Can probiotics help us lose weight? The answer from a dietician-nutritionist

Can probiotics help us lose weight?  The answer from a dietician-nutritionist

Find your figure with probiotics? It’s possible ! We knew the power of these bacteria on our health, in particular immunity, absorption of nutrients, digestive comfort… but probiotics have another string to their bow: they promote weight loss and help burn fat. What is the link between probiotics and weight loss? What are the strains of probiotics to favor for weight loss? In what products and foods can we find them? Florence Foucaut, dietitian-nutritionist, tells you everything.

Let’s start with a quick reminder about probiotics: in 2001, probiotics were defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as being “live microorganisms which, when ingested in sufficient quantities, exert positive effects on health, beyond traditional nutritional effects. In other words, it is “good bacteria“, naturally present in the oral flora, the intestinal flora and the vaginal flora, essential for maintaining good health.

What are probiotics used for?

In nutrition, these good bacteria, present by the billions in our microbiota, have the role of limiting the proliferation of pathogenic and harmful microorganisms (“bad bacteria”). When the latter are in excess, they can cause different disorders and diseases (we speak of dysbiosis). If probiotics have many benefits, here are their 4 main roles:

Probiotics regulate intestinal problems

Very present in the intestinal flora, probiotics have the benefits of maintaining good digestive function and treating disorders that may arise. “These good bacteria help regulate intestinal problems such as abdominal pain, episodes of constipation and diarrhea, digestive disorders, bloating and flatulence, nausea and vomiting.“, lists Florence Foucaut, dietician-nutritionist. Ensuring a good intake of probiotics is therefore the guarantor of a healthy digestive and intestinal sphere.

Probiotics prevent vaginal infections

An imbalance in the vaginal flora would be linked to the development of infections such as urinary tract infections, cystitis and mycoses. As good bacteria are not in sufficient numbers, the vulvo-genital area becomes a breeding ground for the development of pathogenic bacteria responsible for these diseases. Rebalancing this microbiota helps keep these female disorders at bay.

Probiotics Relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

These strains have an impact on bowel syndrome as well as Crohn’s disease. Meta-analyses have shown that probiotics improve the health of patients by reducing the intensity of abdominal pain and the frequency of bowel movements. So much so that probiotics are part of the therapeutic arsenal prescribed by gastroenterologists to treat these health problems.

Probiotics strengthen the immune system

They are the bane of viruses, microbes and other fungi! The intestine is the main entry point for these bacteria, which are responsible for infectious diseases. “To protect the body from external attacks, 70% of the body’s defense cells are located in the intestinal flora, says our expert. Also, by ensuring a surplus of good bacteria, probiotics strengthen the barrier activity of the microbiota and, in the event of infections, significantly stimulate the level of antibodies, maximizing protection against viruses.“.

How to lose weight with probiotics?

But the benefits of these good bacteria don’t stop there! If, to effectively lose weight, nutrition has a key role to play, enriching your diet with probiotic substances can be a good slimming boost because these products would be real allies in cases of overweight and obesity. “Studies have shown that overweight and obese people have a dysregulation of the intestinal microbiota, the composition of their intestinal flora being very different from that of thinner people., notes Florence Foucaut. Many avenues are being studied: certain bad bacteria present in quantity in our intestinal flora would tend to reduce energy expenditure1thus promoting weight gain, while the E. Coli bacteria, when in excess in our intestinal microbiota, would neutralize melanotropin, a hormone involved in satiety, thus pushing people to eat more2,3.

By promoting the balance of intestinal flora and fighting against the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria, probiotic strains have the effects of regulating food intake, relaunching basic metabolism and stimulating the elimination of fats present in the organism, particularly at the abdominal level“, constate Florence Foucaut.

As a result, excess weight disappears, the silhouette becomes slimmer and excess fat is eliminated naturally. An asset both for the figure but also for health, visceral fats being a significant risk factor, predisposing to type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and sleep apnea.

What probiotics help you lose weight?

If all probiotic strains work to regulate the intestinal flora, thus helping to eliminate excess weight in cases of overweight and obesity, some of them have specific slimming properties: they thus have an increased effect on the elimination of kilos and loss of fat mass. These are three particular strains: Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus rhamononus and Bifido bacterium breve. Each of its strains has its own role:

Lactobacillus rhamonus

This probiotic strain promotes weight loss4 : 125 overweight people took a placebo or a Lactobacillus rhamonus supplement in capsule form for 12 weeks. As a result, at the end of the trial, the women who took the supplement lost 4.4 kg compared to 2.6 kg for the placebo group. A reduction in fat mass (adiposity) was also noted in these same women as well as their BMI.

Lactobacillus gasseri

This probiotic allows a significant elimination of abdominal fat by promoting the release of fat by the body and helps refine the silhouette5. Slimming benefits due to the appetite-regulating properties of the Lactobacillus gasseri strain since this probiotic helps control the production of leptin, a hormone that manages our satiety in the long term, as well as its “fat-burning” capabilities, thanks to the activation of certain genes. Finally, the lactobacillus glasseri strain would act by reducing the risks of insulin resistance, often linked to the development of visceral fats, thus helping to find a flatter stomach.

Bifido bacterium breve

This strain regulates the feeling of hunger by balancing leptin production, accelerates fat and weight loss.6. “Subjects who consumed the probiotic Bifido bacterium breve also saw their blood glucose, triglycerides and total cholesterol levels reduced. adds Florence Foucaut.

Where are probiotics found?

These three “slimming strains” are “lactis” type probiotics, meaning they are present in fermented dairy products such as yogurts and cheeses. However, all probiotics help regulate the balance of the microbiota and contribute to the “slimming” building. If these good bacteria are naturally present in our food, these foods are particularly rich in them:

Dairy products

Yogurts, blue cheeses (Roquefort, blue, Fourme, etc.), rind cheeses (Camembert, Brie, Musnter, etc.) and fermented milks (buttermilk, milk kefir, etc.)

Fermented drinks.

Fruit kefir, kombucha, unpasteurized beer…

Fermented vegetables and root vegetables.

Cabbage (sauerkraut), beets, carrots and Jerusalem artichokes.

Soy derivatives

Miso, tofu, soy sauce and tempeh.

And also…

Sourdough bread, brewer’s yeast, olives, pickles, onion, garlic, shallots…

Probiotic strains also exist as food supplements. These products come in the form of capsules or powder to be diluted in a glass of water. They are to be taken as a treatment lasting several months. They are available in pharmacies, drugstores and health food stores.

How to use probiotics to lose weight?

Probiotic strains can be a real boost in your weight loss program. It is recommended to include foods rich in these active ingredients in your menu every day or to take these probiotics in the form of food supplements. “But these products are not magic, and just taking these good bacteria will not be enough to make you lose weight.warns the dietitian. The best way to lose weight is to adopt a balanced and diversified diet, of which foods rich in probiotics are an integral part, and to practice regular physical activity.. Do not hesitate to seek advice from your doctor, nutritionist or dietitian.

In addition, to optimize the action of probiotics, it is recommended to consume them with prebiotics. These are fibers, mainly fructo-oligosaccharides and galacto-oligosaccharides, whose role is to “feed” these good bacteria in order to promote their growth and make them even more effective. These food substances are found in plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, cereals, etc.