Good For Gut Health: Prebiotic Foods
Prebiotics are plant carbohydrates such as inulin and certain saccharides that feed good-for-you bacteria in your gut. Even the best probiotic for women could get a boost from having plenty of this precursor around. Foods high in prebiotic fiber include soy beans, whole-wheat, asparagus, artichokes, onions, and leeksplus some of these six gut-friendly foods.
What Exactly Is A Probiotic
Probiotics, first and foremost, are live microorganisms that occur naturally in the body.
First coined by Hinrich Henschel in 1879, the way we now know them was not determined until 1982 when Elisabeth Ulrich and colleagues at the University of Idaho helped create their current laboratory identification techniques. By now, there are over 15 different species of probiotics.
To top it all off, probiotics can be found living on humans and within our diet!
Thats right these organisms also lurk inside products like dairy or kombucha, which makes it possible to get them through foods! These bacteria are also found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi.
They may be present in our body naturally or they can influence the number of helpful gut bacteria that we excrete.
When this happens, the effects are similar to when they are found in foods. Most importantly, probiotics have their own set of benefits!
Probiotics have been definitively shown in previous studies conducted by undergraduate researchers under the direction of co-authors Professor Drs. Veejer and Chu at NYU Langone Medical Center to help maintain your healthy gastrointestinal system specifically Elisabeth Ulrichs research is what has proven that these bacteria can even help prevent obesity, strengthen your immune system, and build immunity up to 23% better than people who didnt take probiotics.
What Are The Best Probiotics To Take For Weight Loss According To Research
Many studies have been conducted on the Lactobacillus strains to show a positive effect on weight and body fat. One study from 2013 found that eating yogurt with the Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus strains lowered body fat by 3 to 4 percent over a 6 week period.
If you are avoiding dairy or eating plant-based, kimchi can be a solution for getting your healthy dose of probiotics. Another 2020 study found that taking the probiotic Lactobacillus sakei found in fermented foods such as kimchi and some sauerkraut “might help people with obesity reduce body fat mass without serious side effects.”
Taking a probiotic with the strain Lactobacillus gasseri may help to reduce body weight, fat around organs, body mass index , waist size, and hip circumference according to a 2013 study had 210 participants with higher amounts of belly fat consume 210 grams of fermented milk containing a probiotic for 12 weeks.
The results concluded that that given the fermented milk had almost a 9 percent drop in visceral fat as well as a significant drop in BMI, body fat mass, and waist and hip circumference. The kicker is that once the group stopped consuming the probiotic, the effects wore off after 4 weeks. This indicates that a probiotic will likely need to be continuously consumed in order to maintain the benefits.
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Sounds Great Whats The Catch
All of this is very preliminary and largely based on speculation and educated theories. Theres simply not enough evidence to support a cause-and-effect relationship between probiotic consumption, your gut bacteria, and waistline size yet.
We are a long way from knowing which strains would have the most benefits or how to provide that benefit, cautions Apovian. So while a specific probiotic type may have the power to improve digestive health, it may do nothing to help you get lean.
Concerning dosage, do you need to consume 1 billion, 10 billion, or 100 billion live bugs? No answers there yet.
And will probiotics work on generally fit individuals who just have a couple of pounds they would like to lose? When not performed on animals, most research to date has been conducted on obese individuals whose body weight might be more sensitive to changes in the microbiome. I do think that there is enough evidence to show that obesity is associated with a gut microbiome that is unbalanced towards bacteria in the undesirable Firmicutes family that produce signaling molecules which promote fat production, Apovian says.
The makeup of the gut microbiome does not seem to be the underlying cause of obesity, so focus on healthy eating and exercise habits, and you could both lose some weight and improve the good microbes that make it easier to maintain healthier body weight.
If You Want To Lose Weight Take A Look At Your Gut Bacteria
If you haven’t heard of them before, let us introduce you to probiotics, the bacteria we consume through supplements and fermented foods to keep our digestive system healthy. Among their many benefits, these bacteria can improve your immune system, digestion, and heart health, but can probiotics also help you lose weight? When we look at this question, the science gets a little less clear. Here’s what we know so far.
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Can Probiotics Really Help You Lose Weight
Taking probiotics for your gut health is one thing. But can these teeny-tiny bacteriafound in dietary supplements and fermented foodshelp you lose weight, too? They do live in your stomach, after all.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that naturally live in your body already, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health .
Probiotics are substances that encourage the growth of bacteria, specifically beneficial bacteria, that help to keep intestinal health in balance, says Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D.N., author of Eating in Color. A healthy balance of good bacteria in the body may help regulate weight and ward off a range of health issues.
Those other health issues include digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome , along with allergic skin diseases like atopic dermatitis, and even the common cold, per the NCCIH.
How To Get Probiotics In Your Diet
While it can be simple to pop a probiotic supplement daily, youll be missing out on some tasty foods that can boost your gut health. Add these to your diet for more whole, natural sources of probiotics that come with other nutrients and fiber to help promote gut health.
- Sauerkraut: consists of fermented cabbage that tastes great in salads, sandwiches, or solo.
- Kimchi: another fermented cabbage that contains Asian-based spices and other vegetables.
- Kombucha: a tea that is fermented with a culture of various bacteria and yeast. This beverage has become popular over the years and is easy to find at any grocery store.
- Tempeh: fermented soybeans makes this high in probiotics but also a great protein option for plant-based diets.
- Miso: another fermented soybean option is miso, but this time its in paste form. You often see this in Asian-inspired dishes including miso soup.
- Fortified dairy alternatives: many soy and nut-based milks and yogurts contain live bacteria. Just check the label to see if it has Lactobacillus or other strains.
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A Short History Lesson
Scientists discovered probiotic bacterias existence over 150 years ago.
Then, in 1907, an immune system expert suggested modifying the normal gut microbiota by topping-up the levels of good bacteria.
He believed doing so would present health benefits and slow the aging process too.
More extensive research began during the 1990s. The data supported Metchnikoffs theories and probiotic became a new buzz word in health and fitness circles.
Probiotics Can Help Enhance Your Gut
“Probiotics can help you lose weight by improving your gut health,” say registered dietitian nutritionists Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT & Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, The Nutrition Twins, and co-founders of the 21-Day Body Reboot. “An unhealthy digestive system leads to an imbalance of gut microbes, and research has suggested that this imbalance could contribute to obesity.” Of course, before starting a new probiotics regime, always consult with your doctor or nutritionist.
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Some Probiotics Help Prevent Weight Gain
It is said that prevention is better than cure. Weight loss is not the best way to fight obesity. That is preventing the weight from accumulating in the first place.
In a study held over a period of four weeks. People took a probiotic formulation called VSL#3. these subjects reduced weight and fat gain. This was on a diet where the individuals were overfed by 1000 calories per day.
This shows that other strains of probiotics can be effective at reducing weight gain in connection to a high-calorie diet. However, this needs to be studied deeper.
How Do Probiotics Work
Probiotics are bacteria found in your gut that help you digest your food effectively along with other health benefits. The word itself gives a clue about their helpfulnesspro means for, and biotic means life .
You have trillions of these microorganisms in a healthy gut with different strains, weights, and mechanisms of action. Researchers have found that both live and dead gut bacteria have jobs to do in the body, though live strains are more effective .
One of the most important jobs of your gut flora or intestinal bacteria is to form a barrier against viruses, bacteria, and other infectious organisms, as well as dangerous substances taken into your body. Researchers found that these beneficial bacteria impact your digestive health and the way you process the food you eat. They also found that probiotics affect many aspects of health, including :
- Immune system
Almost all foods can undergo fermentation: fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products, grains, and honey. It is difficult to measure the exact amount of probiotics in natural food products .
You can also buy probiotic supplements. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates medications, but most probiotics are marketed as supplements which means they dont need FDA approval. Probiotic supplements cant make any health benefit claims about what their product does without the permission of the FDA .
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What Is The Best Way To Take Probiotics When Attempting To Lose Weight
If you are trying to lose weight, it would be best and safest to take probiotics. By taking them every day, you will be able to reap more benefits directly from your guts natural bacteria. In addition to supporting the users overall health, premium-quality probiotic supplements promote a healthy microbiome.
Immune Function And Infections
Probiotics may help give your immune system a boost and inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria .
Also, some probiotics have been shown to promote the production of natural antibodies in the body. They may also boost immune cells like the IgA-producing cells, T lymphocytes and natural killer cells .
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The Best Types Of Probiotics For Weight Loss
The best types of probiotics for weight loss are those that can help to regulate your appetite. Lactobacillus Plantarum, which is an indigenous strain to the human microbiome, has been shown to decrease appetite and increase satiety in rats.
Another beneficial strain is Bifidobacterium longum, which regulates the production of serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters that influence feelings of satiety. Bifidobacteria longum also helps to improve digestion.
Bifidobacterium longum strains have been studied more often than other beneficial strains due to their health benefits, so it is recommended you take a probiotic containing this genus if weight loss is your goal.
Of course, your gut bacteria may be beneficial to you in terms of weight loss for other reasons besides regulating appetite if so, selecting the right probiotic is paramount!
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has recently been shown to be an effective treatment for obese mice.
The bacteria counteract the biological changes that result in obesity by activating satiety hormones. Ultimately, it is your genes and genetics that determine if probiotic supplements will help you lose weight.
You cant trust all of what you read about probiotics any more than you can trust all of what you read on the latest macronutrient HIIT or intermittent fasting fad diet.
But Can Probiotics Help With Weight Loss
Honestly, no one knows for surethats because most probiotic research has focused on how to improve digestive issues or immune health.
Researchers followed 125 men and women throughout a 12-week weight-loss program, giving half the participants LGG and the other half a placebo. At the end of the trial, the women who took probiotics lost more weight than the women on the placebo. The probiotics group also went on to continue losing weight after the trial had ended, while the placebo group only maintained.
Still, Caroline Apovian, M.D., director of nutrition and weight management at Boston Medical Center, says the difference in weight loss between the probiotic and placebo group in this study just barely qualifies as noteworthy.
There was no weight loss difference overall between the probiotic and placebo groups, she says, but there was a significance when you separate the women in the probiotic group. Even then, she notes, the women in the probiotic group only lost about 1.8 kilograms more than the placebo group.
It may certainly be that those people who eat healthy have healthier guts and not the other way around, she says. As far as which came first , its likely the healthy diet.
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Probiotics Are One Part Of The Puzzle
Probiotics give a wide range of health advantages.
However, their effects on weight depending on the type of probiotic.
Evidence shows that Lactobacillus gasseri helps people with obesity to lose weight and belly fat effectively. In addition, a type of probiotics called VSL#3 increases loss on a high-calorie diet.
This shows that some types of probiotics have slight effects on body weight. Normally when mixed with a healthy, food-based diet.
Yet, probiotic supplement help in many other ways besides weight loss.
They can improve digestive health, reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular risk indicators and assist in the war against depression and anxiety.
Probiotics Can Help Keep The Two Primary Families Of Good Bacteria In Your Gut In A State Of Harmony
“Other research shows that probiotics can help to fight obesity when you balance the two main families of good bacteria in the gutâbacteroidetes and firmicutes,” says The Nutrition Twins. “Bodyweight seems to be related to the balance of these two families of bacteria,” they continue. Pretty neat, huh?
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Do Probiotics Help You Lose Weight: How Can It Help With Weight Loss
Do probiotics help you lose weight? A particular study claims that this probiotic supplementation is effective when it comes to preventing weight gain and promoting weight loss in humans.
The 2018 meta-analysis review, which comprised 821 participants, proved that the participants who received this supplement got more significant weight reduction, body fat, and waist circumference than those who did not use it. Essentially, probiotics supplements tend to influence energy usage and appetite through the production of propionate, acetate, and butyrate using a short chain of fatty acids. In simple words, they typically make the users body harvest very few amounts of calories from the foods they eat.Probiotics can reduce the significant number of calories we absorb from food. Further, they can affect the protein and hormone levels related to fat storage and appetite and reduce inflammation that leads to obesity.
Can Having A Healthy Gut Microbiome Prevent Weight Gain
Definitely! A healthy gut microbiome helps you realize when youre full and keeps your blood sugar levels stable. It also prevents digestive issues, helps protect you from harmful pathogens, and keeps inflammation in check.
A diet high in fiber and low in refined sugars and processed food is necessary for the beneficial bacteria in your gut to thrive. Not coincidentally, these are also common recommendations for maintaining a healthy weight.
Having a variety of beneficial probiotic strains that include more Bacteroidetes than Firmicutes is associated with better, life-long weight management. So, its worth taking stock of your gut health. Preventing weight gain in the first place is much easier than shedding weight.
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Prebiotic Health Benefits For Losing Weight
How do prebiotics help you lose weight, exactly?
Since prebiotics are fiber, they naturally fill you up faster. The more fiber you fill up with, the less caloric food youll have room for. Interestingly, since its considered a carbohydrate, each gram is assigned 4 calories on nutrition labels. Given that it cant be absorbed, it may only provide around 2.5 calories per gram.
Besides making you feel full, prebiotic fiber can also reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs from the food you eat. The overall effect is a decrease in metabolizable energy, which is defined as energy consumed minus the loss in feces and urine.
While prebiotics play an important but passive role in the small intestine, they really start to get to work in the large intestine. Here, they begin to ferment, which produces short chain fatty acids . These chemicals help with weight loss by:
Prebiotic fiber alone, whether consumed through food or supplementation, helps you reach or maintain a healthy weight. It also works synergistically with probiotics and the gut bacteria already present in your body.
Certain prebiotic fibers help provide food sources to important anaerobic bacteria in the gut. This group of bacteria cannot be manufactured into dietary supplements because they die when coming in contact with oxygen.