Can probiotics support weight loss?

If you’re a probiotic-lover already, you’ll likely know lots about kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, and miso. Probiotics have been linked to various health and wellness benefits, including immune, heart, and digestive health.1,2,3,4,5

Maybe you’re unaware of probiotics or sceptical of this highly-hyped health food. If you’re interested in getting and staying lean, you should consider incorporating more fermented, probiotic-rich foods in your diet. Recent scientific studies have found that probiotic foods are associated with lower weight and reduced belly fat.6

The gut and human body weight

Previously, medical science didn’t pay much attention to the balance of bacteria in the gut. We now know that a healthy microbiota is strongly associated with good overall physical and mental health.7

Gut microbiota contains two strands of bacteria which help us regulate weight.8,9 Multiple studies have found that overweight people have imbalanced bacteria compared with those at a healthy weight.10,11,12,13 However, researchers are yet to discover why and whether it’s a cause or effect of obesity.14


How probiotics impact body weight

Probiotics likely cause a reduction in belly fat and body mass by:

  • Reducing appetite

One study has found that when we consume probiotics regularly, they act as an appetite suppressant that stops us from overeating the types of foods associated with weight gain.15

  • Encouraging the body to expel fat

Probiotic consumption encourages the body to discard more fat in stools, rather than keeping it, by reducing the body’s ability to absorb fat from food.16

  • Decreasing the body’s ability to store fat

Multiple scientific studies have found that probiotic consumption is associated with higher protein levels, which impacts the body’s ability to store the fat absorbed from food.17,18,19

  • Accelerating weight loss

Numerous studies have found that when obese people consume probiotics, they experience body mass loss and reduced waist circumference.20,21,22

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

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