Conventional wisdom says that to lose pounds you go on a diet to reduce the calories you consume.
However, the link between probiotics and weight loss indicates bacteria and weight loss may be closely related.
What researchers have determined is that probiotics can have a positive effect in helping you lose weight and staying healthy.
What are Probiotics?
These are live bacteria in your stomach. Most people think of bacteria as something bad, but there are good bacteria that improves digestion, bowel movement and strengthens your immune system.
And we shall see they’re also good for weight loss.
We are going to find out what are the best probiotics for weight loss and how they work.
How Probiotics Can Help You Lose Weight:
1. Improve Metabolism
You’re probably familiar with metabolism and how a faster metabolism helps burn calories. That’s true but exercise isn’t the only option. What good gut bacteria do is metabolize the main bile acids.
Researchers have learned that gut bacteria turn on the farnesoid X receptor which is responsible for balancing blood sugar and liver fat. Once the bile acid receptors are turned on they speed up adipose tissue metabolism.
These tissues are responsible for burning fat, and that’s how you lose more weight. These bile activators also normalize storage of fat so cells don’t preserve as much fat as before.
2. Curb Appetite
One of the most difficult aspects of weight loss is curbing appetite. All those workouts and diet will amount to nothing if you can’t control your appetite.
That is where gut bacteria comes into play as it regulates hormones that promote appetite.
In a study published in The British Journal of Nutrition, researchers discovered that probiotics lower leptin levels in the body. Leptin is a hormone that promotes appetite. Gut bacteria also prevents intestinal bacteria from spreading.
The study shows that gut bacteria keeps pro-inflammatory molecules from getting into the bloodstream. In doing so you become less vulnerable to obesity-related illnesses.
When combined with a healthy diet you’ll lose even more weight.
3. Minimize Gut Leaks
Can probiotics help you lose weight?
Yes. Aside from the reasons cited above gut bacteria also reduces intestinal permeability or leaky gut. A leaky gut is caused by a fat-rich diet.
The condition can lead to metabolic endotoxemia, which not only leads to weight gain but also makes you vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases and oxidative damage.
In a study conducted at the Department of Food Engineering and Technology, Tezpur University in India, researchers learned that probiotics work well in preventing metabolic syndrome.
The researchers also learned that healthy bacteria in the gut lower tissue inflammation and aids in weight loss.
4. Body Mass Index Reduction
The link between probiotics and weight loss is more apparent when you look at studies done on overweight people.
Research conducted at the Department of Endocrinology, Taizhou People’s Hospital in Taizhou, China revealed that lactobacilli and other good bacteria reduce BMI and body weight.
Over 20 studies were conducted by the researchers, comprised of 1931 subjects and 25 trials. After the trial period, scientists determined that consuming probiotics lead to significant BMI and body weight losses.
The studies also point out that taking different types of probiotics produce better results.
Probiotic Strains and Weight Reduction
Scientists have learned that mixed blends of healthy bacteria are good for weight loss, burning fat and BMI reduction.
Scientists, in particular, discovered that L. Casei, B. Animalis ssp. Lactis and L. Acidophilus are effective in lowering leptin levels, the percentage of body fat and BMI in overweight people.
If you want to take probiotics to lose weight, look for the B. animalis, B. Bifidum, and B longum as these are among the most effective when it comes to fat and weight reduction.
Another study revealed that administering B animalis, B. Infantis, B. Bifidum and B. Longum lowers glucose levels, inflammation and ameliorated insulin resistance in mice.
Scientists at the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology I, School of Sciences, The University of Granada in Granada conducted a study on obese children recently.
What they learned is children who take probiotics and prebiotics ended up with smaller waist circumference and lower BMI.
The same study also revealed that good bacteria also made children less vulnerable to high cholesterol and led to better triglyceride levels.
High triglyceride and cholesterol levels are associated with being overweight, and that says a lot about the link between weight loss and good bacteria.
Human Tests for Probiotics and Weight Reduction
A lot of the tests establishing the link between weight loss and healthy bacteria have been done on lab animals. But there have been human-based studies as well.
In 2005, the International Journal of Obesity published a report indicating that humans with a higher level of healthy bacteria have lower BMI.
In contrast, those without B animalis tend to have a higher BMI.
The researchers also noted that taking milk or supplements with B animalis ssp lactis had significantly lower BMI.
The subjects were also less vulnerable to inflammation and they had a lower cholesterol level. Their lipoprotein had low density too.
Belly Fat and Hip Fat Reduction
In a separate study done at the Nutritional Science Institute in Kanagawa, Japan, scientists discovered that specific types of bacteria strain like Bifidobacterium breve (B-3) is good for reducing body fat.
B breve cuts down fat mass and enhances hs-CRP and GGT in obese adults. The study was published in 2015 in The Journal of Nutritional Science where it also states that B breve lowers cholesterol, belly fat, glucose and fat brought on by obesity.
The link between gut health and weight loss was further enhanced by the findings published in the Korean Journal of Family Medicine in 2013. According to the researchers, Lactobacillus gasseri helps the body reduce weight and belly fat.
The same study also states gasseri reduces fat under the skin and trims the hip and waist circumference. The effect is most evident in individuals with obese tendencies.
The scientists did note that one needs to take gasseri on a consistent basis to produce the same effect. Aside from gasseri, L rhamnosus has been shown to lower weight in rats and mice.
Other Types of Probiotics Good for Weight Loss
Continuous research has led to more discoveries on how probiotics assist in weight loss.
Lactobacillus paracasei, for instance, has been proven to be effective in body weight and food intake.
Paracasei reduces food intake in both animals and humans, and an extract from it is capable of reducing body fat and weight. What paracasei does is reduce the number of lipid plaques at the aorta.
The result is lipogenesis or lower production of fat. It also leads to better absorption of nutrients and reduces the size of fat cells.
One of the best probiotics for women and men is Lactobacillus plantarum as it is an effective fat burner. Plantarum PL60 and 62 generate CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) that stimulates burning of fat.
Studies done on mice show that after 8 weeks of regular feeding with PL60, mice lost considerable weight without adjusting calorie intake. The animals’ fat tissues were also reduced by a significant margin.
Combining L plantarum with a low fat, low-calorie diet led to lower BMI results, especially among adults with hypertension and obesity.
Another lactobacillus that is known to stimulate weight loss is rhamnosus. In a research study done at the Nutrition and Health Research Department in Lausanne, Switzerland, nutritionists learned that L rhamnosus is very effective in lowering fat mass as well as weight loss.
L rhamnosus is also effective in lowering concentrations of leptin in the body. It also enhances liver parameters in overweight children.
Among overweight adolescents, L salivarius is the most efficient in introducing lean bacteria. Lean bacteria is not just good for weight loss but for your health in general.
Researchers have also determined that Clostridium Butyricum is good for reducing the amount of fat your body accumulates, in particular, the blood and liver.
It also improves insulin sensitivity, enhances glucose tolerance and reduces insulin levels. C butyricum also reduces tissue inflammation.
What these studies have shown is that having healthy bacteria is necessary if you want to lose weight. And even if you consider yourself a healthy individual, it is still a good idea to take probiotics since it is one of the most effective when it comes to keeping your weight and organs in good condition.
Sources of Probiotics
Now that the link between probiotics and weight reduction has been established, it is time to look at some of the best sources of food.
- Traditional buttermilk
What these studies have shown is that with good bacteria you’re going to find it easier to lose extra pounds. So there’s no question that you need to add good bacteria to your diet.
Unfortunately, we don’t get enough of that in food.