Can Probiotics Help You Lose Weight?

Although we may not hear about it often, a healthy gut is vitally important for good health. A healthy gut isn't just about what happens in your stomach. According to LiveScience, gut health refers to the healthy function of the digestive system from your esophagus to the end of your intestines. Each part of the digestive system has a specific task in breaking down the foods we eat and absorbing nutrients. To get each task accomplished, different microorganisms that make up your body's microbiome play a role (via LiveScience).

Not only is our digestive system responsible for breaking down foods, it plays an important role in a healthy immune system and even our mental health (via LiveScience). Probiotics have been recommended by many to help maintain a healthy gut. According to the Cleveland Clinic, probiotics are a combination of good bacteria and/or yeasts that help keep balance among the different microorganisms in your body. Probiotics can be commonly found in fermented foods and drinks, yogurt, and dietary supplements. Adding probiotics to your diet can help keep your body in balance, but can they also help lower the number on your bathroom scale?

Probiotics may help lower inflammation linked to obesity

Inflammation is linked to several chronic diseases that impact our health, and obesity is one of them. According to the Endocrine Web, inflammation is a precursor to weight gain. Inflammation makes you more susceptible to diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome that make it easy to gain weight and difficult to lose it. Inflammation of the gut is directly linked to more weight gain (via Endocrine Web).

However, there is evidence that the use of probiotics may be effective in lowering inflammation in people who eat high-fat diets. In a 2021 study published in Nutrition, researchers found that the use of probiotics reduced inflammation of fat cells in obesity, alleviated weight gain, and improved metabolism in mice. Some probiotics, like those in the Lactobacillus family, can release appetite-reducing hormones that burn calories and fat and "inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, increasing the amount of fat excreted with feces," (via Healthline). This research indicates that taking probiotics may help you lose weight and lower your body fat percentage.