Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be found in both supplement form and in fermented foods. When taken they have positive outcomes to both your mental and physical state as well as your weight. In this blog post we will focus on the core benefits of probiotics, and how they help weight management, as well as provide a recommendation for the best probiotic available.
Microbes associated with body weight.
Our digestive system is full of hundreds of microorganisms, and the majority of these are beneficial bacteria that produce and support our gut health as well as our immunity. Hence the name- probiotic. The nutrients they synthesize are vitamin K and most of the B vitamins. These microorganisms help us to break down fibre and convert it into highly beneficial fatty acids.
This beneficial bacteria are typically grouped into two main families: Bacteroidetes and firmicutes. The balance of these two microbes can be associated with body weight.
How are probiotics linked to weight management?
Those who were overweight tended to have more firmicutes and fewer Bacteroidetes, relative to those with moderate weight. People who are obese tend to have less diverse gut bacteria than lean people and obese people with a diverse range of gut bacteria typically gain less weight than obese people who have less diverse gut bacteria.
Dysbiosis is a word practitioners will use when you have an imbalance of beneficial bacteria, or the bacteria that potentially can become pathogenic, if not looked after. This can be down to a change in diet, that has a negative impact on your health, and wellbeing. This can include increased sugar, stress, processed foods, and a low fibre diet.
Some of the symptoms of Dysbiosis are:
- Weight gain
- Bloating and gas
- Alternating stools
- Chronic Fatigue
Some studies suggest that probiotics may influence appetite and energy usage via the production of fatty acids (5). Some experts believe that certain probiotics may inhibit the absorption of fat, increasing the amount of fat excreted from our body (6). So, this could potentially mean that our bodies harvest less calories from the foods we eat with the assistance of probiotics.
A study showed that some probiotics reduced body fat by 3–4% over 6 weeks (7).
Another study showed that women who took probiotics lost 50% more weight over 3 months, compared to the placebo group (8).
Are all probiotics the same?
Not all probiotics are the same. There are a variety that focus on various aspects of health, which is down to the type of strains they contain. Native Nutrients offers Probiotic Plus– a powder which contains 8 strains of probiotics. The good thing about powder is that when mixed with water, re-hydrates and activates the strains. We have a new high strength probiotic coming out in the weeks to come, which will offer support to those who have been on antibiotics, going through elevated levels of stress, and need a high strength probiotic once a day. There are other probiotics that focus on the different microbiomes such as the vagina and bladder, gut, and mouth.
Probiotics offer a wide range of health benefits. However, this can depend on the type of probiotic. Certain types of probiotics may have modest effects on your weight, but this should be combined with a healthy, balanced diet. However, probiotics have much more benefits aside from weight management. They can also assist your digestive health and cardiovascular risk factors. They have been known to reduce inflammation and even help fight depression and anxiety.