Probiotics – A Natural way to Assist Weight Loss?
Could probiotics be a natural way to assist weight loss? Over the past few years there have been several studies and trials looking at the theory that gut bacteria could influence weight. There seems to be a clear indication that the gut bacteria of people who are obese is different to that of leaner people, and that probiotics could encourage weight loss.
Although it is not known for certain how probiotics can assist in promoting weight loss, it is thought that the benefits of consuming probiotics could include a better breakdown of foods and displacement of pathogenic bacteria associated with weight gain.
Stimulating the body’s production of natural substances is associated with decreased body fat. For example L. acidophilus has been found to increase the body’s production of leptin – a protein commonly accepted to decrease appetite and increase metabolism.
There also appears to be a correlation between obesity & digestive health issues such as constipation. On-going research in the USA by Dr Mark Pimental suggests that those with constipation could be absorbing more calories, potentially because when the gut performs at a slower rate the body has more time to absorb calories. Probiotics could help to support bowel regularity with a more efficient digestive process leading to fewer calories being absorbed.
In England obesity rates have doubled over the last 25 years, with 60% of adults now overweight or obese. Any natural support in tackling this obesity epidemic could therefore play a fundamental role in the future. Currently evidence remains too sparse for any firm conclusions, although the results certainly look promising.
Taking a holistic approach and also looking at diet, fitness and exercise is absolutely essential. If you want to try a high quality probiotic supplement there is no harm in doing so; increasing research stresses the benefits of topping up your body’s friendly bacteria, for weight loss or not. What’s more, for those of you looking to lose weight via dieting or new fitness regimes, supporting your digestive health can only be a positive step.
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