Probiotics and a healthy diet hasten weight loss

Looking for a new strategy to lose weight faster? Adhere to a healthy diet and take probiotics. A study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that a healthy diet together with probiotic treatment could speed up weight loss.

In the study led by the National Taiwan University, researchers aimed to determine if a probiotic Lactobacillus mali APS1 (isolated from sugary kefir grain), in combination with dieting, could enhance the potency of an obesity treatment, compared to dieting alone.

The study was based on earlier studies that discovered that the gut microbiome is helpful in reducing obesity risk and related metabolic problems and have shown an association between gut microbiome dysbiosis and obesity. Moreover, changes in the gut microbiome have been found to be linked to host metabolism factors, such as the regulation of appetite-related gut hormones and the progress of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

In conducting the study, researchers fed mice with a high-fat diet for six weeks, then treated them with either saline and a normal diet (as the control treatment), or the probiotic and a normal diet for three weeks.

Results showed that mice that received the APS1-diet combination exhibited faster weight loss and a decrease in caloric intake and fat accumulation in the mice compared to the control group. Moreover, their fecal microbiome showed that the weight loss due to the probiotic treatment and diet resulted in the restoration of intestinal microbiota to its pre-obesity state. In addition, the probiotic treatment altered the gut microbiome’s obesity-related metabolites, regulated lipid metabolism, improved energy expenditure, and suppressed the appetite of mice.

The researchers said that certain bacteria were either positively or negatively linked to specific APS1-mediated metabolites, supporting earlier research on the negative link between serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels and a specific bacterium in post-menopausal women. Based on the study’s findings, the researchers proposed that the link between particular gut microbiota and metabolites might be used to indicate metabolic diseases.

“Our results highlighted a possible microbiome and metabolome that contributed to accelerating weight loss, following treatment with a combination of APS1 and dieting, and suggested that probiotics could serve as a potential therapy for modulating (the) physiological function and downstream of the microbiota,” wrote the researchers.

Other probiotics you can add to your weight loss diet

Probiotics are known to help in the restoration of the balance of good and bad bacteria in the digestive system. In the gut, there are two families of bacteria: the Bacteroidetes or the “good” bacteria and the Firmicutes or the “bad” bacteria. Lean individuals carry more of the good bacteria while obese people have more bad bacteria. The bad bacteria efficiently extract the bad parts of food, such as fat and sugar. Thus, increasing the good bacteria can help fight obesity.

Here are other probiotics that are best for losing weight:

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosusA member of the Bacteriodetes family, this bacteria may be the best probiotic for weight loss. In a study by researchers at Université Laval in Quebec, Canada, overweight women who were on a weight-loss diet and took two L. rhamnosus probiotics lost twice as much weight compared to their counterparts who did not take the probiotics. (Related: Probiotics accelerate weight loss in women, say researchers.)
  • L. gasseri – This type of probiotics has been associated with reductions in weight and belly fat.
  • L. fermentum and L. amylovorus – These two probiotic types are also effective for weight loss. A study found that participants who ate yogurt with either one of these probiotics exhibited reductions in body fat by three to four percent within six weeks.
  • Probiotic foods – Aside from supplements, probiotics can be naturally found in foods like kefir, kombucha, natto, tempeh, probiotic yogurt, and miso.

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