Obesity is one of the most common health conditions throughout the world. Being overweight can lead to a host of chronic medical conditions that may shorten your life expectancy and cause serious issues as you age. As such, the medical community is always looking for ways to combat this growing health crisis. In recent years, the use of probiotics has emerged as a potential way to encourage weight loss and live a healthier lifestyle. Here is what you need to know about probiotics and how you can leverage this to shed that weight once and for all.
What Are Probiotics?
To understand how to use probiotics for weight loss, you need to learn more about these live microorganisms. Some foods boast naturally occurring probiotics while other products intentionally include this feature for health purposes. The most common way that most people get their probiotics is through the use of dedicated supplements. These supplements offer significant doses of live bacteria, most commonly in the form of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. These live bacteria are primarily known for their ability to boost the presence of healthy gut bacteria.
Benefits of Probiotics
Over the last few decades, scientists have zeroed in on how probiotics can be instrumental in boosting the function of the body’s immune system, lowering levels of harmful inflammation and aiding in the ability of the nervous system to work at optimal levels of productivity. In addition, some research has also demonstrated that the use of probiotics may be beneficial when treating certain skin and oral conditions.
Probiotics are also the star when it comes to improving your gut health. A balanced gut microbiome is essential to your overall health and wellness. The connection between gut and brain health has suggested that probiotics may prove useful in treating some types of anxiety and depression.
Leveraging Probiotics for Weight Loss
One of the most exciting emerging benefits of probiotics is how these supplements may be able to aid in weight loss efforts. Recent research has shown that the risk of obesity can be related to the gut microbial dysbiosis.
Because they are active microorganisms, probiotics are known for their ability to regulate and improve the gut’s microecosystem. This may lower levels of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. As a result, probiotics may be instrumental in preventing and treating obesity through their ability to regulate and support the gut microbiota.
Additionally, the use of probiotics is believed to improve sensitivity to insulin. The live microorganisms may also positively influence your appetite and metabolism.
A 2019 study out of China looked at 12 randomized controlled trials to determine the effects of probiotics on obesity. The findings of the meta-analysis found that 10 of the studies demonstrated changes in body weight, 11 showed positive reductions in BMI, eight studies reported a change in the circumference of the waist measurements and nine studies showed reductions in fat mass with six demonstrating a change in fat percentage.
Protecting Against Weight Gain
An additional study demonstrated that the use of probiotics may also guard against future weight gain. A study of 20 men in 2015 gave the participants a multi-strain probiotic over the course of four weeks as they followed a high caloric and high fat diet. The men on the probiotic gained 3.12 pounds as compared to 5.06 pounds for the participants who took the placebo. All of the men were at a healthy weight when the trial started.
Because obesity is such a widespread health issue for nearly any developed nation, the results of this research could have potentially significant advantages in the battle against the bulge.
Incorporating Probiotics Into Your Diet
Up until the time when the use of supplements became mainstream, health-conscious individuals were forced to get their probiotics from food. The most common food that people turn to for probiotics is yogurt. However, it is important to note that not all yogurt contains live probiotics. Because of this, you need to be intentional about choosing yogurt that contains active or live cultures.
Other good sources of probiotics include sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, kefir, pickles and some types of cheese. Clearly, not everyone enjoys a steady diet of these types of foods. If this is the case, you can turn to a high-quality supplement that provides both probiotics and prebiotics to ensure that you are getting adequate amounts of probiotics into your daily diet. For some individuals, this is a much easier way to ensure adequate amounts of probiotics to promote weight loss.
Regardless of whether you are looking to lose weight or improve your gut microbiome, it is likely worth your time and monetary investment to explore how probiotics can boost your overall health and meet all of your wellness goals.