Probiotics are the good and friendly bacteria that are beneficial to our bodies, specifically our digestive systems. This good bacteria helps your body in many ways. There are several supplements and fermented foods that contain probiotics.
Probiotics can be found in supplements. But they’re also present in foods like yogurt, pickles, kimchi, miso, kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut, cottage cheese and sourdough bread. If you eat these foods often, you are then doing a good job of feeding your gut with probiotics regularly.
Researchers already know that our guts are important to our overall health, but scientists are now trying to figure out whether our digestive health affects our weight, too.
Probiotics are live microbes – mostly bacteria – that when eaten in the right quantity can provide health benefits. They can be included in foods, such as yogurt, or taken as dietary supplements, or added to drugs.
They perform several vital functions such as digesting nutrients in food, preventing the growth of disease-causing bacteria, maintaining the digestive floral balance, and strengthening immunity.
In terms of the roles of probiotics for weight loss, actually, there have been quite many studies supporting their positive effects on weight loss. Not in the sense that taking probiotics will cause you to lose pounds overnight, but it may help make your weight loss effects more efficient and sustainable.
What does science say about Probiotics?
The main role of probiotics or good bacteria is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Good bacteria works to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, so that it will make you feel better.
Scientific studies, so far, have identified the following functional uses of probiotics such as:
- Aiding digestion of food
- Promoting the health and maintenance of cells that line your gut
- Supporting immunity to keep you from getting sick
- Creating vitamins
- Managing inflammation
- Absorbing medications
- Reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Other health issues that probiotics can help ward off are irritable bowel syndrome, allergic skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis, vaginal health and even common colds.
With these findings, researchers are conducting more comprehensive studies on the impact of probiotics.
How probiotics affect weight
Research has shown that bodyweight is associated with effectively balancing the good and bad bacteria. Other studies also show that probiotics in general play a huge role in weight management. Here are some research-backed ways that regular probiotic use can help with weight loss.
1. Improved energy and metabolism
Although there is a need for more research on the subject, experts agree that probiotics play a role in improved metabolism. Studies suggest that probiotics may balance the bacteria in your gut microbiome, thus affecting your appetite and food intake. This then leads to weight loss and reduced waist circumference.
2. Controlled appetite and satiety
Researchers have found that obese men and women who take probiotic supplements experience less hunger and a lowered desire to eat and greater satiety. Probiotics have a role to play in suppressing your appetite and helping to decrease overeating. There’s also evidence that bad bacteria can contribute to an unhealthy and imbalanced microbiome which can turn your hunger pangs on and off. You’ll then likely have constant cravings for unhealthy foods like sugary snacks for example. On the other hand, if your microbiome is well-balanced with the support of probiotics, your cravings for unhealthy food are likely to be reduced.
3. Reduce inflammation from a leaky gut
The gut is a very common source of inflammation. Probiotics have been shown to play an important role in the fight against inflammation which can be a precursor to countless health issues including allergies, fatigue, autoimmune disorders, etc.Other health issues that probiotics can help ward off are irritable bowel syndrome, allergic skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis, vaginal health and even common colds.
With these findings, researchers are conducting more comprehensive studies on the impact of probiotics.A major contributor to inflammation is your immune system. Through inflammation, your immune system can get rid of stuff that shouldn’t be there. Hence, when there are problems in the immune system or when the immune system is imbalanced, the immune system can then cause lots of inflammation. Probiotics can act as a powerful component to help heal the gut and help reduce inflammation. In addition, when you have bad bacteria in your gut, it is going to cause inflammation. Your immune system is going to be a part of what makes that inflammation. Probiotics are revealed to help reduce these bad bacteria that are causing inflammation. In other words, probiotics can help decrease inflammation by healing the gut, balancing the immune system, and getting rid of bad bacteria.
Probiotics can play an important role in enhancing your good bacteria and keeping you in good shape.
In reality, you need to focus on achieving a healthy diet first, supplements are only secondary. There’s no magic supplement or pill that can replace a well-balanced diet and regular exercise. A balanced diet is a key factor when maintaining good gut bacteria. Probiotics survive and thrive when backed up by high-fiber foods. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to aid in weight loss. Diets rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans can help promote healthy guts.
It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor at Nova Bariatrics and Minimally Invasive Surgery before making any drastic lifestyle and diet changes. This is especially true if you’re immune-compromised, take any medications, or have compromised gut integrity or allergies.