It is thought that certain probiotics may inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, increasing the amount of fat excreted with feces. In other words they make you “harvest” fewer calories from the foods in your diet.
Lactobacillus family has been found to function this way.
Probiotics may reduce the number of calories you absorb from food. They also affect hormones and proteins related to appetite and fat storage. They may also reduce inflammation, which can drive obesity.
Probiotics may also fight obesity in other ways:
- Release of GLP-1: Probiotics may help release the satiety (appetite-reducing) hormone GLP-1. Increased levels of this hormone may help you burn calories and fat.
- Increase of ANGPTL4: Probiotics may increase levels of the protein ANGPTL4. This may lead to decreased fat storage.
There is also a lot of evidence that obesity is linked to inflammation in the brain. By improving gut health, probiotics may reduce systemic inflammation and protect against obesity and other diseases.
Studies have found that certain strains of the Lactobacillus family can help you lose weight and belly fat.
In one study, eating yogurt with Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus reduced body fat by 3–4% over a 6-week period.
Another study of 125 overweight dieters investigated the effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements on weight loss and weight maintenance.
During a 3-month study period, the women taking the probiotics lost 50% more weight compared to the group taking a dummy pill (placebo). They also continued to lose weight during the weight maintenance phase of the study.
Of all the probiotic bacteria studied to date, Lactobacillus gasseri shows the most promising effects on weight loss. Numerous studies in rodents have found that it has anti-obesity effects
One study followed 210 people with a lot of belly fat. It found that taking Lactobacillus gasseri for 12 weeks reduced body weight, fat around organs, BMI, waist size and hip circumference.
What’s more, belly fat was reduced by 8.5%. However, when participants stopped taking the probiotic, they gained back all of the belly fat within a month. Some strains of the Lactobacillus family have been shown to reduce weight and belly fat. Lactobacillus gasseri appears to be the most effective.