Tis the season of indulging and, consequently, weight gain. If you’re anything like us, this will have you revving up your weight-loss efforts. But what if you could preemptively combat weight gain at a microscopic level, from the inside out?
Researchers think you may be able to do just that. Here’s how.
Although the science community is just penetrating the surface of this field of study, we’ve found some pretty compelling research about the miracles probiotics can do for your waste line.
First, some important things to know.
Scientists believe that the microbiome, your gut’s underlying microbial ecology, may be linked to certain types of diabetes and obesity. Even more interesting is the link researchers have drawn between your gut and mental health. These revelations stress the powerful, far-reaching impact probiotics have on human health.
Knowing this, it came as no surprise that these little friends can work the keep your weight healthy and balanced. The idea behind this notion is that since an imbalance of gut microorganisms may be linked to obesity and diabetes, a balance could help maintain a healthier weight, even promoting weight loss.
A Noteworthy Study
Recently, a Virginia Tech research team evaluated two groups of men. They administered a placebo to one control group and a probiotic mix to another. After consuming the same high-fat, high-calorie diet, those who took the probiotic concoction had what Time reports as “…lower body mass gain and fat accumulation than those who didn’t.”
The same Time article goes on to explain that not one factor can be credited to this phenomenon. However, based on what we already know about probiotics, there are a couple possible theories about why this may have transpired.
Of the theories, the most convincing is that the probiotics worked to combat lipid absorption, making it harder to gain weight. On the other end of the spectrum, the placebo group may have gained weight due to their rapidly changing microbiome’s inability to absorb proper nutrients due to overeating, explains Time.
In another study, obese individuals were found to have more obese gut bacteria.
A Missoulian article discussed how in an experimental study where the gut bacteria of obese and lean human subjects was transferred to sterile mice, mice of each test group proceeded to develop body compositions similar to their human-donor counterparts. Interestingly, the mice that gained weight after receiving transferred gut bacteria from obese humans were able to lose weight after receiving a subsequent transfer from the leaner human donors.
This study brings home the idea of maintaining a microbial balance for weight regulation, stressing the need to develop and maintain healthy gut bacteria. Furthermore researchers found that “maintaining a healthy ratio of beneficial gut bacteria may enhance the metabolism of fat, control blood sugar, and regulate our hunger/satiety (fullness) hormones.”
A Final Word
Maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult, especially over the holidays. Adding probiotics to your diet is easy, though. Even better, probiotics are a pretty low risk change to your daily routine.* This combined with the amounting research pointing people to probiotics for weight regulation makes probiotics an obvious tool for combating weight gain over the holidays.
*Talk to you physician and discuss if probiotics are right for you. Your waste line may just count on it.