Most people are at least semi-familiar with probiotics and their role in digestion. However, fitness literatures are now also touting the use of probiotics for weight loss. Is there any substance behind this, or is this based on half-true pseudoscience to sell more supplements?
Can You Really Shed the Pounds with Probiotics?
First, do not expect to acquire six-pack abs from a probiotics weight loss supplement alone. With that being said, though, recent research does hint at a correlation between probiotics and weight loss.
One study1 shows that – when taken in conjunction with a weight loss program – women using probiotics not only lost more weight but also reported better mood, fewer food cravings, healthier eating behaviors, and increased self-body image.
In another study2, subjects administered a probiotic weight loss supplement saw an increase in fat metabolism, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced chronic inflammation. Researchers also concluded probiotics for weight loss is safe due to the lack of reported side effects. It should also be noted that the subjects were specifically administered the probiotic strains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. All the probiotic strains included in our own Floracil50 supplement consists of strains from these two categories.
How Probiotics Help You Lose Fat
What’s the mechanism behind probiotics for weight loss? Do certain strains have a thermogenic effect, or what? What we know is that probiotics play a huge role in your gut health. The guts, located dead center, influences the rest of your body. The gut is also the absorption center for vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. It stands to reason then that any deficiency in the gut impairs metabolism.
Furthermore, the western diet encourages the thriving of obesity-related bacteria. Poor gut health also leads to inflammation, which interferes with the absorption of key amino acids. The amino acids are vital for muscle growth and retention. As you may know, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn even when at rest. Less amino acid absorption means less muscle mass, which means fewer calories burned.
The effects appear to be more indirect, though recent studies suggest there may also be a more direct mechanism at play. Research3 suggests probiotics may stimulate the release of the GLP-1 hormone. This hormone not only regulates fat burn but also signals to your body that you’re full.
That’s not all. Other studies4 show that probiotics also stimulate release of the ANGPTL4 protein, which is shown to lower fat storage.
The Best Probiotics for Weight Loss
There is no single best probiotic for weight loss. There are, however, certain strains that studies show may be effective as part of a fat loss plan. We’ll identify these strains and what the medical community has uncovered in their research.
One of the more well-documented probiotics we discussed in prior posts is lactobacillus rhamnosus. Studies5 show this probiotic may be effective in weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight dieters.
Another beneficial strain is Bifidobacterium breve. This strain is called the anti-obesity probiotic and for good reason. A 2010 study showed that B. breve increases fat metabolism while also reducing the onset of insulin resistance. A similar study in 2015 validated the effects when subjects that supplemented with B. breve for 12 weeks saw a greater loss in fat mass compared to a placebo.
Probiotics for Weight Gain Prevention
So far, we have been talking about the best probiotics for weight loss. However, people already in fairly good shape can also benefit. New research shows some strains may also prevent weight gain from occurring in the first place.
In one study6, subjects fed a diet 1,000 calories above their maintenance level every day were able to keep fat gain to a minimum by taking a probiotic formula.
Studies7 also reveal that obese individuals tend to have an unhealthy ratio of bad to good gut bacteria. This seems to indicate that gut bacteria imbalance is an attributor of weight gain. By keeping the microbiome in a desirable ratio of good to bad bacteria, you may be able to keep excess weight at bay.
Should You Take Probiotics Specifically for Losing Weight?
We believe you should take probiotics for their gut health benefits. All the other benefits are secondary and will naturally follow as your gut is restored to its normal balance. With that being said, if you’re already on a fat loss workout program, probiotic supplementation certainly won’t hurt and can only help.
In this instance, we recommend boosting probiotic effectiveness by consuming prebiotic-rich foods. You should also limit intake of foods that hurt your gut microbiome and feeds the bad bacteria. This includes refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, gluten, and soy.
Probiotics for Weight Loss Warrant Further Attention
In no way are we suggesting that probiotics are the next wonder supplement for achieving miraculous fat loss. That’s wishful thinking. The studies, however, do show that probiotics hold tremendous promise as a weight loss aid. It’s something you should be consuming more of anyways for their amazing digestive support benefits.
The benefits of probiotics weight loss supplements like Floracil50 may be a helpful support as part of a sound exercise and diet plan for a better body.