When trying to lose weight, you leave no stone unturned to give yourself an advantage. Losing weight can be very challenging, and every little thing you can do to make it easier and boost your nutrition will pay dividends.
If you’ve been looking for something to help boost your weight loss, then you have likely come across probiotics as a popular method. But do probiotic supplements and foods really work to help you lose weight?
Let’s see what the facts say and get to the bottom of probiotics.
What Are Probiotics?
To understand probiotics, we have to start by taking a closer look at our digestive system and how it works. Our digestive systems consist of many different organs like our intestines and stomachs that process and digest the foods we eat and transport the nutrients into our bloodstream, where they can be used around our body.
But our digestive system comprises more than just our organs—it also includes a whole host of bacteria and microorganisms that live in our gut. These bacteria and microorganisms make up our gut microbiome. These bacteria in our gut help us by secreting digestive enzymes, slowing our digestion, and helping eliminate waste and toxins from our body.
Probiotics strains are the names for the healthy bacteria and microorganisms that assist our digestive system in functioning to its highest capacity. They’re essential for gut health. They’re found in kimchi, sauerkraut, and other fermented vegetables, miso, and drinks like kefir.
The Relationship Between Gut Bacteria and Body Weight
The microbiome in our gut is important to your body weight and healthy body weight regulation. Studies in both animals and humans have found that people and animals at a moderate body weight have a different microbiome than those with an overweight or obese BMI.
To understand this relationship, we need to look at the differences in microbiomes in those with different body weights. Two different kinds of beneficial bacteria grow in our guts—bacteroidetes and firmicutes.
The relationship appears to be that those who are overweight or obese have more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes than moderate-weight individuals. That said, some studies refute this claim and find no relationship between the two probiotic strains and weight.
What we do know is that overweight and obese individuals have less diverse microbiomes than lean individuals. We also know that those who are obese and have a diverse gut microbiome gain less additional weight than those who are overweight with less diverse microbiomes.
Can Consuming Probiotics Help Weight Loss?
There are a few ways in which probiotics seem to help with losing weight. Probiotics are believed to impact appetite and energy through the production of several short-chain fatty acids.
Another way that probiotics might help you lose weight is by limiting the absorption of fat. Probiotics and the bacteria in your gut play a large role in digestion, and some seem to slow or stop your body from digesting all of the dietary fat in foods. This leads to more fat leaving your body as excrement.
There has not been enough research done to say definitely how or if probiotics play a large role in obesity and weight loss, but what evidence we have seems to point towards their efficacy in supporting healthy body weight.
Lactobacillus Family of Probiotics
The lactobacillus family of bacteria that is found in our gut microbiomes is found to be particularly helpful at lowering body weight and reducing fat, as well as bifidobacterium. Several studies have shown the effectiveness of this family of bacteria.
In particular, these strains may be helpful in losing weight:
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus gasseri
- Lactobacillus amylovorus
- Lactobacillus fermentum
In one study, participants who ate a yogurt that contained bacteria in the lactobacillus family were able to lower their body fat percentage by up to four percent in six weeks. Another study involved overweight women who were dieting, half of them were given a placebo, and the other half were given a supplement containing lactobacillus probiotics.
The women who were given the probiotics were able to lose more weight and reduce waist and hip circumference and continued to lose weight into the weight maintenance phase of the study.
Are There Negative Side Effects to Probiotics?
While consuming probiotics is safe, there are a few things to look out for when consuming probiotics.
Firstly, when consuming probiotics at a very high volume, you may actually cause some bloating and stomach discomfort. If you have increased your consumption of probiotics and have found that you are experiencing more stomach discomfort than normal, consider lowering your intake.
There are also some strains of probiotics that cause weight gain instead of weight loss. Even amongst the strains the families of bacteria most helpful to weight loss, certain strains seem to actually cause weight gain or no change to body weight.
Should I Supplement Probiotic Intake?
Supplementing your probiotics to promote a healthy gut is almost always a good idea. There are no downsides to having a healthy gut microbiome. You should also look to supplement with probiotics if you have recently been taking antibiotics.
Antibiotics kill bacteria in your body, which can help fight diseases that are caused by bad bacteria. But, antibiotics don’t do a great job discriminating between the bad bacteria that make you sick and the good bacteria that keep you healthy. Supplementing your gut bacteria with additional probiotics to replace and regenerate healthy gut bacteria after taking antibiotics is a very good idea.
VINA is a soda with prebiotics and probiotics that are helpful to our gut microbiome. VINA is made with healthy ingredients like fruit juices and is sweetened with stevia instead of sugar, so VINA is also low-calorie.
VINA is a great option for people looking to supplement their probiotic intake while simultaneously replacing soda in their diet with a drink that works with their bodies instead of against it.
Probiotics are simply collections of healthy gut bacteria that promote the functioning of your digestive tract. There are trillions of bacteria and live microorganisms living inside your digestive tract that assist your body with digestion.
Having the proper microbiome in your gut appears to have massive benefits for weight loss and maintenance. If probiotics, along with a healthy diet full of fiber and whole grains, can help you shrink your waist size, why not give it a try?
If you are looking for new ways to give your body a boost of probiotics, then you should consider trying VINA prebiotic sodas. VINA is low-calorie, thanks to the stevia sweeteners used in place of sugar. VINA also has a healthy mix of pre and probiotics that will assist your gut in functioning to its highest capacity.
Staying healthy and keeping your digestive tract running smoothly is a great goal. Nobody likes gastrointestinal discomfort, and you can solve some of those issues simply by eating more probiotics. Give probiotics a shot, and you just might feel happier and healthier while losing weight.
Effects of probiotics on body weight, body mass index, fat mass and fat percentage in subjects with overweight or obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials | Wiley Online Library