Probiotics are live bacteria with healthy benefits when consumed.
They can be taken through supplements or through food.
Probiotics may help improve our digestive health, heart health, oral health, and immune function, plus more.
Several studies also suggest that probiotics can help you lose weight and belly fat.
Gut Bacteria May Affect Body Weight Regulation
There are hundreds of different types of microorganisms in your digestive system.
The majority of these are friendly bacteria. These bacteria produce several important nutrients, such as vitamin K and B-vitamins.
The friendly bacteria may also help break down fiber that the body has trouble digesting.
There are two main families of good bacteria in the gut: bacteroidetes and firmicutes.
Research suggests that body weight may be related to the balance of these two families of bacteria.
Both human and animal studies have found that normal-weight people have different gut bacteria than overweight or obese people.
In these studies, subjects with obesity had more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes, compared to normal-weight people.
The animal studies conducted showed that when the gut bacteria from obese mice were transplanted into guts of lean mice, the lean mice got fat.
Of all the probiotic bacteria studied to date, Lactobacillus gasseri has proved itself to be the most promising effects on weight loss. Numerous studies in rodents have found that this specific strain has anti-obesity effects.
One study followed 210 Japanese adults with a lot of belly fat. Researchers state that taking Lactobacillus gasseri for 12 weeks reduced body weight, fat around organs, BMI, waist size and hip circumference.
What's more, belly fat was reduced by 8.5%. However, when participants stopped taking the probiotic, they gained back all of the belly fat within a month.
Probiotics offer a wide range of health benefits.
However, their effects on weight seem to depend on the type of probiotic.
Evidence indicates that Lactobacillus gasseri may help people with obesity lose weight and belly fat.
In summary, certain types of probiotics may have modest effects on your weight, especially when combined with a healthy, real food-based diet.
Nevertheless, there are many other reasons to take a probiotic supplement besides weight loss.
They can improve digestive health, reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular risk factors and even help fight depression and anxiety.