They are found in fermented foods, but can also be taken as a dietary supplement. Probiotics can improve immune function, digestive and heart health, reduce inflammation, and even help fight depression and anxiety.
A number of studies also show that probiotics can help reduce weight and belly fat. Microorganisms in the digestive system are mostly beneficial bacteria that produce some important nutrients, including vitamin K and some B vitamins. They help break down fiber that the body can’t digest, turning it into useful fat. acids.
There are two main groups of beneficial bacteria in the gut: Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Human and animal studies suggest that body weight is related to the balance of these two groups of bacteria. Studies have found that people of moderate weight have a different gut microflora than those who are overweight or obese. Most studies show that obese people have more Firmicutes and less Bacteroidetes than people of moderate weight. However, not all studies confirm this result.
In addition, obese people tend to have less diverse gut bacteria, and the poorer their gut microflora, the more likely they are to gain weight.
Interestingly, when gut bacteria from obese mice were transplanted into the intestines of normal-weight mice, the latter also developed obesity.
The mechanisms by which probiotics affect weight and abdominal fat are not yet well understood. It is thought that probiotics can affect appetite and energy absorption through the production of acetate, propionate, and butyrate, which are short-chain fatty acids. In addition, some probiotics interfere with the absorption of fat from food, or in other words, reduce the number of calories that the body takes in from food. Bacteria such as those of the Lactobacillus family (Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus amylovorus) have been found to act in this way.
Probiotics also affect the levels of hormones and proteins associated with appetite and fat storage and can reduce inflammatory processes in the body that can cause obesity.
Of all the probiotic bacteria studied so far, Lactobacillus gasseri has shown the strongest effect on weight loss. Other strains of bacteria that can also help reduce weight and belly fat are strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Other common types of probiotic bacteria are Saccharomyces, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia, and Bacillus.
Probiotic foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, pickles, kombucha, mozzarella, gouda, and kimchi. In addition, legumes and fruits contain a lot of fiber, which stimulates the growth of healthy bifidobacteria. Probiotics should not be confused with prebiotics – carbohydrates, often dietary fiber, that help feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Foods rich in prebiotics are artichokes, bananas, asparagus, oats, and apples.