Probiotics for Weight Loss

Everyone is always looking for the elusive weight-loss magic bullet. Probiotics won’t come to the rescue – at least not yet. A lack of research makes the link between probiotics and weight loss wobbly.  However, there are emerging studies that indicate probiotics may aid in the fight against obesity. Probiotics can also be a beneficial tool in helping to maintain a diet regimen. 

What are probiotics? 

Known as “good bacteria” that live in our intestines or gut, probiotics are found in products such as yogurt, buttermilk, miso soup, tempeh, sauerkraut and Kombucha tea.  They also come in supplement form.   Some researchers believe that balancing the amount of good and bad bacteria in the digestive track has an effect on how many calories one absorbs from food. 

Dr. Eugene Steiner and Medical Director of probiotic supplement manufacturer Natren, Inc., believes that the good bacteria stems the side effects of weight loss programs, making it easier on dieters.  “Natren's products will lessen gastrointestinal complications that come along with weight loss programs, such as occasional gas, bloating and constipation,” Dr. Steiner says.  “In a concept trial [Natren] had, these measures were significantly reduced, giving a higher success result to those trying to lose weight.”

Probiotics and obesity

Probiotics might be helpful in the fight against obesity.  Take this University of Tennessee study, for example:  One group of obese men and women were put on a low-calorie diet including three daily portions of yogurt; another group of obese men and women ate the same amount but cut out most dairy. Over the course of three months, the former group lost 81 percent more belly fat and 61 percent more body fat than the non-dairy consumers, according to the study.  The yogurt group also benefited from more metabolism-boosting muscle. Research is ongoing.

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