The goal to lose weight is  shared by millions. You can tell by the sheer number of diet programs and plans that are advertised every time you turn on the television or open a magazine.  These diet trends and fads can be expensive and they are not always guaranteed to work.  Additionally, it can take some time to find a plan that actually works for you, so a lot of time is wasted with trial and error.  However, there is good news; a simpler, more effective, and easier to follow option is available; probiotics.

Bacteria and Your Body Weight

Your digestive system contains millions of different microorganisms, the majority of which are bacteria.  There is no need to be alarmed because most of these are friendly.  We actually rely pretty heavily on these guys to keep things running smoothly and they also produce several important probiotic nutrients.  Intestinal bacteria can also break down fiber that our bodies cannot digest, turning the indigestible fiber into useful fatty acid chains. Overall, these are definitely microorganisms we want to keep around.

The two main families of bacteria are bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Our body weight is actually dependent on the balance of these two groups.  Studies of individuals of normal weight and those who are obese show different concentrations of the two bacterial families.  Obese individuals have more firmicutes than bacteroidetes.  Given this discovery, gut bacteria can do more than keep you running smoothly on the inside; they may be the key to achieving a healthy weight.

Probiotics for Weight Loss

Certain probiotic strains, namely the Lactobacillus family, inhibit the absorption of dietary fat which means the amount of fat excreted as waste is increased.  In terms of calories, you actually retain less from your food.  Unused calories can be stored as fat, which adds to your weight, negatively affecting your health.  If fewer calories are harvested from food, stored fat is used for energy, which will decrease weight.

Probiotics can help with weight control in two other ways.   They are responsible for the release of GLP-1 which is an appetite-reducing hormone.  With more of this hormone floating around the body, you will be able to burn calories and fat between meals.  Probiotics also trigger the release of ANGPTL4 , which helps to decrease fat storage.

The Probiotics You Need

Certain strains are more beneficial for supporting weight loss and burning belly fat. These are the ones you want to include as part of your health plan. Studies involving the Lactobacillus family have shown a reduction in body fat by 3 to 4 % in patients, as well as 50% more weight loss for groups using probiotics compared to a placebo group.

The one strain that has shown the most promising effects is Lactobacillus gasseri. A Japanese study showed that after taking this probiotic for 12 weeks, patients reported reduced body weight as well as less fat around organs and a lower BMI.  When patients stopped taking the probiotics, the additional body fat returned within a month.

Obesity is a big problem in the United States.  More than one-third of adults are considered clinically obese. Because of the serious health complications associated with obesity, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, prevention is now of the utmost importance.  When probiotics are a regular part of a dietary routine, people do not gain as much weight.  Granted, a relatively healthy diet is essential and exercise helps, too, but there is clearly a supporting role for probiotics.

The Missing Piece of the Puzzle

People can follow a healthy diet plan, perform some moderate exercise each week, and still have trouble losing excess weight.  Research indicates that probiotics may be the missing link from the healthy digestive equation.  A poorly functioning gut is going to negatively impact your immune system, as inflammation gets out of control.  Additionally, if you are not able to properly absorb the nutrients you need from food. your body’s health will suffer.

Probiotics provide support for your cardiovascular system, as well as provide help to fight anxiety and depression.  While some studies show that certain strains actually increase weight gain, the overall balance tips in favor of their use.  Since there is more than one reason to try probiotics, essentially you have nothing to lose; except for maybe a few pounds of unwanted fat.

Does taking probiotics help to reduce weight? The answer is yes.  It is important to understand that probiotics will not cause weight loss, as this is not a causal relationship.  The properties of probiotics help to support a healthy digestive tract and produce essential nutrients that our body needs.  It is more accurate to say that the properties of probiotics provide support for your body to use up excess fat and therefore, can help to control your weight.