllium
– Wheat dextrin
– Beta-glucan
– Pectin
– Polydextrose
– Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)

This list is good if you’re evaluating a supplement, especially one that contains a prebiotic. It should contain one of these.
For foods, most fruits and vegetables provide some amount of prebiotic fiber. Foods identified by scientists as the best sources of prebiotic fiber include :

– Asparagus
– Leeks
– Chicory
– Jerusalem artichokes
– Oats
– Onions
– Wheat
– Soybeans
– Garlic
– Banana

You Need Prebiotics and Probiotics

According to archaeologists, the average hunter-gather ate around 135 grams of prebiotic fiber daily. That’s a far cry from average 15 grams of fiber the average adult gets every day and even the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 25 to 30 grams daily from food sources (as opposed to supplements!).

To get enough fiber, the simple answer is more fruits and vegetables. However, it can’t be done overnight and can be tough in the modern world. And to ensure the most from the prebiotic fiber you do eat, it’s important to keep probiotic levels strong.
If you do choose to take a probiotic supplement in addition to adding probiotic foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso soup, or any other available probiotic foods, look for one that includes a prebiotic. The presence of a prebiotic increase the likelihood that the probiotic bacteria you’re taking will become established in your digestive tract where they can provide their amazing health benefits.

References:

[1] Slavin J. Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health BenefitsNutrients. 2013;5(4):1417-1435. doi:10.3390/nu5041417.

[1] Waitzberg DL, et al. THE EFFECT OF PROBIOTIC FERMENTED MILK THAT INCLUDES BIFIDOBACTERIUM LACTIS CNCM I-2494 ON THE REDUCTION OF GASTROINTESTINAL DISCOMFORT AND SYMPTOMS IN ADULTS: A NARRATIVE REVIEW. Nutr Hosp. 2015 Aug 1;32(2):501-9. doi: 10.3305/nh.2015.32.2.9232. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26268077

[1] Philippe D, Favre L, Foata F, et al. Bifidobacterium lactis attenuates onset of inflammation in a murine model of colitis. World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG. 2011;17(4):459-469. doi:10.3748/wjg.v17.i4.459. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3027012/

[1] Lindfors K, Blomqvist T, Juuti-Uusitalo K, et al. Live probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis bacteria inhibit the toxic effects induced by wheat gliadin in epithelial cell culture. Clinical and Experimental Immunology. 2008;152(3):552-558. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03635.x. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2453197/

[1] Kim JH, et al. Extracellular vesicle-derived protein from Bifidobacterium longum alleviates food allergy through mast cell suppression. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016 Feb;137(2):507-516.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2015.08.016. Epub 2015 Oct 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26433560

[1] Tillisch K1, Labus J, Kilpatrick L, Jiang Z, Stains J, Ebrat B, Guyonnet D, Legrain-Raspaud S, Trotin B, Naliboff B, Mayer EA. Consumption of fermented milk product with probiotic modulates brain activity. Gastroenterology. 2013 Jun;144(7):1394-401, 1401.e1-4. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.02.043. Epub 2013 Mar 6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23474283

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2016-11-11-probiotics-aid-memory-in-people-with-alzheimers-disease/

[1] Steenbergen L1, et al. A randomized controlled trial to test the effect of multispecies probiotics on cognitive reactivity to sad mood. Brain Behav Immun. 2015 Aug;48:258-64. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2015.04.003. Epub 2015 Apr 7.

 

[1] Evrensel A, Ceylan ME. The Gut-Brain Axis: The Missing Link in Depression. Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience. 2015;13(3):239-244. doi:10.9758/cpn.2015.13.3.239. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4662178/

[1] Maneerat S, Lehtinen MJ, Childs CE, et al. Consumption of Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 by healthy elderly adults enhances phagocytic activity of monocytes and granulocytes. Journal of Nutritional Science. 2013;2:e44. doi:10.1017/jns.2013.31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4153077/

[1] Leyer GJ, Li S, Mubasher ME, et al. Probiotic effects on cold and influenza-like symptom incidence and duration in children. Pediatrics 2009;124:e172-9. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/124/2/e172

[1] Allen AP, et al. Bifidobacterium longum 1714 as a translational psychobiotic: modulation of stress, electrophysiology and neurocognition in healthy volunteers. Transl Psychiatry. 2016 Nov 1;6(11):e939. doi: 10.1038/tp.2016.191. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27801892

[1] Parvaneh K, Ebrahimi M, Sabran MR, et al. Probiotics (Bifidobacterium longum) Increase Bone Mass Density and Upregulate Sparc and Bmp-2 Genes in Rats with Bone Loss Resulting from Ovariectomy. BioMed Research International. 2015;2015:897639. doi:10.1155/2015/897639. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4558422/

[1] Kim SH1, et al. The anti-diabetic activity of Bifidobacterium lactis HY8101 in vitro and in vivo. J Appl Microbiol. 2014 Sep;117(3):834-45. doi: 10.1111/jam.12573. Epub 2014 Jul 14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24925305

[1] Wang W, et al. [Efficacy of probiotics on the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease]. [Article in Chinese; Abstract available in Chinese from the publisher] Zhonghua Nei Ke Za Zhi. 2018 Feb 1;57(2):101-106. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.0578-1426.2018.02.004.

[1] Experimental Biology 2018. “Growing evidence that probiotics are good for your liver: In mice, probiotic treatment shown to protect against liver damage from acetaminophen.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180423085445.htm>.

[1] Kobyliak N, Conte C, Cammarota G, et al. Probiotics in prevention and treatment of obesity: a critical viewNutrition & Metabolism. 2016;13:14. doi:10.1186/s12986-016-0067-0.

[1] Hume MP1, et al. Prebiotic supplementation improves appetite control in children with overweight and obesity: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Apr;105(4):790-799. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.140947. Epub 2017 Feb 22.

[1] Slavin J. Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health BenefitsNutrients. 2013;5(4):1417-1435. doi:10.3390/nu5041417.

[1] Mofidi F1, et al. Synbiotic supplementation in lean patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a pilot, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. Br J Nutr. 2017 Mar;117(5):662-668. doi: 10.1017/S0007114517000204. Epub 2017 Mar 27.

[1] Maretti C1, Cavallini G2. The association of a probiotic with a prebiotic (Flortec, Bracco) to improve the quality/quantity of spermatozoa in infertile patients with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratospermia: a pilot study. Andrology. 2017 May;5(3):439-444. doi: 10.1111/andr.12336. Epub 2017 Feb 28.

[1] Markowiak P, Śliżewska K. Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human HealthNutrients. 2017;9(9):1021. doi:10.3390/nu9091021.

[1] Slavin J. Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health BenefitsNutrients. 2013;5(4):1417-1435. doi:10.3390/nu5041417.

[1] Ibid.

[1] Ibid.

[1] https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/increasing_fiber_intake/