Probiotics are one of the most popular nutrition supplements on the market right now, and while some high quality probiotics can help support your microbiome, can they really help you lose weight too?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are found naturally in the gut, as well as in both in supplements and fermented foods. When consumed, they have an array of health benefits. From improved digestive health to immune function, probiotics are known for just more than taking care of your tummy issues.
When it comes to weight loss however, many people question whether a probiotic can help aid their weight loss journey. While more research is heavily needed, some information does already suggest that probiotics have the possibility to aid weight loss, as well as the fact that poor gut health is linked to obesity.
So, can probiotics hep you lose weight?
Firstly, it's important to understand why probiotics might have the ability to help people lose weight.
Inside your digestive system, there are hundreds and thousands of microorganisms (the majority of which are friendly bacteria) that produce several nutrients, while also breaking down the fibre that your body can't digest and turning them into important and helpful compounds.
If your digestive system is unhealthy however, then you may experience dysbiosis, which simply means there is an imbalance in the gut microbiome. When your gut becomes unbalanced, there is an increased risk of harmful microorganisms, which can overtake your good bacteria.
A study from 2013 showed that an imbalanced gut microbiome can contribute to the development of obesity. Bacteroidetes and firmicutes, which are the two main families of good bacteria found in the gut, have been linked to body weight and obesity.
You see, human studies and animal studies show that people who are overweight have different gut bacteria than those who are a healthy weight. The study showed that those who were obese had more firmicutes and less bacteroidetes, rather than those who were a healthy weight. Saying that however, more studies are still needed.
In regards to the question itself, whether probiotics can really help you lose weight, let's take a look at 12 randomised controlled trials from 2018...
In 2018 a systematic review and meta-analysis with 821 participants found that those who took a higher dose probiotic supplement daily experienced a significant reduction in body weight, waist circumference, body fat & BMI, rather than those who only took a single strain probiotic with a much lower dose.
The review suggests that probiotics containing the following strains had the best result: bifidobacteria (B. breve, B. longum), Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus and lactobacilli (L. acidophilus, L. casei, and L. delbrueckii).
How do probiotics help aid weight loss?
From the above study, researchers believe probiotics may help promote weight loss by increasing the amount of short-chain fatty acid producing bacteria, decreasing inflammation, improving insulin sensitivity and reducing fat accumulation. The influence of appetite and metabolism has also been noted too.
It's also been studied that certain probiotic strains may also inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, increasing the amount of fat excreted with feces.
While research on probiotics and their link to weight loss is still growing, current research does suggest that the microbiome does & can influence body weight, with some studies linking supplementation to decreased body fat, waist circumference and BMI.
While evidence does suggest that Lactobacillus strains in particular may help people lose weight, research is still heavily needed and there is currently no evidence to suggest that one type of probiotic can help a person lose weight more so than a different strain.
If losing weight is your number one objective then a healthy diet and movement is always important for any weight loss goal.
At Primal, we believe that whether you have a weight loss goal in mind or not, consuming probiotics daily is one of the most important things you can do support your overall health and wellbeing.
Not only do probiotics help keep our gut flora in balance (which we have already learnt is important for healthy weight management), but they help strengthen the body's natural defences while stimulating the immune system.
Our Primal Living Probiotic has a unique blend and contains 12 heavily research strands, including Lactobacillus. Our formula has been created by our amazing Nutritional Product Development team and our founder, Steve Bennett, was involved in the entire process to ensure that it's one of the best and most powerful probiotics we could give you and your loved ones.
To find out more, shop our Primal Living Probiotic range now.