One of the most common symptoms women complain about when going through menopause (second only, perhaps, to hot flashes) is weight gain.
On average, perimenopausal women gain about five pounds. However, 20 percent of women gain 10 pounds or more during this time. Women going through menopause also have a tendency to lose muscle mass, which can alter both their physique and their overall health in major ways.
Nobody wants to gain weight or lose muscle, especially during menopause when so many other bodily changes are also happening, and lots of research has been conducted to try and help women prevent these issues.
The results from some of this research suggest that one way women may be able to reverse menopause weight gain is through probiotic supplementation. Read on to learn more about probiotics and the benefits they can provide to perimenopausal and menopausal women looking to lose weight.
Before we dive into the benefits of probiotics for menopause weight gain, let’s go over the reason why so many women gain weight during this period. There’s a lot that contributes to weight gain for perimenopausal and menopausal women, including the following:
When a woman goes through perimenopause (the transition to menopause that begins several years before menstruation ceases), her ovaries start to produce less and less estrogen.
Estrogen plays an important role in helping women to maintain muscle mass and a healthy metabolism. When estrogen is low, women can experience decreases in muscle mass, which can lead to a slower metabolic rate and contribute to weight gain.
Changes in estrogen levels can also affect the way fat is stored. Because of this, even if a woman doesn’t gain that much weight during menopause, she may still notice dramatic changes in her appearance due to the way her body fat is distributed.
From puberty through perimenopause, it’s most common for women to store fat primarily around the hips and thighs. In the later stages of perimenopause, as well as during and after menopause itself, women tend to store more fat in their abdomen.
High levels of belly fat (particularly when it’s stored as visceral fat around the organs) can contribute to a variety of weight-related health issues, including an increased risk of heart disease.
Menopausal and perimenopausal women also often find that they experience more severe blood sugar fluctuations. This can increase their chances of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Probiotics are live strains of bacteria and yeast. They are beneficial to the health of your digestive tract (or gut) and to your overall health.
There are many different strains of probiotics that are naturally present in the gut. Probiotics can be found in certain foods, including fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, and they’re also available in supplement form.
Probiotic supplementation has been a hot topic over the last several years, especially when it comes to the benefits of probiotics for reversing weight gain associated with menopause. This is because gut health plays an important role in hormone production and hormone balance, especially when it comes to estrogen.
Research shows that bacterial imbalances in the gut can actually lead to imbalances in hormones. The balance of gut microbes is especially crucial when it comes to estrogen regulation. In fact, there is an entire collection of microbes in the gut, known as the estrobolome, that aid in estrogen metabolism.
A healthy gut promotes estrogen homeostasis. If perimenopausal and menopausal women have poor gut health and bacterial imbalances, they can end up experiencing more dramatic decreases in their estrogen levels. This, in turn, can lead to weight gain, may exacerbate their menopause symptoms, and could contribute to a variety of conditions related to estrogen imbalance (osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, etc.).
Menopause is a time when a woman’s hormones are already going through dramatic changes. Why should these changes be made worse by poor gut health?
Women may also be more prone to weight gain during the later stages of menopause due to changes in the production of the hormone leptin.
Leptin plays an important role in controlling appetite and promoting feelings of fullness. There’s a strong link between estrogen and leptin, and low estrogen can lead to leptin imbalances and promote leptin resistance.
Leptin resistance is a condition that occurs when the brain doesn’t register the presence of leptin and continues to send hunger signals, which can lead to overeating. It can cause women to consume more calories than they need, thus resulting in weight gain. This is especially likely when the metabolism has already started to slow down as a result of reduced estrogen production.
Poor gut health (and low estrogen levels exaggerated by poor gut health) can also increase issues with leptin balance and may further contribute to leptin resistance. By balancing the gut microbiome and the estrobolome, women may have an easier time increasing their bodies’ leptin sensitivity and minimizing menopause-related weight gain.
It’s clear that issues with the gut can create or worsen the effects of hormone imbalance, especially when it comes to menopause-related weight gain. Menopausal women don’t just have to accept this as their fate, though.
The good news is that there is some promising research indicating that probiotics can help perimenopausal and menopausal women to lose weight or avoid gaining weight in the first place. It’s important to note, though, that for this to happen, women need menopause supplements that contain beneficial probiotic strains. Some types of probiotics, including L. Acidophilus, can actually cause weight gain.
That being said, the following are some of the most effective probiotic strains for menopause-related weight loss:
B. Breve is one of many probiotic strains that is found naturally in the gut. It may help to “activate” the genes that support healthy metabolic function. Researchers have also found that it can minimize inflammation in the body and can also lead to better blood sugar balance.
As you now know, poor blood sugar balance can contribute to weight gain in perimenopausal and menopausal women (weight gain may also lead to poor blood sugar balance, too). By addressing this issue, women can better control their weight and their health in general.
L. Gasseri is a lesser-known probiotic strain. It’s found mainly in fermented foods and is also available in supplement form.
This probiotic strain has been shown to prevent weight gain in some people. In fact, in a 2010 randomized, double-blind study, L. Gasseri consumption had an 8.5 percent impact on weight loss over a 12-week period.
This probiotic is sometimes referred to as a “booster shot” among other probiotic strains.B. Lactis can promote proper immune system function and may help to balance cholesterol levels, which can be negatively affected by menopause and menopause-related weight gain.
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why you ought to include probiotics in your supplement regimen. This is especially important if your goal is reversing menopause weight gain or preventing it from occurring in the first place.
Keep in mind, though, that it’s not enough just to add in a random probiotic supplement from your local drugstore. If you want to shed excess weight and feel your best, you need to consume probiotic strains that have been proven to help with menopause-related weight issues.
Provitalize is specially formulated with research-backed probiotics strains that can help you to reverse weight gain, balance your hormones, and minimize hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. Place an order today and try it for yourself.