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PROBIOTICS: CAN THEY HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?

INTRODUCTION

The number of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract greatly outnumbers the cells in your body: your gut has 100 trillion microorganisms and your body about 10 trillion cells! The micro-flora in your gut is a living inner ecosystem that is becoming a favorite topic among scientists and nutritionists alike, and you may be wise to listen to what the newest research is revealing. 


Your Gut Bacteria May Influence How Many Calories You Absorb From Your Food 

Part of the obesity puzzle may be due to the kind of bacteria you have in your intestine. Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis found that obese people have more bacteria called Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes than lean people.  

Research on obese mice found that they were more efficient at extracting calories from food and depositing those calories in fat than lean mice. And when the bacteria from the obese mice were transplanted into the lean mice, they gained twice as much fat. 


Good Bacteria Help Gastric-Bypass Patients Lose Weight Faster 

Stanford University researchers recently found that people who take probiotics after gastric bypass surgery lose weight faster than those who don’t. In fact, after three months, those who took probiotics had a 48% weight loss, compared with 39% among those who didn’t. 


Probiotics Help Women Lose Weight after Pregnancy  

Researchers from the University of Turku in Finland found that taking probiotics during the first trimester of pregnancy helped women lose weight after they give birth. 

One year after childbirth, women who got the probiotics had the lowest levels of central obesity as well as the lowest body fat percentage. 


Other Benefits of Probiotics in your Body 

Probiotics lower the pH of your colon and kill disease-causing microbes protecting you from illness. Probiotics enhance your immune system (70% of your immune system is located in your digestive system). They produce vitamins A, B and K, enhance peristalsis, and make lactase for milk digestion. Probiotics ferment dietary fiber, producing short-chained fatty acids, one of which is called butyric acid (having low levels of butyric acid has been associated with ulcerative colitis, colon cancer, active colitis and inflammatory bowel disease). They are widely used to:

· Prevent infections after surgery 

· Treat acute and chronic diarrhea 

· Relieve inflammatory bowel disease 

· Treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 

· Protect against cancer development and progression 

· Improve eczema in children 

· Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections 

· Help reduce systemic allergic response 


Are You Getting Enough Probiotics? 

When we are born, most of us begin with a clean slate; unborn babies are equipped with their own friendly bacteria, and after they are born breast milk help those bacteria to grow and flourish. 

Many people consume diets based on processed and pasteurized foods that are devoid of the friendly bacteria we need.  Foods that is naturally fermented, non-pasteurized, and rich in probiotics are: Kefir, Kvass, Yogurt, Sauerkraut, Natto (fermented soy). 

Overuse of antibiotics not only kills the bad bacteria that may be causing your illnesses, but ALL bacteria, including the good bacteria in your digestive tract. Because of this, many natural health experts believe it is important to take probiotic supplements if you have recently finished a round of antibiotics. 


What Probiotics to Take for Maximum Effectiveness 

In choosing a probiotic supplement for yourself, keep in mind that probiotic organisms must survive three critical barriers to be a benefit to you: 

1. The manufacturing process 

2. Time on the shelf 

3. Transit through the acidic environment of your stomach 

Strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most commonly used probiotic bacteria in dietary supplements. There are over 35 species of Bifidobacteria and 125 species of Lactobacilli making up the majority of gut microflora found in your large bowel or colon. 

Probiotic supplements should contain 10 to 15 billion organisms per dose delivered over an extended time frame (10-12 hours).  

While probiotics may help your body achieve its ideal weight, you should use them in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise if you’re trying to lose weight.  Your practitioner can help you choose what Probiotic is best for you.


Quick Supplement Reference for Probiotic Support:

PROBIOTIC FORMULA

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In choosing a probiotic supplement for yourself, keep in mind that probiotic organisms must survive three critical barriers to be a benefit to you: 

1. The manufacturing process 

2. Time on the shelf 

3. Transit through the acidic environment of your stomach 

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