Do do probiotics really help shrink belly fat?
Few years ago, the gut bacteria from a very fat mice was transplanted into the gut of a lean mice and interestingly, the lean mice grew very fat.
Research into the subject of probiotics came about 20 years ago and they have been known and proven to lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, cure acne, eczema, some skin diseases and lots more..
But do they shrink belly fat
Relax and find out .
Table of Content:
• What are probiotics?
• Why do we need probiotics?
• Probiotics and belly fat;
• The other side to probiotics;
• Probiotics, prebiotics and belly fat;
• The final verdict : Do Probotics shrink belly fat.
• WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?
Probiotics are live microorganisms which have immense health benefits when ingested.
They are usually bacteria and in few cases, yeasts. They can be found in the guts ( also referred to as the gastrointestinal tract).
You might have heard about “prebiotics” but not to worry, we’ll talk about it later on in the article.
To fully understand probiotics, we need to take a “sneak peek” into the “GUTS“ because that is where most of the probiotics reside.
The gut is the part of the body consisting of the small and large intestine all in the belly.
It is basically responsible for extracting energy from the food we eat, absorbing the necessary nutrients and eliminating the waste products from the body.
The gut is made up of a community of microorganisms called “microbiome“ . This community consists of bacteria, yeasts, fungi, etc but in this community, there are only 2 important families known types( the BACTERIODETES and the FIRMICUTES) .
Now, while those names might not sound familiar, these bacteria are not only good to us, they are essential for us. We call them the “good bacteria“ .
Think of it as a mutualistic relationship between our bodies and these bacteria – they benefit us and we benefit them. But when we don’t benefit them, they begin to act up and might harm us.
This is why it’s important to keep those “good bacteria” good, haha.
• WHY DO WE NEED PROBIOTICS?
Since our body naturally contains a lot of the good bacteria already, why do we need probiotics?
You see, the balance of the two bacteria families mentioned above is very important to our health but sometimes, there is an imbalance due to stress, not sleeping enough, taking lots of refined carbohydrates foods, sugars, soft drinks, etc.
We need these probiotics to restore that balance and to increase the number of good bacteria in the body so as to fight the bad bacteria.
• BELLY FAT AND PROBIOTICS
Let’s take a short break with this exercise, shall we?
Okay, take a measuring tape and measure the circumference of your waist.
What was it? 20 inches? 40 inches? 45 inches or even more?
Well, if your measurement was about 35 inches, then you have belly fat which is also called “abdominal obesity.”
Trust me, nobody is attracted to a man with a fat belly. Heck, it’s even worse for ladies.
Not only that, belly fat has been associated over the years with heart diseases, diabetes, to name a few.
Now, where does probiotics come in? Where does the gut even come in? Wait a while, I’ll tell you.
Remember the 2 bacteria families that are in the gut microbiome?
Studies reveal that the balance of these bacteria affects body weight in a way.
It is even said that fat or obese people have more firmicutes and lesser bacteriodetes compared to normal weight people.
Remember the experiment performed years ago that I mentioned at the beginning of this article?
Yeah, the mice. The bacteria from the fat mice was transferred into the gut of the lean mice so the lean mice grew fat..very fat.
This implies that the bacteria in fat people is different from the ones in normal – size people.
Belly fat is usually caused by consumption of foods high in carbs like white rice, white pasta, white sugars, artificial sweetners, etc
These foods affect the gut microbiome and cause an imbalance.
What the probiotic does is to inhibit the absorption of dietary fats so that there are lots of fats to excrete as feces which will in turn shrink or shed belly fat.
• THE OTHER SIDE TO PROBIOTICS
Like I said earlier, research into the concept of probiotics came about 20 years ago and that is still not enough time to fully clear our doubts on whether taking probiotics and their supplements are healthy enough.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a strain of probiotics that may lead to weight gain.
Lactobacillus gasseri is one of the best probiotic for shedding belly fat.
Some of the very good probiotics are yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, bifidobacterium, etc.
Excess intake of probiotics may cause flatulence( commonly known as passing gas), constipation, and even bloating.
It is important that I state that probiotics don’t work for everyone and might even be harmful in some cases.
• PROBIOTICS, PREBIOTICS AND BELLY FAT
Since we now know that the balance of the gut microbiome can affect belly fat and body weight generally, how can we maintain the health of the gut microbiome?
This is where prebiotics come in.
Prebiotics are the foods that the probiotics feed on.
They are essential for proper function of the probiotics.
We know them; beans, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, foods rich in fiber ( mostly soluble or viscose fiber) are all prebiotics.
They are those things that keep the probiotics working healthy and well.
If you consume enough probiotics and feed on refined carbs, junks, etc, the probiotics won’t work. It’s like taking a step forward and taking the same step backward. See? No movement at all.
• FINAL VERDICT
I’m sure by now, you’ve found the answers.
Probiotics are good bacteria and we need these good bacteria in our body so that they can fight the bad bacteria.
There are good food sources of probiotics and yogurt is one of the best sources.
Taking probiotics without prebiotics is a futile business.
Probiotics have potential source to reduce belly fat by inhibiting absorption of fat from our foods.
However, there are still lots of questions unanswered.
Should you consume probiotics to shed belly fat?
I would say, consult your doctor before you take probiotics and supplements.
Let us look beyond these small live micro organisms and start to take small conscious efforts on healthy living. We can’t depend completely on those small bacteria to take care of us. We have to do something.
It is still important to do the necessary things – eat foods that are low in fat and carbs, cut down on refined carbs, artificial sweetners, sugars, sleep enough, drink enough water, exercise, visit the hospital for frequent medical check up and maintain a healthy mind because most times, this might be just enough.
Still, there is a lot to learn, to un-learn and to learn again.