Probiotics are live microorganisms found in various foods and dietary supplements. They're often referred to as the "good bacteria" because they can improve gut flora balance and aid digestion. But can probiotics help you lose weight too?
Probiotics and Weight Loss: What Do the Studies Say?
Although there are some promising studies suggesting that probiotics can help with weight loss, research in this area is still limited. A review of 15 randomized controlled trials found that taking probiotics can significantly reduce body weight and body mass index (BMI). However, studies have not been consistent, and it is not yet clear which types of probiotics work best for weight loss.
How Can Probiotics Help You Lose Weight?
There are several possible mechanisms by which probiotics may contribute to weight loss:
- Improve Digestion: Probiotics may help improve the digestion of nutrients and decrease the absorption of fat and sugar in the gut.
- Boost Metabolism: Some studies have shown that probiotics can boost metabolism, which can lead to higher energy expenditure and better fat burning.
- Reducing Inflammation: Inflammation in the body can increase the risk of obesity. Probiotics may help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of obesity.
Which probiotics can help with weight loss?
Not all probiotics have the same effect on the body. Some types of probiotics may help reduce body weight, while others may not. Here are some of the probiotics that may best contribute to weight loss:
- Lactobacillus gasseri: A study has shown that ingesting L. gasseri can help reduce abdominal fat in obese people.
- Bifidobacterium lactis: A study has shown that taking B. lactis can help reduce BMI in people with obesity.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus: A study has shown that L. rhamnosus intake can help increase weight loss in overweight women.
Although research in this area is limited, there is some evidence that probiotics can help with weight loss. However, it is still unclear which types of probiotics work best and in what amounts they should be taken. If you're trying to lose weight, taking probiotics as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle could be a way to support your efforts. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor or nutritionist before taking any dietary supplement.