Probiotics for weight loss: which one to choose?
As part of a balanced and varied diet, probiotics can be an effective weight loss booster. Find out which probiotics to choose and how to take them for weight loss.
Is it okay to take probiotics? What are the best probiotics? In which foods are natural probiotics? What are the probiotics that make you lose weight? Find all the answers to the questions you have about probiotics, with Julie Foarge, Dietitian.
Is it okay to take probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms, good bacteria that are found in our gut (but also in the mouth, on the skin, etc.), not to be confused with disease-causing bacteria.
The role of bacteria is very important: these “good” microorganisms will strengthen the intestinal barrier, “colonize” it in order to reduce the proliferation of harmful microorganisms that can cause disease, or intestinal permeability (this is to say that the intestine passes substances that should not pass through the body ). Intestinal permeability can lead to food intolerances, weight gain, infections, and many other diseases.
In general, probiotics work in three ways, as detailed by Julie Foarge:
It will increase the production of mucus and antibodies in the intestine, and thus will improve the role of the intestinal wall to avoid this permeability.
They will modify the activity of the intestinal immune system: they boost immunity when it is weak. It will reduce inflammation, in case of allergies or inflammatory bowel disease.
It also has an antimicrobial effect: it prevents the adhesion of pathogenic bacteria to the intestinal wall.
How do you lose weight with probiotics?
We know that obesity, or even diabetes, is both inflammatory and multifactorial (the factors are simultaneously environmental, nutritional and genetic).
“The composition of the gut microbiome of an overweight person and that of a healthy and thin person has a completely different balance and bacterial diversity,” explains Julie Foarge.
Various studies show that our eating habits have an effect on our microbiota, recalls a nutrition therapist. It's a vicious cycle: Eating a lot of fat, for example, makes our gut wall more permeable. Due to the message sent from our gut (which contains neurotransmitters) to our brain, this intestinal permeability can influence our eating behaviors.
Thus the intake of probiotics will help to restore the balance of the microflora, will reduce intestinal permeability and inflammation, allow better assimilation of nutrients and prevent the development of pathogenic bacteria.
Attention, if probiotics have an interest in the quest for weight loss, it is not a miracle: this probiotic remedy should be accompanied by a balanced diet adapted to the needs.
To lose weight, the best combination in addition to a balanced diet is as follows:
Vitamin D to strengthen the body
Magnesium, to improve mood and reduce fatigue and stress
Probiotics work at several levels (avoiding intestinal permeability, reducing inflammation, and preventing colonization of the intestine by pathogenic bacteria).
What are the probiotics that make you lose weight?
According to various studies, Lactobacillus Gasseri or L-Gasseri strain is the most used in the context of weight loss research.
"In addition to its antimicrobial and antiviral activity, its unexpected role in the balance of the gut flora and intestinal transit, and its anti-inflammatory properties, it will have an impact on obesity and weight management." , says Julie Foarge.
Laboratory tests on mice revealed that probiotics can limit fat absorption at the gut level and reduce belly fat, which may have an effect on BMI and therefore weight gain.
How do you use probiotics to lose weight?
"Keep in mind that taking probiotics alone will not be sufficient for weight loss, if your diet consists of artificial meals that do not contain the elements necessary to maintain a balance of the intestinal flora." , confirms the nutritionist.
To improve the long-term benefits of probiotics, be sure to also include:
Foods rich in prebiotics
Inulin-rich foods (a substance found in artichokes, bananas, and asparagus, for example)
Foods rich in natural probiotics (in fruits, vegetables, fermented products, legumes, etc.)
Choosing the right probiotics
As Julie Vourge points out, the composition of each person's gut microbiome varies. For this reason, if you are looking to lose weight, it may be interesting to turn to a nutritionist, pharmacist, general practitioner or even a naturopath, so they can ask you the right questions and advise you on probiotics. It adapts to your needs. Once the intestinal balance is restored, you can take the L-Gasseri strain to focus on slimming.
When do you take probiotics?
In general, it is best to take probiotics between meals, so that these "good bacteria" first reach the intestines, before mixing them with food.
Ideally, probiotics should be taken in the morning 20 minutes before a meal, and in the evening at bedtime if necessary.
In order to preserve probiotics, everything depends on what the manufacturer indicates on the package. But for several years, most commercial probiotics no longer needed to be kept in the refrigerator. Nowadays, most laboratories use micro-stabilization and packaging techniques for bacteria that allow them to be maintained at room temperature. On the other hand, if you are going to a destination with high temperatures, it is still recommended to keep the probiotics as cold as possible.
Where can I find natural probiotics?
Natural probiotics are found in many foods... and the best probiotics are in our daily diet.
"Vegetables, concentrates of vitamins, fiber, minerals, and probiotics should not be considered as side dishes on a plate, but as a main ingredient in a meal! Proteins should ultimately be considered as side dishes...", explains the nutrition therapist.
What foods are rich in probiotics?
As part of a balanced and varied diet, we necessarily, without knowing it, fill up on probiotics, as we find them in many foods.
The foods richest in probiotics are:
Vegetables, preferably organic, especially fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, carrots, turnips, beetroot, garlic, etc.).
Sourdough bread (sourdough is the result of fermentation, which has another advantage of digesting a portion of whole grains that tends to block the absorption of certain nutrients such as zinc or magnesium, which are important in maintaining weight loss).
Fermented drinks (kefir, kombucha, etc.)
Miso (rice paste or barley paste, fermented) and tamari (fermented soy sauce) which can be used to season dishes.
Fermented cheese (but dairy products should be eaten in moderation).
Fermented vegetable yogurt (the presence of lactic yeast is indicated on the label).
Finally, sprouted seeds (lentils, soybeans, broccoli seeds, etc.) contain fewer probiotics than some other foods, but they are especially beneficial for your health because they are very rich in nutrients.
Be careful, if probiotics are present in our daily diet, they are killed by the high temperatures during cooking. To enjoy it, eat it raw too!
Prebiotics are natural fibers found in vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes. They allow probiotic bacteria to thrive and are therefore necessary in addition to probiotics.
Thanks to Julie Fouarge, Nutritionist, who can be found on her Facebook page @manutribyjulie or on her Instagram account @juliefouargenutritherapeute.