When it comes to managing weight, most people resort to exercise and calorie counting. However, not many people know that incorporating probiotics into their diet can also help with weight loss.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are the good bacteria that reside in our gut. They help in digestion, boost immunity, and aid in the absorption of nutrients. They come in various strains, each with its unique benefits. Common strains include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus. Probiotics are found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha. They also come in supplement form.
Probiotics and Weight Loss
Research has shown that probiotics can aid in weight loss through different mechanisms.
Regulating appetite and reducing cravings
Probiotics can help regulate appetite and hunger. Lactobacillus gasseri, a strain of probiotics, has been shown to reduce belly fat and body weight by 8.5% in 12 weeks. This strain reduces the hunger hormone ghrelin, making you feel fuller for longer.
Probiotics can also help in increasing metabolism, especially in people who are overweight. Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been shown to increase metabolic rate by 4% in overweight people. This strain also reduces gut inflammation and insulin resistance, both of which can lead to weight gain.
Reducing fat absorption and storage
Probiotics can reduce the absorption of dietary fat, leading to reduced fat storage. Bifidobacterium lactis has been shown to reduce dietary fat absorption by 50% in some people. This strain also reduces inflammation and helps to maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
Factors Affecting Probiotic Efficacy
While probiotics have been shown to be effective in weight management, several factors can affect their efficacy.
Strain and Dosage
Not all probiotics are created equal. Each strain has its unique benefits. When buying probiotic supplements or fermented foods, consider the strain and the amount. Ensure that you purchase strains that have been tested and proven effective.
Diet and Lifestyle
Eating a balanced diet and leading a healthy lifestyle can enhance probiotic efficacy. Processed foods, alcohol, and sugar can harm the gut microbiome, reducing the effectiveness of probiotics. Drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, and managing stress can also enhance the effectiveness of probiotics.
Probiotic efficacy varies from person to person. Genetics, age, gut health, and medication can all affect the effectiveness of probiotics. If you are on medication or have a pre-existing medical condition, consult a doctor before taking probiotic supplements.
Probiotics can make a significant difference in weight loss when used correctly. Incorporating probiotics into your diet can help regulate appetite, increase metabolism, and reduce fat absorption and storage. To reap the maximum benefits of probiotics, ensure that you purchase strains that have been tested and proven effective, lead a healthy lifestyle, and consult a doctor if you have pre-existing medical conditions.