You may have heard of probiotics, but are unfamiliar with their properties or potential benefits to your health. Put simply, probiotics are live microorganisms that offer many health benefits when they are ingested or eaten in food.
You can find probiotics in supplement form, such as in weight loss probiotics, or in fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi.
Probiotics can help to improve your heart health, digestive health, and immune function, along with providing an array of other benefits. Many studies have also suggested you may be able to lose weight and belly fat by taking probiotics.
How Gut Bacteria Impacts Body Weight Regulation
Did you know your digestive system is home to thousands of microorganisms? Most of these are “good” bacteria that help create important nutrients, including vitamins B and K. They also work to break down any fiber you consume, which is something that your body is unable to digest. Once broken down, the microorganisms will turn them into substances like butyrate, which is a beneficial short-chain fatty acid.
In your gut, you have two main types of “good” bacteria. These include:
It is believed that your body weight is related to how well balanced these two types of bacteria are in your gut. In both animal and human studies, it has been found that people of moderate weight have unique gut bacteria compared to individuals who are overweight or obese. In most of the studies, people who were obese had fewer bacteroidetes and more firmicutes than people of moderate weight.
Put simply, people who are obese have gut bacteria that are not as diverse as leaner individuals. Also, obese individuals with less diverse gut bacteria usually gain more weight than obese individuals with more diverse gut bacteria.
The Impact of Probiotics on Your Body Weight
These findings also highlight the fact that how probiotics impact your belly fat and body weight are not completely understood yet. It has been found that probiotics seem to influence energy usage and appetite through butyrate, propionate, and acetate production. All these are short-chain fatty acids.
It is believed that some probiotics work to inhibit the proper absorption of dietary fat, which can increase the total amount of fat that is excreted from the body in the feces. Put simply, they make your body “harvest” less of the calories from the food you consume.
Some bacteria, such as the type from the lactobacillus family, have been studied acting in this manner. Probiotics can also help to fight cases of obesity in other ways too. Some of these other methods include:
- Increasing the overall levels of fat-regulating proteins
- Releasing certain appetite-regulating hormones
There is strong evidence that links obesity to high levels of inflammation throughout your body. When you improve your gut lining’s health, probiotics will help to reduce system-wide inflammation and protect you from obesity, along with several other diseases.
The Link Between Probiotics and Weight Loss
According to a recent study that focused on probiotics and weight loss in overweight and obese individuals, probiotics were effective at helping people lose weight while reducing their overall body fat percentage. More specifically, studies discovered that some strains in the lactobacillus family helped participants lose both belly fat and body weight.
In a specific study, consuming yogurt containing lactobacillus amylovorus or lactobacillus fermentum helped reduce the participants’ body fat by approximately 3% to 4% in just six weeks. There was another study that involved 125 overweight individuals who were dieting. It studied the impact of lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements on weight maintenance and weight loss.
Women who took probiotics daily lost up to 50% more weight over three months than those who took the placebo. These individuals also kept losing weight during the maintenance period of the study.
The Impact of Lactobacillus Gasseri
Of all types of probiotic bacteria that have been studied thus far, lactobacillus gasseri has shown some of the most promising effects on a person’s ability to lose weight. Some studies have been conducted in rodents that have shown it even offers anti-obesity effects.
Other studies have been done in adults that also show promising results.
Reduce the Likelihood of Weight Gain With the Right Probiotics
It is important to note that losing weight is not the only way to prevent obesity. By preventing unwanted weight gain in the first place, you can prevent obesity in the long run.
During a study that lasted for four weeks, people who took a probiotic formula saw a reduction in overall fat and weight gain even while eating an additional 1,000 calories per day above what their body required.
The people who were in the probiotic group saw much less fat gain, but they did not have any significant changes in metabolism or insulin sensitivity. This shows that some probiotic strains may be effective at preventing weight gain even when the individual follows a higher calorie diet. While this is the case, more studies are needed to know for sure.
The Probiotic Strains That Increase the Possibility of Obesity and Weight Gain
It’s important to note that not all studies that have been conducted to date have discovered that probiotics help with weight loss – in fact, some probiotic strains can actually cause weight gain. More research is needed to determine which probiotics are best for weight loss, and which probiotics can lead to weight gain.
Finding the Right Probiotic Strains for Weight Loss
If you are working to lose weight, then finding the right probiotics is a must. This will help ensure you get the results you want and that you do not have any unwelcome or unwanted side effects.
If you are unsure of what to try or where to start, you can use the information here. You can also speak to your doctor, who may be able to give you more information and insight into the use of probiotics. Being informed is the best way to know how to use probiotics and all they have to offer. In the long run, this is going to help you get the desired result – a healthier lifestyle.