In today's episode of diet talk, we talk about 10 clinical studies (references included) done on specific probiotic strains that may impact weight loss.
Over the last few years, more companies have been investing in developing good bacteria that seem to have a positive effect on losing weight.
Whether you're on a diet or workout plan, consuming these strains, termed as "thermogenic" probiotics might help accelerate your goals for 2019...
Before we dig into the studies so you can decide for yourself, first let's recap...
Thermogenic Probiotics are specific strains of good bacteria that have been studied to boost metabolism, manage calorie absorption and break down fat cells.
Many clinical studies have been done on specific strains that suggest their impact on weight loss.
Unlike normal probiotics that simply support digestion and immunity...
"Thermogenic" gut bacteria mirror the positive weight management effects of thermogenic supplements like green tea extract, caffeine and capsicum without the negative side effects like headaches, nausea and increased heart palpitations.
Some of these thermogenic strains - L. Gasseri, B. Breve and B. Lactis - Are commonly found in certain types of milk, cottage cheese, kombucha, sauerkraut and specific yogurts.
In 2015, scientists in Japan researching the effects of a probiotic strain (L. Gasseri SBT 2055) made an interesting finding.
They ran a multiple center study where 210 people ingested the L. Gasseri strain with fermented milk for a period of 12 weeks.
The subjects were instructed not to make big changes to their diet and exercise routines to keep the variables consistent.
On average, the 210 people experienced positive results with significant impact on weight (specifically around their midsection).
Others reported reduced inches while being able to keep the weight off during the full duration of the research.
Strains like B. Breve and B. Lactis have also been through multiple tests/trials to understand their impact on increasing metabolism, supporting healthy cholesterol levels and acting as anti-inflammatories.
In addition, many people who have tried thermogenic probiotics also report better energy, sleep, healthier cravings and better immune function.
Here are the 10 ways thermogenic probiotics can impact weight:
There's good news.
Certain probiotic strains may help increase the production of an appetite-reducing hormone called GLP-1.
A study done on 46 men & women concluded that higher levels of GLP-1 concentrations led to feelings of fullness, which is associated with increased fat oxidation as well.
This study also suggests that increased levels of GLP-1 may help burn calories & fat.
Reference: AM J Clin Nutri. 2006 Sept, Pannacciulli N, Bunt JC, Koska J.
Reference: J Biol Chem. 2013 Aug, Yadav H, Lee JH, Lloyd J.
ANGPTL4 protein is fat inhibitor regulated by gut bacteria.
In this study, by manipulating the gut flora composition (types of bacteria present in the intestines), researchers were able to modify the gene composition of ANFPTL4 to impact fat storage regulation.
This is a potential gateway for future weight management trials & provides a good perspective for the public to understand the possible uses of probiotics for obesity.
Reference: PLoS One. 2010 Sep, Aronsson L, Huang Y, Parini P.
Leaky gut occurs when the intestinal lining is damaged and small food particles are allowed to enter the bloodstream leading to low-level systemic inflammation of the gut.
This can lead to a myriad of problems like:
Fortunately, there are concrete clinical trials done to support the fact that certain probiotics manage inflammation.
20 clinical trials were conducted and summarised which saw obvious results in a group of bacteria strains lowering the inflammatory marker known as C-reactive protein.
From 425 entries, the results suggested the probiotic consumption may significantly reduce CRP levels (a big contributor to increased obesity & "leaky gut" levels in the US).
Which is great news for anyone taking curcumin supplements or experiencing heavy inflammation, joint pains and people on fish oil.
Reference: Nutrients. 2017 Jan, Mazidi M, Rezaie P, Ferns GA.
A multi-centre, double blind placebo clinical trial was done on 210 human adults and saw the below results after consuming 100mg of "thermogenic strain" L.Gasseri SBT 2055 for a period of 12 weeks.
In this study, L.Gasseri SBT 2055 has been reported to reduce belly fat by 8.5% along with decreased body mass and waist & hip circumference without adjustments to exercise and daily caloric intake.
However, without the L.Gasseri supplementation, subjects started to regain the weight that was lost over a period of 4 weeks.
This suggests that the "thermogenic" strain needs to be taken consistently for its weight management effect. At least until they are able to reproduce on their own within the gut.
On 24th Feb 2014, Dr. Julie Chen, a gut health specialist mentioned on the Dr. Oz Show that:
“L. Gasseri inhibits a gene for fat production, so it speeds up metabolism.”
While research is still early, further clinical studies and great feedback from consumers have been supporting its growing reputation.
From medical doctors to naturopaths, most opinions on what's working in weight loss is shifting towards more natural solutions that reduce the risks of unwanted side effects.
Reference: Br J Nutr. 2013 Nov, Kadooka Y, Sato M, Ogawa A
Is it possible to accumulate less fat when on a high-calorie diet?
Some studies suggest... yes!
A combination of "thermogenic" strains were tested in 18-30 year old males for a 2 week period. The study suggests that the supplementation may have provided protection from body mass gain and fat accumulation when on a high-fat, high-energy diet.
While this doesn't mean people can eat ice cream and still lose weight, it does mean that we're one step closer in understanding how the body chooses to store fat.
Do take note that this study was done on a small scale and results may not be indicative.
Reference: Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Dec, Osterberg KL, Boutagy NE1, McMillan RP.
Did you know that our metabolic rate decreases by as much as 5% every year once we hit 40?
Different types of gut bacteria affect metabolism levels through the activation of bile acid receptors.
These receptors can increase the metabolic rate of brown adipose tissues (fat that burns fat)
This suggests that with the right gut bacteria composition, metabolism can be boosted without the need for stimulants.
They all start with picking the right "Thermogenic" strains and avoiding strains like L. Cassei and L. Rhamnosus that may promote obesity instead (due to triggering a possible histamine reaction).
Reference: Cell Metab. 2013 Feb, Sayin SI, Wahlström A, Felin J.
With the amount of junk food the US consumes, poor cardiovascular health is a serious concern together with obesity.
"Thermogenic" strain B. Breve has been shown to manage certain cardiovascular symptoms, lower cholesterol levels all while having a positive impact on body fat.
As the study states:
"Body fat mass and percent body fat were significantly lower in the group that took B. Breve B-3 than in the placebo group at weeks 8 and 12"...
Indicating that not only are these strains helping to manage visceral fat internally, but establishing visible results on the outside as well.
Reference: Biosci Microbiota Food Health. 2018, Junichi Minami, Noriyuki Iwabuchi, Miyuki Tanaka.
Tim Spector, a professor and expert in gut microbes conducted a study which analyzed why some pairs of identical twins have significant differences in body weight.
The identical twins he studied had 100% of the same genes, grew up in the same environment and ate the same diet.
Yet one twin was overweight while the other stayed slim.
The researchers found that this could be due to twins having different types of gut bacteria combination.
In particular, slimmer twins had certain types of thermogenic gut bacteria which helped them.
That’s not all. When the researchers took their gut bacteria and transplanted them into mice...
Mice who received gut bacteria from overweight participants gained weight and in time became obese.
Reference: Nature Genetics, 2018 Ana M. Valdes, Tim D. Spector & Cristina Menni
Certain strains of "thermogenic" probiotics like L.Gasseri can also stimulate a process called Lipogenesis.
Lipogenesis is a process where the body converts carbohydrates into fatty acids.
From there the body decides how fast it is able to take those fatty acids and turn them into energy.
As the study states:
"Probiotics possess physiological functions that contribute to the health of host environment regulating microbes.
In most instances, weight loss is facilitated by thermogenic and lipolytic responses through stimulating the sympathetic nervous system."
In other words, choose probiotics that support thermogenic effects & lipogenesis for highest impact in diets or weight loss regime.
Reference: Food Nutr Res,(2015),G. Karimi, M.R. Sabran, R. Jamaluddin, K.
While "excreting fat" doesn't sound too exciting, it definitely helps with any diet.
In the same Japanese study done in 2015, a continued research published by Lipids and Health Disease found that Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 decreased lipase, an enzyme that breaks down fat, in the gut and increased fecal fat excretion in a group of healthy participants.
Reference: Br J Nutr. 2013 Nov, Kadooka Y, Sato M, Ogawa A
At this point you might be wondering if thermogenic probiotics are so great, why aren't more people using them right?
The answer is actually pretty simple.
In order for thermogenic probiotics to have a maximum impact on weight, there are a few key points to consider.
Working on these focal points can help people achieve a deeper result from using these specific probiotic strains.
- Manage Excessive Inflammation.
Include curcumin supplements, olive oil, tomatoes and fatty fish like salmon in diets as they are great support systems for joint pains, brain fog or low energy levels.
- Remove High-Fat, High-Sugar Diets
Addictive foods like bad fat and sugar are typically the root causes of poor weight.
Introducing moringa leaf (in supplement form), blueberries, strawberries, dark chocolate (80% cacao or more) or even eggs can help cravings for junk food.
- Improve General Gut Health
Having a mix of prebiotics and green leafy vegetables is very useful for people with existing gut issues.
Prebiotics are fibers that probiotics feed on to grow and colonize. They help with constipation, loose stool or stomach pains. Some Prebiotics can also help with poor sleep, anxiety and erratic mood swings.
While Thermogenic strains have huge potential, it's important to supplement them with ingredients that are holistic and support general body health, digestion and immunity.
Supplements like Curcumin, Moringa Leaf & Curry leaf can be great additions to manage cravings and support further weight loss.
These support an increased metabolic effect and may help fat storage...
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