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Probiotics and Weight Loss – what you need to know

Which is the best probiotic supplement to take, what should we look for when choosing a probiotic supplement?

What are Probiotics?

From the day you are born, there is friendly bacteria living in your gut which boost your health in many ways. This friendly bacteria is important for the following purposes:

  1. to convert fiber (that your body cannot digest) into short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate
  2. to support your immune system by producing certain vitamins such as vitamin K and certain B-vitamins

The good bacteria in your gut falls into two main groups, Bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Through balancing these 2 groups of probiotics one can achieve better results in their weight loss plan.

It is well known that the bacterial flora in the gut of an obese person is very different to that of a person with regular weight. An Obese person tends to have more firmicutes and fewer Bacteroidetes. Therefore taking probiotics for both weight loss but also for our general health and well being should be treated with some importance, as probiotics play an important role in our bodies.   

Probiotic supplements help increase the healthy bacteria in your gut.

Probiotics help move your food through your gut or digestive tract. They do this by triggering your nerves that control your digestive tract movement.

Probiotics are also known to be beneficial in treating the following;

  1. Urinary tract conditions
  2. Skin conditions
  3. Allergies
  4. Colds
  5. Oral health related conditions

Probiotics are also linked to;

  1. Improving your heart health
  2. Treating Digestive tract related issues such as diarrhoea
  3. Boosting your immune system

Which foods are probiotic?

Foods which are considered to be probiotic include;

  1. Yogurt
  2. Sauerkraut (cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria)
  3. raw apple cider vinegar (fermented apple juice combined with a bacteria to make acetic acid)
  4. kimchi (a Korean side dish based on fermented cabbage, radish, and scallions)
  5. miso (a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans)
  6. kefir (a fermented milk drink made from kefir grains)
  7. natto (a traditional Japanese food made from soybeans, fermented with Bacillus subtilis)
  8. fermented raw cheeses
probiotic foods
probiotic foods

Your Gut Flora

The unique variety of hundreds of types of different bacteria in your gut make up what we call your Gut Flora. Popular probiotic bacteria include;

  • Lactobacillus
  • Saccharomyces
  • Bifidobacterium

Probiotics and weight loss

The bacterial balance in your gut can have an important effect on your weight. Taking probiotic supplements will help increase the bacterial flora variety and can help improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Certain types of bacterial strains can decrease the fat and calories your gut absorbs into your bloodstream. Certain bacteria can also help with weight loss and losing belly fat.

The probiotics that are linked to weight loss are the following;

  1. Lactobacillus rhamnosus 
  2. Lactobacillus gasseri
  3. Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  4. Bifidobacterium lactis 

Lactobacillus bacteria is the most common probiotic and you can find this in fermented yogurts and other fermented foods. Bifidobacterium is found in many dairy products.

Taking a combination of these probiotics for a period of 12 weeks, will help in weight loss and reducing body fat and belly fat by circa 5-7%.

Lactobacillus gasseri tends to be more effective on men, whilst Lactobacillus rhamnosus is more effective on women weight loss.

Probiotics also help to reduce weight gain in periods of increased calorie intake.

Probiotics can reduce the absorption of the fat we eat

Certain probiotics from the Lactobacillus family can inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, sending this fat to be excreted rather than being absorbed by our body. Therefore we take in less calories and less fat from the food we eat.

Probiotics against Obesity

Probiotics help release hormones which help make us feel full, hormones such as GLP-1. This hormone can also help you burn more fat and calories.

Priobiotics can also increase the levels of a protein that is linked to reducing fat storage in our body. This hormone is know nas ANGPTL4 and probiotics can increase the levels of this protein in our body.

Another benefit of taking probiotics is reduced inflammation, and with some studies showing a link with inflammation in the brain, improving your gut flora can reduce this inflammation and protect us from obesity and other diseases including cancer.

Loosing belly fat with probiotics

Taking Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus amylovorus, both commonly found in yogurts, over a period of 8 weeks, can reduce your body fat by up to 5%.

Taking probiotics when on a weight loss plan can magnify results considerably, helping to reduce weight by up to 30-50% more weight loss compared to other people on the same weight loss plan but without taking probiotics.

Lactobacillus gasseri is the bacteria most commonly linked to weight loss.

What we eat and our lifestyle can affect our gut flora, which in turn could affect our health and even our weight. For instance certain studies show a link between consuming diet soft drinks (with artificial sweeteners) and changing our gut flora to one that predisposes us more to becoming obese. Having a high fat diet, is also linked to this.

going probiotic
going probiotic

Boosting your Immune System with Probiotics

Balancing better your gut flora will help your defences against infections and allergies. Infections such as urinary tract infections in women, can be reduced by taking Lactobacillus gasseri and Bifidobacterium longum.

Respiratory related illnesses can be reduced by taking Lactobacillus gasseri and Lactobacillus crispatus.

Probiotics are also know to reduce inflammation, and prevent also gum infection (gingivitis).

Having a healthy gut microbiome is important for your overall health.

Managing your good bacteria

As we get older our gut flora might not remain as good as it once was, also when you take anti-biotics your good bacteria take some significate damage. Taking probiotic foods and supplements will help bring the good bacteria in your gut back into balance.

Conclusion

There are many good reasons to take probiotic foods and supplements besides weight loss. They can also improve gut health, reduce inflammation and improve hearth health.

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