One of the newest miracle supplements being touted for health benefits are probiotics. While they do provide benefits for health, such as aid in stopping diarrhea, balancing friendly bacteria, aiding in mental health, improved heart health, boosting immunity and even aiding with allergies. There’s a dispute, however, whether probiotics will help you lose weight. While some say it definitely helps, other are just as emphatic that it doesn’t.
How might probiotics help you lose weight?
Some studies show that there might be a benefit to using probiotics to lose weight, especially belly fat. Microbes help with digestion and also block some food from being digested. Probiotics are part of that process. When it’s about weight loss, probiotics will slow or block the absorption of fat in the intestinal tract. Rather than being absorbed as calories, it is eliminated in waste. By doing that it reduces the number of calories your body has available for use.
There are more potential reasons that probiotics may help weight loss.
Some will help you feel fuller by increasing certain hormone levels. A study that compared two groups of women, one who took probiotics and one who didn’t, found that the group that took them, lost 50% more after three months than those that didn’t. A healthy gut, not one with inflammation, processes amino acids properly. If there’s inflammation, it can cause less absorption of amino acids much needed for muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the easier it is to lose weight.
Not all probiotics cause weight loss.
Only certain probiotics lead to weight loss, Lactobacillus acidophilus, a probiotic, can actually lead to weight gain. So far, there is no clear identification of the strains that support weight loss. So whether eating probiotic foods or taking supplements, knowing which ones to chose is the problem. The probiotics have been shown that they don’t colonize in your digestive tract on a permanent basis, but pass through and out of your body with waste.
Considering the number of microbes in your colon, approximately 100 trillion, the amount you get from eating probiotic food or taking probiotic supplements is insignificant.
While probiotics are good for you, if you don’t have adequate dietary fiber, you’re cheating yourself. Dietary fiber is considered prebiotics. It feeds the beneficial microbes and helps the number of beneficial ones grow.
Including high-fiber foods in your diet, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grains, not only increase the amount of fiber—prebiotics—but also make you feel fuller.
Even though probiotics are healthy, they’re not the final answer to weight loss. If you think that simply eating probiotics or taking a supplement is all you need to do, think again. You have to eat healthy and eat fewer calories than you burn to lose weight.