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Probiotics and Weight Loss: A Strong Connection

A lot of people think that bacteria are harmful and that we should always stay away from it. Numerous commercials have told us that over the years, but there is some exciting news for people who do not know much about bacteria. Our body apparently hosts trillions of bacteria in every second of our lives, and most of it is good for us. Recent studies into our bacteria have shown that these good bacteria that are also called probiotics can influence our general health in many different ways.  Luckily, probiotics can also be beneficial when it comes to weight loss and weight management.

Although probiotics are not the most developed field of research, some people think that these good bacteria can completely change the market and the science of weight loss and obesity treatment. Could this product be so revolutionary at some point? Let us check the facts.

First, let us understand what precisely these good bacteria are. Scientifically, these probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that can offer various health benefits when they are consumed in the appropriate amount. In other words, they are very tiny bacteria that we consume to influence our health positively.

Some of you may be wondering “Well, why should I consume this if my body already hosts trillions of probiotics inside of it?” Although that is a hundred percent true, those probiotics might not be there forever. First, we tend to reduce their number ourselves, by taking antibiotics for example. These are the opposite of probiotics, and they are their most common enemy. Antibiotics means against life. Although this is good in some cases because it can kill off the bad bacteria so that we get rid of different infections and diseases, antibiotics also kill off the good bacteria.

Now, you should not start thinking that your doctor is evil for prescribing you antibiotics, no way. To help put things into perspective, experts believe that our bodies carry ten times more probiotics than actual human body cells. So when you think about what antibiotics do, the damage is not quite as significant as you would think. Even so, when medicines are consumed, the balance between good and harmful bacteria gets disturbed. This can also happen for different reasons, for example, the balance can be influenced because of various environmental factors. Because antibiotics kill and inhibit the growth and recreation of all bacteria, not just the bad kinds, long-term use of antibiotics is very dangerous and not recommended. Studies have shown that it can lead to severe health problems. All of these microorganisms and the balance they strike together form our gut flora. When the balanced is tipped over too much towards the bad side, it can strongly influence your digestive health.

On the other hand, probiotics encourage the growth of good bacteria and help balance things out. The more probiotics you consume, the healthier you will be. But now let us talk about the reason most people are interested in probiotics and their health benefits. A lot of us want to lose weight and stay in shape without making much effort, but that is believed to be impossible. Probiotics may not be able to give you your dream body instantly, but they can certainly help.

Different strains of probiotics seem to have different effects on everyone. The main probiotics people consume are called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which are also known as Firmicutes.  Now, because their strains seem to have such different effects on different people, it can be a little tricky to know if they can make everyone lose weight. The research that has been done is also a little bit mixed, but there have been a few studies that clearly proved that weight could be lost through regularly consuming probiotics. Some strains have appeared to have the ability to reduce fat mass and body weight for some people, and the same strains have shown properties that could prevent weight gain in the future.

Unfortunately, only a small number of clinical studies on probiotic effects have been published until now. The main strains that have been proved to be useful for some people are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which can also be easily found in everyday foods. Some of the strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have been linked to weight loss, having properties that can combat obesity. But you should do your research before trying to use probiotics for weight loss purposes because there have been some species and strains that seem to have properties that help with weight gain instead of weight loss.

From the limited amount of clinical data that is currently available, we can notice that one probiotic strain is above all of the others when it comes to weight loss. This strain is called Lactobacillus gasseri and, like most probiotics, it is most commonly found in our digestive systems but it can also be often found in the vaginal tract in women, where it protects the area against any possible infections.

This particular strain has been proven to improve the metabolic rate. A recent study has proved that those who regularly consumed Lactobacillus gasseri eliminated a lot more fat than the ones who do not. The experts who conducted this specific trial think that this strain of probiotics can reduce the absorption of the fat we consume in the small intestine, which means it also reduces the calories we take in. The trial took place over a period of only two weeks, and although the change was clear to see on the statistics, it was not significant enough for the subjects to notice a huge change in the way they looked.

Similar results have been noticed in an older Japanese study. That trial showed that regular consumption of fermented milk that contained Lactobacillus gasseri could help burn the fat that was built around organs and it can assist with significant weight loss. This particular strain also comes with mutual health benefits like regulated cholesterol levels, better health of the respiratory system and relief for menstrual pain.

About Christine Miller

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