First off, if you desperately want to burn off some unwanted fat in a few weeks because you have an event or beach holiday coming up, then stop reading… If you are interested to see how probiotics can help you achieve healthy and long-term fat loss, you in the right place.
In short, Probiotics are live microorganisms that have health benefits when eaten. They are found in both supplements and fermented foods. Probiotics may improve digestive health, heart health and immune function, to name a few. Several studies also suggest that probiotics can help you lose weight and belly fat.
Being overweight can be an indication of an unhealthy digestive tract. Foods high in sugar and unhealthy fat sources will increase the growth of bad bacteria and the same foods also play a large part in weight gain and fat storage. Studies have shown that overweight people have about 20% more of the bad bacteria and less than 90% less of the good bacteria, compared to their lean counterparts.
There are hundreds of different microorganisms in your digestive system. The majority of these are bacteria, most of which are friendly. Friendly bacteria produce several important nutrients, including vitamin K and certain B-vitamins. They also help break down fiber that the body can’t digest, turning it into beneficial short-chain fatty acids like butyrate. There are two main families of good bacteria in the gut: bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Body weight seems be related to the balance of these two families of bacteria.
Probiotics may reduce the number of calories you absorb from food. They also affect hormones and proteins related to appetite and fat storage. They may also reduce inflammation, which can drive obesity.
Furthermore, Probiotic supplements are useful when the balance of good and bad bacteria in the bowel has been disrupted.
Such an imbalance almost always occurs in the following situations:
- after use of antibiotics
- following illness
- during and after periods of heightened stress
- as we get older (and our digestive enzymes decrease in number)
- following travel to a foreign country
- for people who experience regular tummy upsets
- for people who regularly have an urgent need to use the toilet
- for people who have poor digestion.
An imbalance of bowel flora can lead to a number of unpleasant symptoms, such as a bloated stomach, abdominal pains, irregular bowel movements and a feeling of heaviness after eating. Probiotics are recommended for people who wish to ensure or maintain a favourable amount of the friendly bacteria in their digestive tract.
In the next post, we will look at how dietary fibre can improve weight loss.