It is said that probiotics are good for weight loss. Though there still are yet to be enough studies on this matter, the research done so far suggests that probiotics can play a significant role in losing weight.
Losing weight can be a complex and challenging process that requires dedication. Most people think that by following a restrictive diet, they can lose those extra pounds quickly, which is not valid! These diets can result in severe nutrition deficiency, leading to unwanted health problems. A healthy diet that can actually help you to lose weight quickly and safely contains all sorts of nutrients like probiotics. In this article, we will go through the effects of probiotics for weight loss and how important they are to the human body and our overall health.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are living organisms that reside in our body and digestive system. They are a type of bacteria that are essential to our health. They have multiple benefits, from improving the immune and digestive systems to a healthier heart. Eating the following items naturally gives you the probiotics your body needs.
- sauerkraut pickles
- sourdough bread
- Fermented cucumber, auberge, blackcurrant leaves and asparagus
Other than these natural sources, you can also take various weight loss supplements that contain these probiotics
Are Probiotics Good for Weight Loss?
Hundreds of bacteria live in the digestive system, most of which are considered Good bacteria essential to the human body’s overall health. These microorganisms are responsible for producing various nutrients, such as vitamin K and a particular vitamin B. Another vital role of probiotics in our body is breaking down fiber, which our digestive system is incapable of. They turn fiber into fatty acids, such as butyrate. Probiotics help our body in other ways, such as:
- Making folate (vitamin B9)
- Produce more biotin (vitamin B7)
- Make vitamin B12
- Absorb magnesium
- Absorption of calcium
- Absorbing iron
- Break down carbohydrates
- Ferment fibers
These microorganisms can be divided into two types: Bacteroides and Firmicutes. It is suggested that the balance between these two is related to body weight. Also, according to multiple studies, it has been proven that those people who have moderate weight have a different set of probiotics in their digestive system than those who are obese or overweight. It is reported that the Firmicutes bacteria type forms the majority of microliving organisms in people who are overweight. Still, studies have failed to explain the connection between this type of microorganism and obesity.
The diversity of probiotics in people with average weight is much higher than those with obesity. Also, in another research, it was found that transporting the gut bacteria from an obese mouse to a lean one can make the lean one gain weight.
How Probiotics Work?
As we have already covered before, the way probiotics affect body weight is yet to be realized. However, it seems that these microorganisms can affect appetite by creating acetate, propionate, and butyrate, which are all types of short-chained acids. Some studies suggest that probiotics will reduce the absorption and dietary fat, which will ultimately result in more fat being excreted from the body.
To put this simply, probiotics can help the body break down cells the digestive system can’t, and it will lead to lower calorie intake by reducing the absorption of certain fat types.
These micro living organisms can be effective for weight loss in other ways, such as:
- Controlling appetite by producing certain types of hormones such as GLP-1 and PYY
- Probiotics are said to increase angiopoietin-like four, which is a unique type of protein responsible for regulating fat cells; this will result in lower fat storage in different parts of the body.
Case Studies of Probiotics Affects on Body Weight
Several studies suggest that obesity and inflammation in the body are linked. Having a healthy digestive system that contains various microbacteria can be helpful in lowering inflammation throughout the body. Also, new studies show that these microorganisms can be effective in terms of lowering body fat percentage, which will result in weight loss.
It is reported that the Lactobacillus family, which is a certain type of microorganism, can be effective in reducing belly fat. In another clinical research, it was shown that eating yogurt that contains Lactobacillus fermentum or Amylovorus effectively reduced fat by nearly 5% after a six-week period.
In another study on 125 overweight people, it was revealed that women taking probiotics lost 50% more fat than those who took placebo pills in a span of three months.
They even kept losing weight during the weight maintenance time of the study. A similar study to this one with 114 subjects who were facing obesity showed that those who had taken the probiotic Lactobacillus sakei for three months lost significant body fat, and their waist circumference reduced.
There have been multiple studies on different types of probiotics, but Lactobacillus gasseri has proven to be the most promising when it comes to weight loss. All of the studies on this type of microorganism show that it has anti-obesity effects. One clinical research, in particular, was conducted on 210 adults who had too much belly fat and were taking Lactobacillus gasseri and found that after 12 weeks of consumption, body fat around organs, BMI, and waist size were notably reduced. It also showed that the belly fat was decreased by nearly 9 percent, but they also gained that weight back after they stopped taking those probiotics.
Preventing weight gain by probiotics
When people want to get into their ideal body weight range, losing weight is not the only option. Lots of people only have to prevent weight gain to remain in a healthy weight range, and probiotics have proven to be helpful in that matter.
For instance, one particular research showed that taking a certain formulation of microorganisms called VSL#3 reduced weight gain and fat storage in people who were following a diet that contained 1000 extra calories. So, for those who want to maintain their weight while also receiving more calories, it is best to add foods that contain these microorganisms in order to prevent weight gain.
Weight loss probiotics risks and side effects
Probiotic supplements are considered to be safe in most cases, but there are some risks and side effects linked to taking them. One of the most important factors you must take into consideration is the quality of the product you are about to buy, and since probiotics do not go through the same testing system as medication does, some of them might not be at the highest quality.
It is also unclear if the amount of bacteria in the supplement is enough to influence your body as you intend. These bacteria are living organisms, and if they are not kept correctly, those microorganisms might die, and you will get no benefit from taking them. Also, as we have already mentioned above, there are various types of probiotics, and it is yet to be understood which one is the most effective one for weight loss. People who are taking medications to suppress their immune system should not be taking these probiotics as they work against their medication unless their doctor suggests them.
What are the best probiotics for weight loss?
There are hundreds of probiotics that are advertised for their effectiveness in losing weight. But the following products are the best ones in the market based on their reviews and the scientific belief behind them.
- Metagenics UltraFlora Control ( Best Overall )
- Bariatric Advantage FloraVantage Control
- Genestra Brands HMF Metabolic ( Best for vegans )
- FORCE FACTOR ProbioSlim
- Nature Target Probiotics