The bacterial balance in the gut needs to be maintained for optimal health. Owing to living conditions, the food you eat, and other lifestyle factors, your gut gets thrown out of equilibrium frequently. Probiotic supplements help reset this balance between good and bad bacteria.
Probiotics are more than just a temporary hype created by popular media. These live microorganisms are believed to provide a wide range of health benefits, including relief from asthma, allergies, diabetes, improved heart and digestive health, as well as better immunity, and more. However, unlike a passing fad, probiotics actually have a robust body of research and clinical findings to back them up. Some studies even indicate that probiotics can help you lose weight and get rid of that pesky belly fat.
While you do not need to believe that probiotics have miraculous effects, you can believe these powerful research-backed facts on how probiotics support weight loss. Separate the chaff from the grains, and see for yourself how taking probiotics for weight loss could help you reach your goals and bring you closer to your target weight.
The Probiotic Impact on Weight Loss is Backed by Research
The human body contains trillions of bacteria. Most of these are situated in the gastrointestinal tract. The beneficial bacteria in your gut have a direct connection with your brain, known as the gut-brain axis. From supporting the digestive system to helping your immune system fight against harmful pathogens, this friendly flora plays many pivotal roles in your body. Research also suggests that probiotics have a direct and powerful impact on your body’s metabolic rate and BMI (body mass index).
A study conducted through 25 trials and 2,000 participants showed that taking multi-strain probiotics for an eight week period has a marked impact on weight and BMI. (1) Similarly, another study focusing on women who took a daily dose of probiotics for six months showed that the control group had lowered fat mass and weight as compared to those who were given placebos. (2)
A link has been established between the ratio of specific families of bacteria and weight loss or gain. Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes families account for over 90% of the bacteria in your gut. Research shows that overweight people/those with weight gain issues tend to have more Firmicutes while leaner folks have more Bacteroidetes. (3) Probiotics have a direct impact on the balance between these bacterial families. Firmicutes cause you to absorb higher amounts of calories from the food you eat daily. Maintaining a healthy balance between these types of bacteria can help you lose weight.
Not enough proof for you? Here are 8 facts on how probiotics help you lose weight.
8 Facts Supporting Effects of Probiotics for Weight Loss
Fact #1 – Probiotics can support your metabolism and help your body convert food into energy.
The human body contains approximately 100 trillion microbes—more than the total number of cells in the body. Most of these microbes reside in the gut. While some bacteria can cause harm in the body, many strains are actually useful.
Clinical studies show that a balanced gut microbiome affects your metabolic rate, and has a direct effect on how much energy your body absorbs from food. (5) Research is also being conducted on specific strains of bacteria that potentially boost energy and fat absorption in the body.
Fact #2 – Probiotics can help suppress food cravings and appetite.
According to research published in The British Journal of Nutrition, probiotics help suppress appetite by reducing the amount of leptin produced in the body. (6) Leptin is a hormone that affects food cravings and appetite regulation.
Additionally, certain intestinal bacteria harvest more calories from food which eventually results in obesity. The right probiotics can help you reduce this type of bacteria in your body.
Studies also indicate that certain probiotics aid in releasing the GLP-1 hormone which is known as the satiety or appetite-reducing hormone. (4) Increased levels of GLP-1 helps suppress appetite, keep your hunger at bay, and may even be effective in burning existing fat deposits and consumed calories.
Fact #3 – Probiotics can help maintain a healthy weight
Certain probiotic strains work to reduce the existing amounts of fat deposits in your body while hampering any further weight gain—specially Lactobacillus bacteria. A study in Sweden researched the effects of the probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei in reducing fat storage. It was found that this strain of probiotics boosted the levels of the protein ANGPTL4. (7) This protein-coding gene has a direct effect on your body’s ability to store fat.
The Lactobacillus family of probiotics are being studied in depth because these strains seem to have a great effect on weight loss and maintenance. In one study, it was found that consuming fermented yogurt that contains Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus helped reduce body fat at the rate of up to 4% within 45 days. (8) Studies also show that the Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain boosts weight loss and aids in weight maintenance. (2)
Fact #4 – Probiotics help fight the genetic destiny of your weight gain.
Often, you may have heard that all the members of a single family have a proclivity to put on belly fat or store fat in particular areas of their bodies. The genes you inherit have a direct bearing on a number of aspects of your growth and body basics. To a large extent, your genes also dictate the condition of your intestinal microbiome as well as your body’s capacity to properly digest and harvest nutrients from food.
If you think your weight issues are due to your genetics, probiotics may be your best bet to change this story. A probiotic supplement can change your gut flora and create a rich environment for thriving and healthy bacteria. In this way, probiotics actually help to fill in those genetic gaps that are responsible for your weight problems.
Fact #5 – Probiotics help fight inflammation in the body and help you burn fat naturally.
Inflammation in your body has a direct impact on blood pressure, blood sugar, belly fat, cholesterol levels, and may also trigger health problems like type 2 diabetes and obesity. Research shows that people suffering from obesity and Type 2 diabetes have much higher levels of inflammation throughout their body. (9)
Since these are severe weight conditions, you will need to make changes to your lifestyle so as to add a healthy fresh produce diet and a regular exercise plan to your daily routine.
In addition to these changes, adding probiotics to your diet can further help reduce inflammation and boost your body’s natural ability to burn fat. Probiotics can help reduce inflammation by strengthening the gut barrier. When the gut barrier is weak, toxins and molecules that cause inflammation permeate through the lining and trigger a number of allergies and immune reactions. Probiotics help regulate the immune system by strengthening the lining or gut barrier, keeping inflammations at bay, and reduce the chances of weight gain.
Fact #6 – Probiotics can help reduce the weight-gaining effects of antibiotics.
A great scientific and technological development, antibiotics are life-saving medications, but they also have a negative effect on the probiotic population in your body by killing good bacteria along with the bad. In fact, the use of antibiotics has been directly connected to certain after-effects including weight gain and diarrhea.
Preliminary studies show that antibiotics cause a molecular shift in the bodies of humans and other animals which enables rapid building up of fat content. In some situations, antibiotics are not avoidable. Probiotics can help repopulate the gut with friendly bacteria.
Fact #7 – Probiotics Can Assist in Nutrient Absorption
One of the basic functions of gut bacteria is to aid the process of digestion so that the nutrients in the food you eat can be absorbed efficiently. These friendly bacteria also affect the metabolic process by producing enzymes, short-chain fatty acids, and vitamins. Whether or not your diet is healthy, your body needs to absorb adequate nutrients from each meal or you will end up feeling hungry even after having a full meal.
On the other hand, a balanced, healthy gut boosts metabolic rates and ensures that you get the maximum amount of energy from the food you eat so you feel satiated and energetic.
Fact #8 – Probiotics Can Help with Belly Fat
When it comes to targeting that hard-to-lose belly fat, Lactobacillus gasseri strain has shown the best results in multiple studies. Taken over a steady period of 12 weeks, the L. gasseri strain has shown impressive outcomes—reduced fat around internal organs, overall body weight, waist, and hip size, as well as BMI. (10) During this period of time, the participants reported reduced belly fat by about 8.5%. Other strains like Bifidobacterium breve (B-3) help reduce cholesterol, insulin and fasting glucose levels, as well as belly fat. (11)
Probiotics and Everyday Considerations
Probiotics can be obtained from food sources as well as dietary supplements. Probiotic foods include fermented items like kefir, buttermilk, sauerkraut, kimchi (the Japanese version of sauerkraut), and miso to name a few.
Just like some probiotic strains support weight loss, some support weight gain. So it’s important to remember that the effects of the probiotics depend on the type and strain you are consuming. This makes it even more important to choose the right probiotics to meet your goals. LoveBug Probiotics have designed a proprietary blend of excellent probiotics that support a healthy weight.
Here’s the Skinny is a daily probiotic supplement that takes the guesswork out of it. Containing more than 10 billion live cultures of eight pre-selected strains of friendly bacteria, this supplement is equipped with patented BIO-tract technology that gives these tablets 15x more survivability than other capsules on the market.
Here’s the Skinny is formulated to help streamline digestive issues by introducing bacteria that work hard to support an active lifestyle.
When it comes to weight loss, gut health, and probiotics there is a lot of research and clinical studies that have provided valid insight into the benefits of adding probiotics to your diet regime. So follow the science with us and consider adding a probiotic to your diet today.
- Zhang, Q, Y Wu, and X Fei. “Effect of probiotics on body weight and body-mass index: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials.” Int J Food Sci Nutr 67, no. 5 (2015): 571-80. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2016.1181156.
- Sanchez, M, C Darimont, V Drapeau, S Emady-Azar, M Lepage, E Rezzonico, C Ngom-Bru, et al. “Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women.“ Br J Nutr 111, no. 8 (2014): 1507-19. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513003875.
- Kobyliak, N, C Conte, G Cammarota, AP Haley, I Styriak, L Gaspar, J Fusek, et al. (2016). “Probiotics in prevention and treatment of obesity: a critical view.” Nutrition & Metabolism (London) 13, no. 14 (2016). doi: 10.1186/s12986-016-0067-0.
- Yadav, H, JH Lee, J Lloyd, P Walter, and SG Rane. “Beneficial Metabolic Effects of a Probiotic via Butyrate-induced GLP-1 Hormone Secretion.” The Journal of Biological Chemistry 288, no. 35 (2013): 25088–25097. http://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M113.452516.
- Bäckhed, Fredrik, Hao Ding, Ting Wang, Lora V. Hooper, Gou Young Koh, Andras Nagy, et al. The gut microbiota as an environmental factor that regulates fat storage. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101, no. 44 (2004): 15718–15723. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0407076101.
- Hamad, EM, M Sato, K Uzu, T Yoshida, S Higashi, H Kawakami, Y Kadooka, et al. “Milk fermented by Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 influences adipocyte size via inhibition of dietary fat absorption in Zucker rats.” British Journal of Nutrition 101, no. 5 (2009): 716-724. doi: 10.1017/S0007114508043808.
- Aronsson, L, Y Huang, P Parini, M Korach-André, J Håkansson, JÅ Gustafsson, S Pettersson, et al. “Decreased Fat Storage by Lactobacillus Paracasei Is Associated with Increased Levels of Angiopoietin-Like 4 Protein (ANGPTL4).” PLoS One 5, no. 9 (2010): pii: e13087. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013087.
- Omar, Jaclyn M, Yen-Ming Chana, Mitchell L. Jones, Satya Prakash, and Peter J.H. Jones. “Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus amylovorus as probiotics alter body adiposity and gut microflora in healthy persons.” Journal of Functional Foods 5, no. 1 (2013): 116-123. doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2012.09.001.
- de Heredia, FP, S Gomez-Martinez, A Marcos. “Obesity, inflammation and the immune system.” Proc Nutr Soc 71, no. 2 (2012): 332-8. doi: 10.1017/S0029665112000092.
- Kadooka, Y, M Sato, A Ogawa, M Miyoshi, H Uenishi, H Ogawa, K Ikuyama, et al. “Effect of Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 in fermented milk on abdominal adiposity in adults in a randomised controlled trial.” Br J Nutr 110, no. 9 (2013): 1696-703. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513001037.
- Minami, Junichi, Noriyuki Iwabuchi, Miyuki Tanaka, Koji Yamauchi, Jin-zhong Xiao, Fumiaki Abe, and Naoki Sakane. “Effects of Bifidobacterium breve B-3 on body fat reductions in pre-obese adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.” Biosci Microbiota Food Health 37, no. 3 (2018): 67–75. doi: 10.12938/bmfh.18-001.
- Kasubuchi, M, S Hasegawa, T Hiramatsu, A Ichimura, and I Kimura. “Dietary gut microbial metabolites, short-chain fatty acids, and host metabolic regulation.” Nutrients 7, no. 4 (2015): 2839-49. doi: 10.3390/nu7042839.
- Li, G, W Yao, and H Jiang. Short-chain fatty acids enhance adipocyte differentiation in the stromal vascular fraction of porcine adipose tissue. J Nutr 144, no. 12 (2014): 1887-95. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.198531.
- Fain, J.N. “Release of inflammatory mediators by human adipose tissue is enhanced in obesity and primarily by the nonfat cells: a review.” Mediators Inflamm, (2010): 513948. doi: 10.1155/2010/513948.
- Kumar, Manoj, Ravinder Nagpal, Rajesh Kumar, R Hemalatha, V Verma, A Kumar, C Chakraborty, et al. “Cholesterol-Lowering Probiotics as Potential Biotherapeutics for Metabolic Diseases.” Experimental Diabetes Research 2012, no. 902917 (2012). doi: 10.1155/2012/902917.
- Ichimura, Atsuhiko, Akira Hirasawa, Takafumi Hara, and Gozoh Tsujimoto. “Free fatty acid receptors act as nutrient sensors to regulate energy homeostasis.” Prostaglandins & Other Lipid Mediators 89, no. 3-4 (2009): 82-88. doi: 10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2009.05.003.