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Can Probiotics Help with Weight Loss?

We all know probiotics are good, and we know that our gut needs them for a lot of reasons. With the growing interest in health and wellness, probiotics have been taking the market by storm. It has become a growing segment in the world market today. Why are they so good for our bodies? And more importantly, can probiotics help with weight loss?

 

Why are probiotics so good?

 

A healthy balance of the gut bacteria should be 85% good bacteria and only 15% bad bacteria. If the balance is off, because the body can have too many bacteria, it can cause all sorts of havoc on our body. All these can happen because of poor diet, the aging process, unhealthy lifestyle, and use of antibiotics. This imbalance can lead to diseases of the GI tract including:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin problems like eczema and acne
  • Various chronic health conditions
  • Weight gain

With a healthy balance of intestinal flora, you will benefit from:

  • Stronger immune system
  • Healing from inflammatory bowel disease
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased energy from vitamin B12 production
  • Healthier skin
  • Reduced cold and flu

Researchers think probiotics may help promote weight loss by:

  • Influencing the appetite and metabolism
  • Improving sensitivity to insulin
  • Increasing the amount of short-chain fatty acids or SCFA by:
    • producing bacteria that increases fatty acid oxidation
    • decreasing storage of fat
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Regulating pro-inflammatory genes

 

The best probiotics species for weight loss

 

Probiotics may help with weight loss. It appears that those who are overweight may actually have different and less diverse bacteria in the gut. One study found that overweight women who have been taking probiotic supplements for 3 months lost as twice as much weight as those who do not take them. Even after 3 months period, those who took probiotic supplements continued to slim down.

  • rhamnosus: These friendly bacteria naturally reside in the gut. Its health benefits include treating diarrhea, IBS symptoms, protecting against cavities, and weight loss. L. rhamnosus helps suppress the appetite and food cravings, especially in women. It may be the single best probiotic for weight loss.
  • fermentum, L. amylovorus: As novel probiotics, L. fermentum and L. amylovorus can alter the body’s adiposity by modifying the gut flora. In one small study, a participant who ate foods with L. fermentum or L. amylovorus lost more body fat during six weeks than those who didn’t.
  • gasseri: Among all the strains studied to date, L. gasseri shows some of the most promising effects on weight loss. L. gasseri has been associated with a reduction in body weight and fat deep inside the abdomen. In a study, people who drank probiotic milk with L. gasseri lost 8.2% to 8.5% of their belly fat over 12 weeks.
  • animalis subsp. Lactis: People with a significant amount of belly fat who took probiotic supplements daily for 3 months lost a significant amount of belly fat. They also have reduced BMI and waist circumference.

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