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A probiotic drink containing a blend of bacteria, vitamins and minerals may help you lose weight and boost your immune system, according to a new study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study, led by University of Texas Medical Branch’s Dr. Rakesh Nair, showed that a healthy diet rich in probiotics can boost the body’s production of antibodies against bacteria.
The results suggest that consuming a healthy probiotic diet could help you avoid getting sick from bacteria-causing pathogens such as pneumonia and influenza, Nair said.
“It may also help prevent or treat conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” Nair told Fox News.
“The probiotic is like a super drug, but it’s not a medicine,” he said.
Researchers found that people who consumed a diet rich with probiotics experienced a significant boost in their immune system after taking the probiotic, even when taking their usual diet.
“If you eat a healthy food, you will get a boost in the immune system and your body will be more efficient at protecting itself from infections,” said Nair.
The probiotics were tested in a sample of volunteers, and they were found to increase the production of a protein known as cytokine-like molecule-19, which is produced by the immune response.
The increased production of cytokines in the blood was linked to a decrease in the production and production of an enzyme called glutathione S-transferase.
The researchers found that this decreased glutathionine activity may also be responsible for the beneficial effect of probiotics on immune function.
The researchers also found that the consumption of probiotic-rich foods resulted in an increase in the levels of two antibodies, one called GATA-4 and the other called anti-inflammatory protein-1, which are believed to be important in regulating inflammation and helping protect the body against diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
The team also found a strong correlation between the levels and composition of antibodies and a decrease of the amount of GATA4 in blood after consumption of a probiotic.
“We believe this to be an important discovery, as it could explain why we see beneficial changes in immune function after consuming probiotics,” Nairs said.
While the results are promising, Nairs cautioned that it’s too early to tell if probiotics will help combat certain diseases.
“A lot of these probiotics are not very expensive and are typically available for just a few bucks a bottle,” he told FoxNews.
“I think it’s still very early to make the connection, but we will be able to see if they have any effects.”