Probiotic supplements are one of the fastest-growing health trends, and for good reason – they have tons of benefits. One thing that many people want to take advantage of is the fact that probiotics can help with burning fat. Read on to learn about some of the best probiotics for weight loss.
What Are Probiotics, and Why Do I Need Them?
Many people often think of bacteria as being harmful to the body – however, this only paints part of the picture. Although external bacteria can harm you if they enter your body, your digestive system also houses 100 trillion beneficial bacteria from 500 different species (source), forming an integral part of your digestive and immune systems.
Without these gut flora, you probably would not be able to survive.
The relationship between humans and their gut flora is described as being mutually beneficial. The human host provides the microorganisms with a warm, safe place to live, along with plenty of food. In return, the microorganisms help you digest food, absorb nutrients, and keep out the bacteria that can harm you – they do this by taking all the available space and food for themselves, preventing harmful bacteria from moving in.
If the balance in your intestinal microorganisms becomes disrupted, it can negatively impact your health. One of the most common causes of a gut flora disruption is taking an antibiotic. Although antibiotics are helpful in that they kill off harmful bacteria, they take out a lot of the good bacteria as well. This gut flora disruption can cause side effects such as diarrhea.
Probiotics have been scientifically defined as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” (source) Probiotics include traditional foods such as yogurt, kefir, miso, kimchi and sauerkraut, but also pills and capsules specifically manufactured with microorganisms inside.
Adding probiotic foods, or taking a probiotic supplement, can have a wide variety of benefits on your health.
The most common use, and possibly the most scientifically supported use for probiotics is regulating digestion. IBS, IBD, infectious diarrhea, and antibiotic-related diarrhea can all be successfully treated with probiotics. (source) Chronic gas, constipation, and bloating can also be relieved with probiotics.
Some minor uses for probiotics include improving the immune system, treating eczema, and treating and preventing vaginal yeast infections. Those who take probiotics regularly report a decreased frequency of colds – in fact, a common saying is that 80% of your immune system is located in your digestive system.
It may come as a surprise, but there is even evidence that using probiotics can help you lose weight. In a study done in Japan, over 200 overweight people were made to drink seven ounces of fermented milk daily for twelve weeks – some of these people drank milk with added probiotics, and others did not.
After 12 weeks, those who drank the probiotic fermented milk lost up to 9% of their visceral fat, which is the fat that surrounds your heart and other organs and is the most unhealthy type of fat to have too much of. (source)
Researchers believe that this weight-loss effect is due to the added organisms consuming the excess nutrients and calories that the person doesn’t need. (source) The results of the study suggest that consuming probiotics on a daily basis could help you towards your weight-loss goals.
However, it should be noted that although probiotics can certainly help, it’s not enough to lose a significant amount of fat if you don’t also keep a moderate diet and exercise regularly.
What to Look for in a Probiotic Supplement
The most effective probiotic supplements have a few characteristics in common that you should look for when shopping. The higher the number of organisms per serving, the better, and a wide variety of strains is also good. Timed-release capsules, or capsules that are designed to withstand the forces of stomach acid, are more effective than other types of pills.
Prebiotics are nutrients that feed the existing bacteria that are already living inside you. Look for a probiotic containing a prebiotic for maximum effectiveness. Here’s a video with more information about prebiotics.
If you choose to buy your probiotics online, look for one that doesn’t require refrigeration. Many probiotic supplements need to be kept cool, or else the organisms may die. Because you can’t refrigerate your supplements while they’re being shipped to you (and who knows how long that will take), it’s best to choose a supplement that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
5 of the Best Probiotics for Weight Loss
If you’re taking probiotics to aid in your weight loss, the supplement I would most recommend is BioGanix BIOPRO-50. It gives you 50 billion organisms daily, which should speed up your metabolism faster than others that provide fewer organisms. BioGanix BIOPRO-50 will also give you heightened energy – which naturally causes you to eat less and move around more, compounding on the great weight loss effects.
The next runner-up is Hyperbiotics PRO-15, because it has a high number of strains and the capsules are designed to deliver as many organisms to your gut as possible. However, since BIOPRO-50 still has ten times as many organisms, it overshadows Hyperbiotics PRO-15. Additionally, fewer people report side effects from BIOPRO-50 than from Hyperbiotics PRO-15.