Studies Say Bacteria For Weight Loss – Yes It’s Healthy

Studies Say Bacteria For Weight Loss – Yes It’s Healthy

149
0
SHARE

Bacteria is all around us, as cleaning commercials and doctors’ offices have made us extremely aware. And, up until now, most people have seen bacteria as a really bad thing.

However, not all bacteria is bad. In fact, there are certain kinds of bacteria that are present in many of the foods we eat. And these kinds of bacteria are actually really good for your digestive system.

This good bacteria (aka “probiotics”) is present in supplements, as well as in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles, kimchi, raw cheese, and yogurt.

These live microorganisms have a ton of benefits when eaten, and can even drastically improve your health.

According to HealthLine:

Probiotics may improve digestive health, heart health and immune function, to name a few (2345).

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 microorganisms in your digestive system.

The majority of these are bacteria, most of which are friendly. Friendly bacteria produce several important nutrients, including vitamin K and certain B-vitamins.

They also help break down fiber that the body can’t digest, turning it into beneficial short-chain fatty acids like butyrate (6).

There are two main families of good bacteria in the gut: bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Body weight seems be related to the balance of these two families of bacteria (78).

Both human and animal studies have found that normal-weight people have different gut bacteria than overweight or obese people (91011).

In those studies, people with obesity had more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes, compared to normal-weight people.

There are also some animal studies showing that when the gut bacteria from obese mice are transplanted into guts of lean mice, the lean mice get fat (11).

All of these studies suggest that gut bacteria may play a powerful role in weight regulation.

How Can Probiotics Affect Changes in Weight?

It is thought that certain probiotics may inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, increasing the amount of fat excreted with feces (12).

In other words, they make you “harvest” fewer calories from the foods in your diet.

Certain bacteria, such as those from the Lactobacillus family, have been found to function in this way (1213).

Probiotics may also fight obesity in other ways:

  • Release of GLP-1: Probiotics may help release the satiety (appetite-reducing) hormone GLP-1. Increased levels of this hormone may help you burn calories and fat (1415).
  • Increase of ANGPTL4: Probiotics may increase levels of the protein ANGPTL4. This may lead to decreased fat storage (16).

There is also a lot of evidence that obesity is linked to inflammation in the brain. By improving gut health, probiotics may reduce systemic inflammation and protect against obesity and other diseases (1718).

However, it is important to keep in mind that these mechanisms aren’t understood very well. More research is needed.

BOTTOM LINE:Probiotics may reduce the number of calories you absorb from food. They also affect hormones and proteins related to appetite and fat storage. They may also reduce inflammation, which can drive obesity.

Probiotics May Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat

Studies have found that certain strains of the Lactobacillus family can help you lose weight and belly fat.

In one study, eating yogurt with Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus reduced body fat by 3–4% over a 6-week period (19).

Another study of 125 overweight dieters investigated the effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosussupplements on weight loss and weight maintenance (20).

During a 3-month study period, the women taking the probiotics lost 50% more weight compared to the group taking a dummy pill (placebo). They also continued to lose weight during the weight maintenance phase of the study.

Lactobacillus Gasseri

Of all the probiotic bacteria studied to date, Lactobacillus gasseri shows the most promising effects on weight loss. Numerous studies in rodents have found that it has anti-obesity effects (13212223).

Additionally, studies in Japanese adults have shown impressive results (122425).

One study followed 210 people with a lot of belly fat. It found 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 (25).

BOTTOM LINE:Some strains of the Lactobacillus family have been shown to reduce weight and belly fat.Lactobacillus gasseri appears to be the most effective.

Some Probiotics May Prevent Weight Gain

Losing weight is not the only way to fight obesity. Prevention is even more important, as in preventing the weight from accumulating in the first place.

In one 4-week study, taking a probiotic formulation called VSL#3 reduced weight gain and fat gain on a diet where people were overfed by 1000 calories per day (26).

On this graph, you can see how the probiotic group gained significantly less fat: This indicates that some probiotic strains might be effective at preventing weight gain in the context of a high-calorie diet. However, this needs to be studied a lot more.

Some Probiotics May Prevent Weight Gain

Losing weight is not the only way to fight obesity. Prevention is even more important, as in preventing the weight from accumulating in the first place.

In one 4-week study, taking a probiotic formulation called VSL#3 reduced weight gain and fat gain on a diet where people were overfed by 1000 calories per day (26).

On this graph, you can see how the probiotic group gained significantly less fat: This indicates that some probiotic strains might be effective at preventing weight gain in the context of a high-calorie diet. However, this needs to be studied a lot more.

Some Probiotic Strains May Increase the Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity

Not all studies have found that probiotics help with weight loss.

Some studies have even found that certain probiotic strains might lead to weight gain, not loss. This includes Lactobacillus acidophilus (27).

One recent study reviewed 4 controlled clinical trials. It concluded that probiotics did not reduce body weight, BMI or body fat levels in overweight or obese adults (28).

However, this review study did not include many of the studies mentioned above.

BOTTOM LINE:Not all probiotics help with weight loss, and some of them may even cause weight gain. The effects depend on the probiotic strain, and may also vary between individuals.

 Isn’t it amazing that the bacteria (specifically probiotics) that we consume is actually good for us? It’s obvious that these can do wonders for our health when we include things like fermented foods and supplements into our day-to-day diet.

However, it is important to remember that not all probiotics react to your body in the same way. For instance, types such as Lactobacillus gasseri and VSL #3 appear to most help with obesity weight loss, belly fat, and prevention of weight fan (especially on a high-calorie diet).

Meanwhile, other types may not present as significant a change when it comes to weight loss. This is especially the case for those eating a healthy diet, full of real, whole foods.

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY