“To live a life of gratitude is to open our eyes to the countless ways we are supported by the world around us.” ― Gregg Krech
Probiotics are a type of bacteria that boost your health and wellbeing. Do Probiotics Help You Lose Weight? Are they a valuable choice? You had better be informed about this possibility; this is one of the greatest selections to back up your main decisions about strengthening or building up your new lifestyle.
First of all, probiotics are beneficial bacteria improving your health because they can help you combat many disorders as asthma, cancer, allergies, arthritis, and depression.
These bacteria fortify your immune system and prevent bowel diseases, lactose intolerance and intestinal microbial balance, antihypertensive antihypercholesterolemic, insulin resistance syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alleviation of postmenopausal disorders.
Probiotics also reduce traveler’s diarrhea and heart diseases. Besides, nowadays we already know that probiotics can provide you with great support when you are willing and committed to achieving your weight loss goal.
This whole news is suitable for you because it adds another possibility for your potential feeding, which, according to your taste, will also be healthier and more delicious. Another alternative is that you can make very good use of probiotics as your supplements.
What are “Probiotics”?
The Greek term “probiotic” means “for life”. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines probiotics as “live strains of strictly selected microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host” (1). It is important to remember that probiotics work relying on the strain, dose, and components utilized to bear or create a specific product.
What are “Prebiotics”?
“Prebiotics”, another introduced term that has been defined as “… a non-viable food component that confers or provides a health benefit on the host associated with modulation of the microbiota” (2).
Prebiotics have the capacity to modify the gut microbiota and its modification depends on each person’s strains and species. Different prebiotics will stimulate the growth of different indigenous gut bacteria. The purpose of using combined probiotics and prebiotics is to improve the survival of probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract (3).
In diets, prebiotics are nondigestible fiber compounds (fermentable) that in the large intestine (colon) act as the substrate for the activity or growth of advantageous bacteria existing there in the individual’s gut.
Some popular prebiotic foods that you can easily eat are raw garlic, raw chicory root, raw dandelion greens, raw leeks, raw wheat bran, raw onions, raw asparagus, raw banana, baked wheat flour, barley, apples, cocoa, whole oats, and so on.
What does “Synbiotic” mean?
The term “synbiotic” has also been introduced. It refers to the utilization of a probiotic with a prebiotic combination. It is demonstrated that the synbiotic got the potential to provoke larger changes on gut microbiota and host health, as a result of supplying the bacteria together with a prebiotic that can stimulate probiotic bacteria survival and growth in the gastrointestinal tract (3).
The probiotics’ selection is based on strains’ characteristics, safety, functionality, and technological usefulness. These features or qualities are linked to determined strains of a particular species.
The safety is established by its origin, the absence of association with pathogenic cultures, and the antibiotic resistance profile. Functionality aspects count on their survival in the gastrointestinal tract and their immunomodulatory effect. Technologically probiotics have to subsist and preserve their properties through their storage and distribution processes. The strains, available in the market, must have recognized pro-health effects (3).
Probiotic products found in the market can include more than one microbial strain. These are subject to the regulations contained in the general food law stating that they must be safe for human and animal health.
Probiotics are consumable items such as yogurt, kombucha, tempeh, miso, and sauerkraut, and so forth. For humans, the bacteria comprised of yogurt and fermented milk products constitute the most important source of probiotics.
In the United States probiotics are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In Europe, the term “Qualified Presumption of Safety” (QPS) has been introduced by EFSA related to the criteria of the safety assessment of bacterial supplements (3).
Some probiotics identified for human consumption
The human probiotics used for consumption generally belong to the genus: Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Lactococus, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus. Furthermore, strains of Gram-positive bacteria belonging to the genus Bacillus and some yeast strains associated with the genus Saccharomyces are frequently used in probiotic products (3).
Akkermansia muciniphila, a mucin-degrading bacterium, included in the phylum Verrucomicrobia, is one of the most recent probiotics discovered. In the human gut, Akkermansia muciniphila represents 3–5% of the microbial community and exists under conditions of other deficient dietary supplies excluding mucin (4).
How does gut microbiota correlate with body weight?
As already known, in human beings, the gastrointestinal tract is colonized by enormous numbers of microorganisms, including viruses, archaea, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, recognized as the gut microbiota as a whole.
There is an association between gut microbiota and obesity. A low fecal diversity with a stronger, marked overall adiposity and dyslipidemia, higher low-grade inflammation and impaired glucose homeostasis, has been observed in overweight and obese people (5).
Another comment worthy of remark dealing with humans: the composition of the intestinal microbiota is deeply influenced by dietary patterns. The changes in gut microbiota appear within 24 hours after starting a low-fat/high fiber or a high-fat/low-fiber diet (5).
In mice as well as in humans, studies have shown that a “Western-style” diet, high-fat and high-sugar, decreases the abundance of Firmicutes at the expense of Bacteroidetes in the intestinal microbiota. Likewise, a diet with large amounts of dietary fiber and other plant polysaccharides and lower amounts of fat and animal protein, produces a change in fecal microbiota, containing higher amounts of Bacteroidetes and lower amounts of Firmicutes (5).
A. muciniphila is less abundant in patients‘ gut with metabolic disorders, types 1 and 2 diabetes, and bowel diseases. An inverse correlation has been determined between weight and abundance of the bacterium. These findings highlight the potential of Akkermansia muciniphila for the prevention and treatment of diabetes, obesity, and their associated metabolic disorders (4).
Probiotics and obesity
From preclinical studies in animals, evidence has emerged supporting the probiotic’s anti-obesity effects, specifically with probiotics appropriate to the genus Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium strains, the plant-derived lactic acid bacterium Pediococcus pentosaceus LP28, Bacteroides uniformis CECT 7771, and Akkermansia muciniphila. These studies demonstrated that the ingestion of probiotics can, at least, partly reduce the amount of weight gained in response to a high-fat diet (6).
Clinical studies with probiotics and prebiotics have validated their capacity of altering the composition of gut microbiota and influencing food intake, appetite; body weight and composition; metabolic functions through gastrointestinal pathways; and modulation of the gut bacterial community. These studies have analyzed the role of probiotics fundamentally containing Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium (6).
To remind you
Keeping in mind the information previously revised, the aim is to highlight that the dietary strategies including prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics can be used to prevent or treat weight loss/obesity and their associated metabolic disorders. You can see my post about The Mayo Clinic Diet.
The consumption of probiotics is a tradition in many cultures back to very remote times and their health benefits continue to be verified or confirmed by scientific studies concerning many ailment conditions, including obesity and overweight among others.
These progressive explanations about incorporating probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics in your healthy eating, offer you another way of introducing a wider variety of your daily foods. You gain great confidence by adhering it to your clear goal of maintaining your ideal weight.
Certainly, a matter of taste, rooted habits, and cultural beliefs play a great influence over each person´s mind, however, I surely express you are always making wise and well-informed decisions that will be enhancing your health and wellbeing as well as your physical body and your positive emotions.
Are probiotics worth trying for the improvement of your weight loss? In clear terms, I state a confirmed yes. What do you think of it?
“Just be, right now, here; and breathe. Begin to trust the magic of yourself.” ― Nikki Rowe
I will appreciate the comments you may have about the information I have shared with you.
1. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Guidelines for the Evaluation of Probiotics in Food; Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Working Group on Drafting Guidelines for the Evaluation of Probiotics in Food; FAO: London, ON, Canada, 30 April–1 May 2002.
2. Food and Agriculture Organization. FAO Technical Meeting on Prebiotics: Food Quality and Standards Service (AGNS), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); FAO Technical Meeting Report; FAO: Rome, Italy, 15–16 September 2007.
3. Paulina Markowiak, and Katarzyna Śliżewska. Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human Health. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1021; doi: 10.3390/nu9091021.
4. Kequan Zhou. Strategies to promote abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila, an emerging probiotics in the gut, evidence from dietary intervention studies. J Funct Foods. 2017 June; 33: 194–201. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2017.03.045.
5. Cindy D., Davis. The Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Obesity. Nutr Today. 2016; 51(4): 167–174. doi:10.1097/NT.0000000000000167.
6. Nazarii Kobyliak, Caterina Conte, Giovanni Cammarota, Andreana P. Haley, Igor Styriak, Ludovit Gaspar, Jozef Fusek, Luis Rodrigo, and Peter Kruzliak. Probiotics in prevention and treatment of obesity: a critical view. Nutrition & Metabolism (2016) 13:14. doi 10.1186/s12986-016-0067-0.
Do Probiotics Help You Lose Weight? For women, is this worth trying?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that help you maintain good health, and support you lose weight. They are food options for improving your healthy eating.
Aura T. Chavez Zobel
Aura T. Chavez Zobel