Can Probiotics Help You Lose Weight?

The number of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract greatly outnumber the cells in your body; your gut has 100 trillion microorganisms while you have about 10 trillion cells in your body!

Thin people may have a different ratio of bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract than obese people.

What this means is that the microflora in your gut is a powerful and compelling force in your body, one that may influence far more than how well your food gets digested. This living inner ecosystem 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

Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis found that obese people have more of a family of bacteria called firmicutes than lean people. Among normal weight people, bacteria called bacteroidetes were less plentiful. And it appears the bacteria were having a major impact on weight.

Obese mice, researchers found, 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.

“It’s not just your brain and your body fat and your body organs involved in your energy balance equation. It may also be the bugs that are in your body as well,” Sam Klein, a study co-author and professor of gastroenterology at the university, told USA Today.

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 percent weight loss, compared with 39 percent among those who didn’t.

“Surprisingly, the probiotic group attained a significantly greater percent of excess weight loss than that of control group,” John Morton, MD, associate professor of surgery at Stanford told Science Daily. He continued:

“Bacterial overgrowth can be bad in that it changes your motility, how you empty. A lot of people aren’t aware that we all carry about a lot of bacteria in our intestines and that they’re extremely helpful in aiding digestion … Part of the obesity puzzle may be due to the kind of bacteria you have in your intestine.”

Probiotics Help Women Lose Weight After Pregnancy

A separate study found further support for probiotics’ role in weight loss. Researchers from the University of Turku in Finland found that taking probiotics during the first trimester of pregnancy may help women lose weight after they give birth.

“The women who got the probiotics fared best. One year after childbirth, they had the lowest levels of central obesity as well as the lowest body fat percentage,” researcher Kirsi Laitinen told

What Else are Probiotics Good For?

As written in the book Digestive Wellness, probiotics lower the pH of your colon and kill disease-causing microbes. They also produce vitamins A, B and K, protect you from illness, enhance peristalsis, and make lactase for milk digestion. Probiotics also ferment dietary fiber, producing short-chained fatty acids, one of which called butyric acid. Having low levels of butyric acid has been associated with ulcerative colitis, colon cancer, active colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Already, it’s been found that probiotics may:

  • Enhance your immune system (70 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system, which means that if your gut is overrun with bad bacteria, there’s a good chance your immune system will not be functioning at its best)
  • Prevent infections after surgery
  • Treat acute and chronic diarrhea
  • Relieve inflammatory bowel disease
  • Treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Protect against cancer development and progression
  • Prevent eczema in children
  • Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections
  • Help reduce systemic allergic responses

Are You Getting Enough Probiotics?

When we are born, most of us began with a clean slate in terms of health. Unborn babies are equipped with their own friendly bacteria and after they are born breast milk helps those bacteria to grow and flourish.

However, from there many people exist largely on diets of processed and pasteurized foods, which are virtually devoid of the friendly bacteria we need to flourish. Some exceptions to the rule are foods that are naturally fermented, and then eaten in their raw form, without being pasteurized. Examples of these healthy probiotic-rich foods include un-pasteurized:

Give Your Body the
Good Bacteria it Craves

You can help fortify your gut health (and your family’s gut health) with Billions per unit of high quality probiotics.

Ask your practitioner what is recommended and best for YOU!

  • Kefir
  • Kvass
  • Yogurt
  • Sauerkraut
  • Natto (fermented soy)

A further assault to your body’s beneficial bacteria comes from antibiotics. These drugs not only kill the bad bacteria that may be causing your illness, but they also kill ALL bacteria, including the good kind in your digestive tract that your body needs, leaving barren territory for all sorts of trouble to brew.

Because of this, many natural health experts believe it is important to take a probiotic supplement if you have recently finished a round of antibiotics, while others believe most people can benefit from taking a probiotic supplement every day.

So whichever method you choose (choosing both the supplements and the fermented foods is best), be sure that your body is getting a steady source of good bacteria.

With Probiotics, it’s All About Survival

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.

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. Most importantly, transit through the acidic environment of your stomach.

Have You Recently Taken Antibotics?

Probiotic Supreme™ A high-dose probiotic can be used where a more aggressive therapeutic approach is required, such as after finishing a round of antibiotics. Delivering 15 billion organisms per dose in a caplet form – and using the same advanced patented delivery system to ensure delivery of the highest number of live organisms to your intestinal tract, Probiotic Supreme™ is useful for those coming off antibiotic therapies as well as those with colitis, candidiasis, dysbiosis and many other types of GI conditions.

Probiotics are meant to release over an extended time frame (10-12 hours), so you only need to take a dose twice per day for maximum effectiveness. This also ensures delivery throughout your entire intestinal tract.

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.


Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery