Natural Remedies to Reduce Belly Fat

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warns that women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches and men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches may have an increased risk for obesity-related diseases. While overall weight loss is the only known way to fight abdominal obesity and protect against obesity-related diseases, some research suggests that certain natural solutions may help reduce belly fat.

Here's a look at several study findings:

1) Soy

Taking soy supplements may reduce belly fat in obese postmenopausal women, according to a small study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2010. For the study, researchers assigned 39 postmenopausal women to three months of treatment with either soy supplements or a placebo. Results revealed that soy helped reduce belly fat and interleukin-6 (a marker of inflammation), but failed to improve blood-sugar metabolism and increase levels of leptin (a hormone involved in fat metabolism).

2) Probiotics

A 2010 study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition) shows that probiotics may help reduce belly fat. Every day for 12 weeks, 87 study participants drank either seven ounces of a fermented milk enriched with a probiotic strain called Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 (LG2055) or the same amount of fermented milk made without LG2055.

Compared to the control group, those who consumed the LG2055-enriched fermented milk showed a greater reduction in belly fat and body weight.

For more on how probiotics may help reduce belly fat, read about probiotics for weight loss. Also, learn more about acidophilus and other probiotics.

3) Green Tea

Green tea, which has been shown to speed up metabolism in preliminary studies, is sometimes touted as a natural remedy for abdominal obesity.

However, in a 2007 study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers found no difference in belly fat between overweight women treated with green tea extract for 12 weeks and study participants given a placebo for the same time period.

Learn more about Green Tea For Weight Loss, find out about the other Benefits of Green Tea and learn how to Brew Green Tea for maximum antioxidant activity.

Using Natural Remedies to Fight Belly Fat

If you're looking to lose belly fat, it's important to combine a healthy diet with an exercise program that includes both aerobic exercise and strength training. There's also some evidence that managing your stress may help fight belly fight as well.

Due to a lack of supporting research, it's too soon to recommend alternative medicine as the primary method to lose weight. Supplements haven't been tested for safety and due to the fact that dietary supplements are largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what is specified on the product label.

Also keep in mind that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get tips on using supplements, but if you're considering the use of alternative medicine, talk with your primary care provider first. Self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.

Sources

Christie DR, Grant J, Darnell BE, Chapman VR, Gastaldelli A, Sites CK. "Metabolic effects of soy supplementation in postmenopausal Caucasian and African American women: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial." Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Aug;203(2):153.e1-9.

Elissa S. Epel, PhD, Bruce McEwen, PhD, Teresa Seeman, PhD, Karen Matthews, PhD, Grace Castellazzo, RN, BSN, Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, Jennifer Bell, BA and Jeannette R. Ickovics, PhD. "Stress and Body Shape: Stress-Induced Cortisol Secretion Is Consistently Greater Among Women With Central Fat." Psychosomatic Medicine 62:623-632 (2000).

Hill AM, Coates AM, Buckley JD, Ross R, Thielecke F, Howe PR. "Can EGCG reduce abdominal fat in obese subjects?" J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Aug;26(4):396S-402S.

Kadooka Y, Sato M, Imaizumi K, Ogawa A, Ikuyama K, Akai Y, Okano M, Kagoshima M, Tsuchida T. "Regulation of abdominal adiposity by probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055) in adults with obese tendencies in a randomized controlled trial." Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jun;64(6):636-43.

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