Can Probiotics Help With Weight Loss?

– Probiotics are linked to
a range of health benefits, but can they help you lose weight? Well let’s have a look at the research. (xylophone chimes) The World Health Organization
defines probiotics as live micro-organisms
which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer
a health benefit on the host. In other words, probiotics
is a term given to bacteria that we eat,
specifically for health benefits. So they help to restore
and maintain the balance of bacteria in the gut. If that balance is disturbed, then health problems can occur. Antibiotics are the
opposite of probiotics, in that they inhibit or kill bacteria. That’s why long-term use of antibiotics can make you seriously unwell. It’s thought that an
imbalance in the gut bacteria may influence weight management, but researchers still
don’t understand how. An influence on low-grade inflammation, which is one of the main drivers
behind metabolic disease, such as type two diabetes
and heart health, is thought to be one of the
primary mechanisms involved. Only a handful of human
clinical trials on probiotics have been published so far. Some strains appear to
have anti-obesity effects, while others actually
seem to cause weight gain. From the weight of evidence available, Lactobacillus gasseri appears
to be the probiotic strain that can best assist
weight loss in humans. Now, for this Japanese study
of 30 healthy individuals, researchers prepared two different batches of fermented milk. The active milk with
Lactobacillus gasseri, and the control milk without. Both milk preparations
were equivalent in energy, in protein, fat, carbohydrates, and they were said to be
indistinguishable in taste. Fecal samples taken at the
beginning and end of the trial showed that the
Lactobacillus gasseri group had an increased amount of
fat excreted in their feces after two weeks of consuming the milk. The control group saw no
changes in fecal fat excretion after the same time period. It seems pretty far-fetched
that you can simply take a probiotic supplement and literally crap out more fat, but this was not the only trial that found supplementation reduced fat
mass and waist circumference. The previous Japanese
control trial found that fermented milk with Lactobacillus gasseri significantly reduced
BMI, waist circumference, abdominal fat, and the
dangerous visceral fat that accumulates around the organs. Before that study, a large review paper which looked at 82 previously
published probiotic studies, concluded that Lactobacillus gasseri, and another called Lactobacillus plantarum had the most promising
anti-obesity effects. Although this is still a
very new area of research, something is definitely going on here. To summarize, probiotics may very well assist in weight loss, but only if you already live
a very active lifestyle. As we know so far, only the
strain Lactobacillus gasseri. Of course, as with anything
weight loss related, do not expect any miracles without a nutritious diet
and regular exercise.

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