Are Probiotics the Best Natural Way to Burn Belly Fat and Lose Weight?
8 minute read
Much of the country has begun to realize that they need to improve their current lifestyles to build a healthier future. Unfortunately, the average person will turn to fad diets when they want to lose weight.
While this may help, at least in the short-term, it has been proved that regular exercise and a balanced diet are the most efficient way to lose weight, boost health, and stay fit. This may seem almost like common sense, but it’s important to understand not only why this approach is good but also why it’s better than the others.
One little-known secret that helps you to lose weight, specifically stubborn belly fat, comes in almost the smallest form imaginable: bacteria found in your gut, i.e., probiotics. For big losses, you need a healthy lifestyle that encourages one for your microbiome as well.
The Good and Bad of Bacteria
Probiotics are microorganisms that boost your health by supporting the living bacterial communities in your gut. You have trillions of bacteria residing in your intestines that promote efficient digestion and support overall health.
With direct links to cognitive health and your immune system, the gut environment and these bacteria are instrumental in your well-being. Any disruption or imbalance, however, contributes to poor health.
The majority of the bacteria living in your gut are friendly and help with digestion. They also produce essential nutrients, like vitamin K, certain B vitamins, and short-chain fatty acids.
There is a lot of fiber in our diets that we cannot digest, but these bacteria can. Not only do they thrive upon it, but they are able to break it down into fatty acids that we do need.
Probiotics help to maintain a healthy gut bacterial balance, which is essential to your overall health. Without probiotics, your gut environment can come under attack from harmful bacteria and viruses thus increasing your risk for disease.
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An impaired or unbalanced gut microbiome has been linked to several serious health conditions, which makes it important for you to take care of your friendly flora, including:
Poor digestion: A balanced gut will promote efficient digestion and regular bowel movements. Without them, you can suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive discomforts.
Immunity: With almost 80 percent of your immune system living in your gut, the health of your gut strongly impacts your overall health. Specifically, an unbalanced gut triggers an inflammatory response, which can cause widespread damage through your body.
Mental health: Your gut and brain communicate directly through the gut-brain axis, which is why you will notice that jittery feeling in your stomach when you’re anxious. In the same way, an upset or unhappy gut can affect your brain, and several studies have confirmed that poor gut health has strong links to depression.
Skin problems: There is some truth in the saying “you are what you eat” in that a poor diet can negatively impact the health of your gut. One side effect of unbalanced gut bacteria is frequent skin problems.
Studies have found that conditions, such as acne, rosacea, and eczema, are more common in individuals with poor gut health.
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In addition to all this, the bacterial communities in your gut have been linked to weight loss and gain. This is understandable given that these microorganisms have already been found to have far-reaching impacts in your body.
Preventing poor health and disease as well as potentially helping to control your weight, gives probiotics a good shot at being your newest best friend.
Gut Bacteria and Your Weight
Apart from aiding digestion and providing beneficial nutrients, the activities of your gut bacteria are linked to your weight. The bacteroidetes and firmicutes are the main families of bacteria residing in your gut, and a balance of the two is related to weight gain.
Studies have shown that overweight individuals have a different bacterial composition than healthy people, namely more firmicutes and less bacteroidetes.
Studies with rats have also confirmed that when gut bacteria from an obese subject are planted within a lean rat, the leaner mice gain weight. These studies do not show the exact method as to how gut bacteria contribute to weight gain, but they do indicate that there is a relationship.
Knowing that gut bacteria play an important role in weight gain could have huge implications for weight loss programs. It is believed that certain probiotics can inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, thereby increasing the amount of fat excreted and not stored.
Probiotics have also been shown to increase the release of GLP-1, which is a hormone that reduces your appetite and increases your fat burning. In addition to this, certain probiotics also increase the production of a special protein that works to decrease fat storage.
Burning Up Belly Fat
Fat storage is most troublesome when it collects around the abdomen. Belly fat is also the hardest to lose when trying to shed a few pounds. Previous studies have confirmed that supplements or yogurt containing Lactobacillus bacteria reduce overall body fat by almost 4 percent.
| Related: Probiotic Supplements vs. Yogurt: Which Is Better? |
Additional studies found that belly fat is reduced by 8.5 percent as a result of taking these specific bacteria regularly.
Inflammation that is already known to contribute to the development of several diseases has been linked to weight gain and obesity as well. When your gut bacteria are out of balance, the increased presence of harmful strains causes increased inflammation in your gut.
By regularly taking probiotics, you can maintain a healthy bacterial balance in your gut, which prevents inflammation and protects you from excessive weight gain and serious illness.
While some bacterial strains help to promote weight loss, others specifically work to prevent weight gain. Prevention of fat from accumulating in the first place is a much easier approach to weight control.
Probiotics as part of your regular diet can help reduce fat storage and subsequent weight gain, even when daily caloric intake is high. While it is not recommended to repeatedly overeat calories, including a probiotic supplement, can help prevent weight gain for when you occasionally overdo it.
The Bottom Line
Because of the different benefits that each bacterial strain brings, a high-quality probiotic supplement containing multiple strains will be the best approach to weight control and improved health. Evidence supports the weight loss benefits of probiotics, indicating that they could play a potentially important role in the fight against obesity.
While nothing will take the place of a balanced diet and regular exercise, it is certainly good to know that there is some additional support out there. Probiotics not only will help you control your weight, but they will also reduce inflammation, which will protect you from many serious diseases.
For something so small, probiotics definitely provide big benefits.