Who knew that sipping on a delicious Probiotic milkshake can help in weight loss! According to a recent study about the effects of probiotics supplementation (Vsl#3) on fat and body mass, skeletal muscle substrate oxidation and insulin sensitivity during a month long high-fat diet in healthy adults, it was found that during the high-fat diet, Probiotic supplementation helped the study participants to maintain their body weight as there was a negligible increase in body and fat mass.
In the past, there have been many studies that showed a correlation between obesity, diabetes and gut environment imbalance. Both obese and diabetic patients suffer from body weight problems. In a study conducted by John K DiBaise, MD, Husen Zhang Ph.D. and others on Gut microbiota and its possible relationship with obesity, it was found that there is strong evidences of gut microbiota extracting calories from the ingested food in humans and mice.
In another study on the relation between gut microbiota with type 2 diabetes, led by Junjie Qin, Yingrui Li, and others, participants with type 2 diabetes had an imbalanced gut environment that had an increased number of pathogens and a decreased abundance of good bacteria. From these study results, it is quite evident that our gut flora plays a role in changing the body weight.
The possible effects of Probiotics in weight loss
Gut flora is inhabited by millions of microbial colonies. A balanced gut environment would have an abundance of good bacteria and some pathogens. Gut flora is considered ‘disturbed’ when the number of good bacteria declines and pathogens increase. A balanced gut microbiota can help in the general wellbeing of any individual. The good bacteria influences weight loss in many interesting ways such as:
1. Promoting metabolism
Obesity is characterized by slow metabolic rate due to which the body fat accumulates causing weight gain. Probiotic supplementation is known to accelerate metabolism. Sylvia Rabot, Joseph Rafter, Ger T Rijkers, Bernhard Watzl and jean-Michel Antoine, in their research on the impact of probiotics on the digestive system metabolism concluded that Probiotics influence the host tissue through increased enzymatic activities, thereby modulating the metabolic functions of the host system.
Certain strains of bacteria such as Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus amylovorus are more effective in increasing the metabolic rate according to a research article published by Jaclyn M. Omar, yen-Ming Chan, Mitchell L. Jones and others on probiotics and altered body adiposity. When the metabolic rate of the body increases, the body fat is used as fuel, decreasing the accumulated fat in the system.
2. Genetic density and Probiotics
In many instances, genes are to blame for obesity, metabolic rate and the body’s ability to absorb food effectively. Probiotics can help to accelerate a slow metabolic rate that is genetically predisposed- says a research conducted on Probiotic interventions in managing metabolic syndrome by Rashmi H Mallappa, Namita Rokana and others.
3. Metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is potentially a life-threatening and complex condition that includes high blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders, high blood sugar and high cholesterol levels. Research on Probiotic interventions in managing metabolic syndrome shows that regularly consumed probiotics can reduce body fat and cholesterol by regulating metabolism. The research participants found relief from symptoms when they took probiotics.
4. Type II diabetes
Obesity is one of the symptoms of type II diabetes. Diabetic patients who are obese often experience inflammation in their body. According to the research findings of Lomax AR and Calder PC, on Probiotics, inflammation, immune system and infections, Probiotics can significantly reduce inflammation when combined with other components of Diabetes management plan. When Diabetes is managed effectively, diabetic patients lose weight.
Reap maximum benefits by taking the right Probiotics
The maximum benefits of Probiotics can be reaped by following certain tips:
- Certain type of Probiotics are more effective to balance gut flora and regulate metabolism. They are: Lactobacillus plantarum, Bacillus subtiles, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactococcus lactis and Bifidobacterium
- For maximum benefits, it is wise to buy Probiotic supplements of superior quality
- It is ideal to start with a low dose consumption of Probiotics to monitor changes and to increase later as per the individual patient’s requirement
- Store-bought probiotics need refrigeration as the bacteria will not thrive in room temperature
- For maximized effects of Probiotic on body weight, one can combine digestive enzymes to speed up the metabolic rate
Natural sources of Probiotics
Probiotics can also be consumed through natural sources, and these natural probiotics are very effective. As per the findings of a research by R.D.C.S Ranadheera, S.K Baines and M.C Adams on the importance of food in Probiotic efficacy, the effect of Probiotics depend on the food source that contains the good bacteria. Natural food sources of Probiotics are more effective than Probiotics present in processed store-bought food. Natural probiotics sources include:
- Fermented Pickles
- Fermented Sauerkraut
- Low sugar Kefir
- Low sugar Kimchi
- Raw or unpasteurized milk
- Miso soup and Tempeh
- Organic honey
Relapse on stopping the consumption of Probiotics
It cannot be concluded that stopping Probiotic supplementation can result in weight gain. This depends on every individual’s the body constitution; weight gain may or may not take place. Patients can decide to continue or stop taking Probiotics depending on the changes they notice in their body weight, health, and wellbeing.
Probiotic help in several interesting ways to enhance enzymatic activities in the host tissues and facilitate weight loss. Although the weight loss rate is not certain, using probiotics regularly can help patients in losing weight and maintaining a healthy body.
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