Your microbiome is a vast world of microscopic living organisms that inhabit your skin, mouth, and respiratory system. But mostly, they live in your gut – up to 70% of your microbiome exists inside your digestive tract.
Modern research into the microbiome continues to evolve our understanding of how it benefits our health and wellbeing. People used to think all microbes were harmful germs we should avoid. With research focusing on the various types of microbes, we now know that the friendly kind, called probiotics, plays a critical role in keeping your gut balanced and happy.
When you’re digestive system is in balance, pathogens have a much harder time flourishing, which helps reduce your chances of getting sick and lowers digestive issues such as IBS symptoms, diarrhea, and constipation.(1)
Probiotics build microscopic ecosystems alongside your cells and have all sorts of essential jobs. Along with balancing your digestive system, probiotics help regulate your immune system response, support healthy cholesterol levels, and even influence your mood.(2)
Now, that’s all well and good and a great reason to take a daily probiotic. But what we really want to know is can probiotics help you lose weight?
A recent review of a collection of studies on the effects of probiotics administered to overweight people compared with a placebo showed a significant reduction in body weight and body fat percentage.(3)
Other studies show that high gut microbiome diversity improves energy metabolism and correlates with less weight gain independent of calories consumed.(4) Considering the numerous studies done on the subject, a growing body of research suggests that the answer is yes; having a diverse variety of probiotics in your gut does positively impact weight loss.
Your microbiome is a community that numbers in the trillions and, when healthy, is incredibly diverse. Many different probiotic species, also called strains, make up this community. Of these, the Lactobacillus family shows the most promising effect on your weight.(5)
Success Is in the Strains
For instance, strains from the Lactobacillus species have been shown to help reduce belly fat.(6) And more specifically, the probiotic strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus gasseri seem to help you trim down by reducing your appetite and restricting the amount of dietary fat your body absorbs.(1,7)
The natural conclusion is that when your digestive system has more of these helpful probiotic strains than harmful bacteria, it’s easier for you to maintain a slimmer physique.
Lifestyle Is a Factor
The other thing that numerous studies have discovered is that your lifestyle and what you eat dramatically influence your microbiome. The typical Western diet— loaded with sugar, fat, processed food, and animal products—has been linked to microbes that promote weight gain.
When your gut balance tips in the more negative direction and harmful strains are allowed to flourish, your weight may increase as fat storage around the middle. Eat a lot of fiber-rich plant foods, and you’ll feed your microbiome in a way that helps eliminate obesity-causing bacteria.(4)
Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to alter the composition of your gut bacteria. In one Harvard study, researchers found that changes in diet could affect a person’s gut microbes in as little as one day.(1)
Diversity Is the Key
Probiotic supplements provide a boost to the friendly bacteria that naturally live in your gut. The best probiotic supplements have a diversity of strains that collectively help digestive-related issues, like diarrhea, bowel irregularity, and cramps, while promoting general health like urinary tract and vaginal wellness, immune system health, and mental wellbeing.
If you aim to drop a few pounds and inches – especially around the middle – then choose a quality probiotic that contains a high count of colony-forming units (CFU) of the Lactobacillus family like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics.
Dynamic Biotics contains 11 Lactobacillus probiotic strains (plus five others) in 51 billion CFU’s including Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus gasseri. Dynamic Biotics can help re-balance and re-culture your gut microbiome for optimum health and lend a hand in helping you achieve your weight loss goals.
Keep reading: If you missed the first two parts of our weight loss series, check out these other blogs for more tips and tricks for success.
1. Harvard Medical School “Lose Weight and Keep It Off.”
4. “How The Microbiome Affects Human Health, Explained”. 2022. University Of Chicago News. news.uchicago.edu/explainer/how-microbiome-affects-human-health-explained
6. Regulation of abdominal adiposity by probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055) in adults with obese tendencies in a randomized controlled trial – PubMed (pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20216555/)
7. Anti-obesity effect of Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 accompanied by inhibition of pro-inflammatory gene expression in the visceral adipose tissue in diet-induced obese mice – PubMed (pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23917447/)