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Harnessing Probiotics for Weight Loss: A Gut-Health Game Changer

by Mara Welty May 03, 2024 5 min read

 Harnessing Probiotics for Weight Loss: A Gut-Health Game Changer

A healthy gut is essential to overall health and wellness. Within the gut live tiny microorganisms that play a crucial role in digestion, metabolism and immune function. Among these microorganisms are probiotics, which have gained significant attention for their potential health benefits, including weight management. 

That said, in this guide, we’re exploring how to use probiotics for weight loss support.

Understanding Probiotics and the Gut Microbiome

The gut microbiome is a complex community of microorganisms that live within the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the small and large intestines. That said, its reach extends well beyond the gut. In fact, the microbiome plays a critical role in a number of physiological processes, which include but are not limited to:

  • Nutrient absorption – The gut microbiome helps break down and absorb nutrients from the food we eat, aiding in the digestion of complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats and ensuring optimal energy utilization by the body.
  • Metabolism – Microorganisms in the gut play an essential role in metabolic processes, helping to regulate energy metabolism and the use of essential vitamins and nutrients. 
  • Immune function – The majority of immune cells live in the gut. Accordingly, the gut microbiome has a significant effect on how the body responds to and defends itself against toxins and pathogens. 
  • Mood and cognition – There’s a direct link between the gut and the brain by way of the gut-brain axis. Accordingly, a healthy gut microbiome is likely to help regulate mood and support cognitive function by interacting with the central nervous system.

Accordingly, disruptions in the health of the gut microbiome can cause an imbalance that may affect one’s health negatively. An unhealthy gut, called dysbiosis, may lead to weight gain and an inhibited metabolism.

Probiotics are beneficial when consumed and can rebalance the gut microbiome and provide potential benefits to your body as a whole. These are found in several types of foods, including:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut

They can also be effectively delivered through probiotic supplement form.

Probiotics and Weight Loss

When ingested, probiotics work to support energy and nutrient intake, among other things. More specifically, probiotics help the gut to:

  • Enhance digestion – Probiotics help in the breakdown of food particles, making nutrients more accessible for absorption. This improved digestion can help optimize metabolism and energy utilization, which may support your weight loss efforts.
  • Regulate appetite – Probiotics can influence the production of hormones that control hunger and satiety, such as ghrelin and leptin. By modulating these hormones, probiotics may help reduce appetite and food cravings, leading to decreased calorie intake.
  • Reduce inflammation – Swelling in the gut has been linked to weight gain and metabolic troubles. Fortunately, certain probiotic strains have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help mitigate negative immune responses in the gastrointestinal tract and throughout the body.
  • Influence body fat storage – Some research suggests that probiotics may affect the expression of genes involved in fat storage and metabolism. By influencing these pathways, probiotics may help regulate body weight and fat mass accumulation. Speaking of metabolism function, in addition to probiotics, incorporating metabolism boosting foods into your diet can significantly enhance your weight management efforts and should be considered.

Best Probiotic Strains to Support Weight Management

Several probiotic strains have been clinically shown to support weight management, and several may also help to reduce body weight and fat accumulation. These strains include:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM – This strain is known to enhance digestive health, regulate appetite and influence metabolism, all of which may support weight loss and a healthy gut environment. 
  • Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 – This strain may help to regulate appetite, specifically hormones related to hunger and satiation, such as ghrelin and leptin. It may also play a role in the metabolism and absorption of sugars. 
  • Bifidobacterium lactis B420 – Cultivated by DuPont, a study (conducted by DuPont) does show that this strain has been found to support weight management, regulate body fat mass, reduce the circumference of one’s waste and reduce food intake, all over a course of six months. 
  • Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 – A 2016 study identified that participants who ingested this strain for 45 days lost more weight than participants who did not. 
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus CUL-60 & CUL-21 – A 2020 study found that this strain can support weight loss, a lower BMI and a smaller weight circumference within six months.
  • Lactobacillus plantarum CUL-66 – Similarly, this strain has demonstrated weight loss support, lower BMI and reduced waist circumference within six months, as per the same 2020 study.
  • Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis CUL-34 – The 2020 study also identified this strain as a potential factor in weight loss and reduced waist measurements.
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum CUL-20 – This strain may influence metabolisms and appetite, as well as support proper digestion and nutrient absorption. 
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG 10 billion CFU – This strain is known for its overall gut health benefits and may indirectly support weight management by promoting a balanced gut microbiome.
  • Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. Lactis CECT 8145 2 billion CFU – This strain may also support weight loss by way of supporting gut health. 

Potential Risks of Probiotics For Weight Management

While probiotics hold promise for weight management, and they’re generally considered safe, there are potential risks associated with their use in this context. One risk is the variability in individual response to probiotics, as their effectiveness may vary depending on factors such as: 

  • Genetics
  • Diet
  • Body composition
  • Overall health status

Additionally, probiotics are not a standalone solution for healthy weight loss and should be used in conjunction with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Over-reliance on probiotics for weight management without addressing lifestyle factors may lead to disappointment and frustration. 

Further, some probiotic strains can cause gastrointestinal side effects, especially when consumed at high doses. 

Finally, individuals with compromised immune systems should use caution when choosing probiotics for weight loss, as they may potentially lead to illness. For instance, if the probiotic contains contaminants or undisclosed microorganisms, it can pose a risk to your overall health.

INVIGOR8 For Weight Loss

Probiotics can help support a healthy gut microbiome, which may be a piece of the puzzle of how to lose weight naturally. That said, probiotics should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and active lifestyle. For instance, you can combine your probiotic regimen with metabolism boosting foods to further enhance your weight loss efforts by naturally increasing your metabolic rate.

To aid your weight loss journey, adopt the INVIGOR8 Complete Weight Loss Kit. It incorporates a delicious organic superfood powder packed with whey protein and nutrients, as well as a probiotic complex containing Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium Bifidum to support digestive health. For a deeper dive into our protein powder ingredients, check out our dedicated page for a breakdown of them and their potential health benefits. Not only that, but the kit includes a natural appetite control support supplement, unflavored collagen peptides, and a specialized meal plan to help you achieve your fitness goals faster.

Explore the Complete Weight Loss Program today to learn more.

 

Sources:

  1. WedMD. What to Know About Probiotics for Weight Loss
  2. Healthline. How Probiotics Can Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat 
  3. Healthline. 5 Best Probiotics to Support Weight Loss, According to Dietitians
  4. NIH. Probiotics: What You Need To Know 

About the Author

 Mara Welty
Mara Welty

Mara Welty is a copywriter who specializes in health, wellness and CBD topics. With a background in journalism, she aims to deliver engaging, research-based content that builds trust and engages readers through informative storytelling.

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