There is no definitive research showing that probiotics directly help you lose weight.
Commercial probiotics may not survive in your gut and are therefore would be ineffective.
However, probiotic foods are usually part of a healthy, well-balanced diet, so chow down.
Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
There’s no clear evidence that taking probiotics …….
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- There is no definitive research showing that probiotics directly help you lose weight.
- Commercial probiotics may not survive in your gut and are therefore would be ineffective.
- However, probiotic foods are usually part of a healthy, well-balanced diet, so chow down.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
There’s no clear evidence that taking probiotics can help you
How often should you take probiotics? What researchers know so far
Yes, researchers have discovered that leaner people have different types of microbes in their gut compared to people who are
. And people who are obese who lose weight experience a change in their microbiome where it more closely resembles that of lean people.
However, there’s no probiotic pill out there that will make you lose weight. Here we break down what researchers have found so far.
Changing gut bacteria may be a result of weight loss, not the cause
It’s unclear from the research, so far, whether losing weight causes your microbiome to change or if changing your microbiome causes you to lose weight.
For example, an article published in Nutrition Today in 2017 found that bacteria associated with leaner individuals called Bacteroidetes increased in obese individuals when they participated in a weight loss diet without any other intervention.
When the study participants were put on a weight gain diet, the bacteria associated with obesity, Firmicutes, increased by 20% while Bacteriodetes decreased by 20%. This suggests that changes in bacteria are the result of weight loss, or gain, instead of the cause.
So eating more probiotics, alone, probably won’t trigger weight loss.
But for the sake of argument, let’s consider that eating probiotics may play a role in helping people to lose weight. There’s another problem with that take: the strains don’t add up.
Probiotic foods don’t contain the right strains
The bacteria common in most commercially available probiotics aren’t necessarily the same type that are associated with leaner individuals, and researchers aren’t sure if the bacteria in commercial probiotics can even survive, let alone thrive, in the gut.
Therefore, simply taking a probiotic supplement is not going to make a difference in your weight if you don’t make the necessary changes to your diet. And so far, researchers have only found probiotic supplements to help with certain medical conditions and in limited ways — of which obesity is not one.
All that said, foods containing probiotics are often part of a healthy, balanced diet. So, if you’re swapping processed foods for probiotic foods, this could help you lose weight because you’re getting more of the right types of food …….