Probiotics taken daily to help maintain a healthy microbiome have long been known to improve digestion, bolster your immune system, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and even improve your mood. These reasons alone make probiotics a great way to support your overall health.
Additionally, you may have heard that probiotics can help you lose weight. Many studies have been conducted on the topic, and the results are fairly clear; probiotics can be an effective tool when taken regularly, particularly if you want to reduce belly fat. (1)
How Probiotics Help With Weightloss
Probiotics can help you lose and maintain a healthy weight in six key ways:
1.) Probiotics help your body produce several essential nutrients, including specific B vitamins and vitamin K. Nutrients allow your body to maintain a healthy metabolism. (2)
2.) Probiotics help digest fiber, turning it into beneficial short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, influencing your appetite and energy use. (3)
3.) Probiotics may inhibit fat absorption, so more fat is excreted with your poop instead of stored throughout your body. (4)
4.) Probiotics may help release appetite-reducing hormones like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY). The more of these two hormones you have, the more fat and calories your body burns. (5)
5.) Probiotics may increase levels of the protein angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4), which may lead to decreased fat storage. (6)
6.) Probiotics may help reduce the risk of chronic inflammation, which has been linked to obesity. (7-8)
In summary, your body may absorb fewer calories and excrete more fat with probiotics. Additionally, probiotics affect hormones and proteins involved in appetite suppression and fat storage, as well as inflammation, which can cause weight gain.
Success is in the Strains
Recent studies on probiotics and weight loss in overweight and obese people suggest probiotics in the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families are the most likely to help you lose weight and reduce belly fat.
Among all the probiotic strains, Lactobacillus gasseri shows the most promising results. Several studies have shown that it has anti-obesity properties.
L. gasseri is a unique probiotic species that produces lactic acid, which helps maintain a healthy digestive system. (9) L. gasseri also supports leptin levels, which decline when you try to lose weight. Low leptin levels trigger the body to slow metabolism to conserve energy. (10)
According to a study following people with significant amounts of belly fat, taking Lactobacillus gasseri for 12 weeks reduced fat around organs, body mass index (BMI), waist size, hip circumference, and body weight. Furthermore, belly fat shrunk by 8.5%. (11)
Another study published in the Korean Journal of Family Medicine found that L. gasseri supplements help reduce body weight and waist circumference in obese adults. (12) In a similar study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, obese adults who consumed L. gasseri lost a significant amount of abdominal visceral and subcutaneous fat and experienced reduced overall body weight. (13)
Probiotics of other strains may also help reduce weight and belly fat.
In an 8-week study, overweight and obese women took either a placebo or probiotics that included strains of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, along with eating a sensible diet. The probiotic group lost significantly more belly fat than the placebo group. (14)
One study found that 125 overweight dieters using L. rhamnoses supplements lost 50% more weight than those taking placebos. And during the weight maintenance phase, these dieters continued to lose weight. (15)
People with significant belly fat were also found to lose belly fat and reduce BMI and waist circumference by taking Bifidobacterium lactis every day for three months. Women showed the most dramatic results in this study. (16)
A Word about Balance
When your microbiome is out of balance, there are not enough helpful probiotic bacteria to keep the harmful ones in check. It also means that probiotic strain diversity is relatively lower.
Researchers have found that moderate-weight people have different gut bacteria than overweight and obese people. More specifically, overweight people have less diverse gut bacteria than lean people. (17)
Choosing a Probiotic
There isn’t a magic fat-melting pill, despite what you might hear on TikTok and YouTube videos. To lose weight and keep it off, you need to make permanent lifestyle changes that promote a healthy body, such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy balanced diet.
Having said that, taking a quality daily probiotic like Dynamic Biotics™ from Stonehenge Health can help accelerate your results.
With 16 unique probiotic strains in 51 billion colony-forming units (CFUs), Dynamic Biotics™ balances your microbiome and helps mimic the gut diversity of a lean person.
Dynamic Biotics™ also contains L. gasseri, L. rhamnosus, and B. Lactic – the strains most proven to help reduce belly fat, BMI, and waist circumference.
Dynamic Biotics™ boosts the friendly bacteria that naturally live in your gut. Its diversity of strains collectively helps relieve digestive-related issues, such as bowel irregularity, cramps, and bloating. In addition, it promotes the health of your urinary tract, immune system, and mental well-being.
2. 1. Rowland, Ian, Glenn Gibson, Almut Heinken, Karen Scott, Jonathan Swann, Ines Thiele, and Kieran Tuohy. 2017. “Gut Microbiota Functions: Metabolism Of Nutrients And Other Food Components”. European Journal Of Nutrition 57 (1): 1-24. doi:10.1007/s00394-017-1445-8.
9. Asakura, H., and T. Kitahora. 2013. “Antioxidants In Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, And Crohn Disease”. Bioactive Food As Dietary Interventions For Liver And Gastrointestinal Disease, 37-53. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-397154-8.00012-9.
10. “Leptin And Metabolism”. 2022. Endocrine.Org. https://www.endocrine.org/journals/endocrine-reviews/leptin-and-metabolism.
13. Kadooka, Y, M Sato, K Imaizumi, A Ogawa, K Ikuyama, Y Akai, M Okano, M Kagoshima, and T Tsuchida. 2010. “Regulation Of Abdominal Adiposity By Probiotics (Lactobacillus Gasseri SBT2055) In Adults With Obese Tendencies In A Randomized Controlled Trial”. European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition 64 (6): 636-643. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2010.19.
16. Uusitupa, Henna-Maria, Pia Rasinkangas, Markus J. Lehtinen, Sanna M. Mäkelä, Kaisa Airaksinen, Heli Anglenius, Arthur C. Ouwehand, and Johanna Maukonen. 2020. “Bifidobacterium Animalis Subsp. Lactis 420 For Metabolic Health: Review Of The Research”. Nutrients 12 (4): 892. doi:10.3390/nu12040892.
17. Abenavoli, Ludovico, Emidio Scarpellini, Carmela Colica, Luigi Boccuto, Bahare Salehi, Javad Sharifi-Rad, and Vincenzo Aiello et al. 2019. “Gut Microbiota And Obesity: A Role For Probiotics”. Nutrients 11 (11): 2690. doi:10.3390/nu11112690.