How Probiotics Can Help You Stay Lean and Lose Weight
Forget weight loss pills! You can significantly reduce your stomach bloat and even shed a few pounds by taking good care of your gut microbes.
Probiotics are often praised for their digestive health boosting abilities, but many don’t know this includes the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates to keep you lean.
If you are one of the many people who struggle with a bloated stomach, you may want to consider adding a probiotic to your daily weight loss regimen.
The Connection Between Gut Flora and Weight
Your intestinal bacteria may help influence your weight. Research shows a connection between gut bacteria and how we balance glucose blood sugar levels, how we store fat, and how our bodies respond to hormones that signal hunger or fullness.
The wrong mix of gut bacteria might be responsible for giving you so much trouble in the weight loss department since birth.
There are many factors that influence a person’s weight. While diet remains an important one, scientists are also starting to understand how gut health plays a role too.
According to a 2013 study published by the Washington University School of Medicine, gut microbes given to obese mice helped them stay thin – but only if they ate a healthy diet. So if you've been eating a healthy diet but still can’t seem to shift the timber, your gut microbes might be the reason.
A baby’s gut microbes are first assembled when they pass through the mother’s birth canal. A baby will collect their mother’s microbes first and then acquire the rest throughout life.
A person’s microbiome is their unique collection of microbes – every bit as unique, it transpires, as a fingerprint. Lean people have been linked to a wider variety of a large tribe of microbes called Bacteroidetes, which specialise in breaking down starch and using them more efficiently as energy.
Another microbe that may prevent obesity is known as Helicobacter pylori, which is responsible for controlling appetite by regulating the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin. That said, there are reasons why you should consider reducing H. pylori in the gut; our article on natural remedies to eradicate H. pylori is worth a look.
The good news, as far as weight loss is concerned, is this: even if you're lacking in the type of gut microbes generally associated with being thin, you can use diet to work in your favour.
A diet high in processed foods is more likely to limit your microbial community, meaning you're less prone to accumulating the “good” microbes needed to improve health. By the same token, eating a “Westernised” diet prevents gut microbiome from flourishing.
Health Problems Associated with Excess Weight
Staying lean doesn’t just make you feel better about the way you look; it also helps prevent chronic disease.
Gaining a few extra pounds each year is easy to do as you get older and your metabolism slows. But even a few extra pounds can have a significant impact on your health. Being overweight puts you at an increased risk of the following conditions:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome
- Reproductive complications
Probiotics for Weight Loss
A variety of good probiotic strains are naturally present in the gut, and when these strains are altered, weight gain can occur.
Probiotics are a type of “good” living bacteria that reside in your gut. And because close to 70 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, it’s important to make sure your gut bacteria is full of the good kind!
In addition to helping you lose weight, probiotics are useful for improving digestive health, treating infectious diseases, reducing allergies and the common cold, and improving oral, skin, and vaginal health.
The two most common types of probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. According to one study, eating yoghurt with the Lactobacillus strain reduced body fat by three to four percent in six weeks.
Another study found that women who took Lactobacillus supplements lost 50 percent more weight than the control group.
If you’re looking to reduce belly fat specifically, Lactobacillus is the strain you want. A 2013 study found that taking Lactobacillus for 12 weeks was associated with a reduced BMI, reduced fat around organs, reduced body weight, and a reduction in hip circumference and waist size.
The study found that people who took Lactobacillus reduced their belly fat by 8.5 percent. But when participants stopped taking the probiotic, they gained the weight back within one month.
One gut health supplement you might want to look at is Progurt. Composed entirely of human-derived bacteria, Progurt is the strongest probiotic in the world, containing a whopping 1 trillion Colony-Forming Units per serving.
Although you'll find much cheaper options than Progurt, this unique supplement contains more 'good bacteria' in a single sachet than many products provide with a month's worth of capsules. It is a quantum leap in the field of probiotic supplementation: just disperse in water and drink.
You can also use Progurt sachets to make your own probiotic yogurt.
Given Progurt's super-strength, and native colonising strains of bacteria (including Lactobacillus), it is a fine option for those looking to shed a few pounds.