Scientific Study Reports Probiotics Can Help with Weight Loss

If you’ve been struggling to lose weight with a new diet or exercise program, adding a few nutritional supplements to the menu may be your best option.

Several scientific studies report that probiotics, the healthy bacteria found in the stomach and intestinal tract, may be effective at triggering weight loss. According to a study published in the Nature journal in 2006, gut microbial populations are different in people who are overweight or obese and in people who are slimmer. Scientists are finding that adding probiotics to the daily diet may in fact help to decrease belly fat by changing the way the body uses and stores calories.

According to Dr. John Morton, director of bariatric surgery at Stanford, “the number of calories taken in depends on the type of bacteria in the intestines. If the makeup of those bacteria changed, the amount of calories absorbed would change also. The difference may be minimal at first look, but over time, that deficit can add up.” (Source: imithome.org)

Researchers from Washington University report that the bacteria in the digestive tracts of overweight mice helped them absorb more calories from food. The same bacteria were implanted into the intestines of a set of lean mice and triggered weight gain. Results of this study indicate that the type of bacteria found in the digestive tract do determine how many calories the person is able to absorb at any given time.

Probiotics can easily be integrated into the diet in supplement form, or simply by eating foods that naturally contain probiotics. Foods that contain probiotics include yogurt, miso, tempeh, fermented and unfermented milk, soy beverages and some types of juices. Some prepared foods are enhanced with probiotics and added during preparation. In addition to prompting weight loss, having healthy intestinal flora can reduce the risk of certain types of infections, ward off tooth decay and keep inflammatory bowel disease at bay.

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