Probiotics can help get you that flat tummy

The New Science Behind Probiotics and Getting Lean

The numbers are astonishing: In spite of having about 10 trillion cells in your body, you have about 10 times more micro-organisms living in your gut.

Most of these bacteria live in your digestive tract and help break down your food, absorb vital nutrients and make key vitamins.

But in recent years, scientists and researchers have realized these bacteria do more than just help your digestion — they interact with cells that influence your energy levels and how you store fat.

Now there’s new evidence that adding more of these beneficial bacteria — in the form of probiotics — may help you lose weight and resist the storage of extra fat.1, 2

Probiotics May Cut Risk of a Fat Belly

In a study from the European Association for the Study of Obesity, researchers discovered that pregnant women who took certain probiotics were far less likely to be obese or have a fat belly one year after giving birth.3

In the study, 256 women were divided into three groups:

  • Group 1 received dietary advice and daily capsules of probiotics.
  • Group 2 received dietary advice and received placebo pills (no probiotics).
  • Group 3 was not given dietary advice but also received placebo pills.

After one year, the researchers measured the women for what they call “central obesity,” the accumulation of abdominal fat resulting in an increased waist size. This is a form of obesity that is correlated with cardiovascular disease.

The results were very interesting!

The women who took the real probiotics and not the placebo were more than 41% less likely to be obese than the women who received the placebo pills.

That means the women taking the probiotics significantly cut their risk of being fat.

While there isn’t enough proof to call this a sure thing, there are other studies that suggest probiotics can help you slim down:

  • A study from 2010, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed 87 people for 12 weeks as they drank fermented milk enhanced with a probiotic called Lactobacillus gasseri (LG2055). Compared to the control group, the people taking the LG2055 lost more body weight and belly fat.4
  • An animal study published in the journal Microbiology showed that a specially-engineered probiotic had an impact on the metabolism and fat composition of mice. The authors of the study concluded that the probiotics may play a role in preventing obesity.5
  • Another curious study published in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery followed patients recovering from gastric bypass surgery. Split into two groups, the patients who received the probiotics showed significantly greater weight loss than those who didn’t.6

These studies tell us that probiotics may be a viable way to help control weight gain, and could even help you get rid of some belly fat.

The number of published studies is still limited, but I’m excited by the possibilities. I’m currently exploring different strains to find the best combination for weight loss, and when I find something worth recommending, I’ll let you know in a future blog post.

If you are a doctor or healthcare professional and have any ideas or input, I’d be happy to hear from you. Send me an e-mail at: drsteve@realdose.com

Otherwise, I’ll keep you posted… so check back for updates.

Until next time,
Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve

Steve Sisskind, M.D.

Hi, I'm Dr. Steve Sisskind, Chief Medical Officer & Founder at RealDose Nutrition.

As a young physician, I struggled because my patients came to me with serious health issues, but I didn't have the right tools to help them. Medical school taught me how to put "band aids" on their symptoms with drugs and surgery, but not how to address the root causes of their problems.

Years later I discovered a better approach... based on the fundamental idea that the power of nutrition can transform your health and vitality. But there's a lot of confusion... What foods should I eat? Which supplements should I take? What does the science say?

I have dedicated my life to answering these questions... And I share this knowledge with you every day here at RealDose Nutrition.

I invite you to connect with me by joining my free private community. I've helped thousands of people and I know I can help you too!

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References:

1. Delzenne NM, et al. Interaction between obesity and the gut microbiota: relevance in nutrition. Annu Rev Nutr. 2011 Aug 21;31:15-31.

2. Diamant M, et al. Do nutrient-gut-microbiota interactions play a role in human obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes? Obes Rev. 2011 Apr;12(4):272-81.

3. European Association for the Study of Obesity (2009, May 7). Probiotics May Help Ward Off Obesity, Study In Pregnant Women Suggests..

4. Kadooka Y, et al. “Regulation of abdominal adiposity by probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055) in adults with obese tendencies in a randomized controlled trial.” Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jun;64(6):636-43.

5. Rosberg-Cody E, et al. “Recombinant lactobacilli expressing linoleic acid isomerase can modulate the fatty acid composition of host adipose tissue in mice.” Microbiology. 2010 Dec 22.

6. Woodard GA, et al. “Probiotics improve outcomes after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery: a prospective randomized trial.” J Gastrointest Surg. 2009 Jul;13(7):1198-204.

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21 comments

  1. Hi, I’ve had a lot of trouble since having my children of losing more and more weight. I’m a huge eater, ppl comment that I look malnourished or look like I have a substance problem ( say what? ) maybe a fast metabolism. I have dropped under 60 kg now and I’m getting worried that something is really wrong. I started seeing our local naturopath, he says I have a bug in my digestive system, my small intestine is barely functioning and I’m not getting the nutrients from my food he explained I can eat til the cows come home it’s going straight through me. I have started eating probiotic yoghurt in the mornings VAALIA 3x probiotics. He has me on a couple diff things that I literally cannot stomach, makes me cramp up in the tummy so bad that I have to take panadol and go back to bed like contractions. I’m running out of options. I saw a Dr he wanted to put me on pills to put on weight ( what the? ) no I need to fix my problem but don’t know how ? Please help

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Jody,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns with us! We clearly understand your frustration and do know that gaining weight, in a healthy way, is not as easy as it seems. It would be pretty simple, if all you had to do was eat a few eggs in the morning and a generous helping of protein at night. However, you will not only gain fat fairly quickly but also raise your cholesterol to alarming levels. I am including a couple of links below to help guide you on your way to building bulk. The tips in the articles are clear and easy to follow. Hope you enjoy the read!

      https://authoritynutrition.com/how-to-gain-weight/

      http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/underweight/faq-20058429

      Lastly, I strongly recommend that you work closely with your personal doctor or nutritionist to help you gain weight. They may be able to not just help you gain weight in a healthy way but also lookout for possible complications as you go along your new regimen. Make it a healthy day!

  2. I have a question: why taking steroids (5 mg of prednisone for about 4 weeks, for my neck pain) caused me to gain about 6-7 pounds, mostly around my waistline?
    And how can I get rid of these unwanted pounds as fast as possible?
    Thank you!

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Violetta,

      Thank you for sharing your concerns with us! Weight gain during steroid therapy is quite a common occurrence. There are a number of factors that can contribute to this reaction such as inflammation, water retention and even the kinds of food we eat while we are sick. To help I suggest that you cut down on salt or salty kinds of food. Exercising or keeping active will also help tone and firm up your belly area. If your neck is still bothering you, low impact simple stretches will do. There is no simple or quick solution to getting rid of unwanted pounds which is why you need to be patient and stick to your healthy changes. Make it a healthy day!

  3. What is the best probiotic to use as there are a few on the market. I take Lefludemide once a day for psortiatic arthritis. My rheumatologist said it may help to take a probiotic. What kinds of symptoms go with taking a probiotics. Time in the bathroom??

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Shirley,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns with us! Ideally, a daily probiotic needs to deliver a blend of probiotics in the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genus that are normal inhabitants of a healthy human gut. Probiotic yeast and spore-forming probiotics also offer health benefits. The key is to select a product that contains specific strains of probiotics that have been clinically shown to offer health benefits. That said, in terms of time in the bathroom, a good quality supplement should not affect your toilet habits adversely. The supplement aims to return the normal flora of your stomach allowing you to digest food better minus the stress. However, before you do add a probiotic supplement to your diet, you may want to check if you are lactose intolerant or suffer from IBS to avoid any issues moving forward. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day!

  4. I take probiotics with four strains of bacteria and 5 billion cells or whatever they call that, and I noticed that it did work but then I switched to the chewable one because the first one had so many rules and regulations. You cannot take it less than 30 minutes before drinking something hot if not the heat would activate the bacteria in the pill which kind of scared me so I switched to the chewable one which I think kind of makes me bloated because of the sugar coatiting in the enteric cover of the chewable one. My only concern is, I don’t know if I should keep using the first one that I got which I think works a lot better than the second one because the chewable one only has one strain of 4 billion or 5 billion cells of bacteria. What are you thoughts ?

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Toni,

      Thank you for posting your concerns! There pros and cons to both a capsule, chewable tab or dairy product based probiotic. That said, it would always be best to go with a product you are comfortable of using. Signs of discomfort such as boating, gas, stomach pains or unusual toilet habits could mean your body is not taking well to the product. Ideally, a daily probiotic needs to deliver a blend of probiotics in the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genus that are normal inhabitants of a healthy human gut. Probiotic yeast and spore-forming probiotics also offer health benefits. The key is to select a product that contains specific strains of probiotics that have been clinically shown to offer health benefits. Make it a healthy day!

  5. What can I use for Gerd

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Barbara,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns with us! There are a number of medications or a diet you can adapt to help ease your Gastro-esophageal Reflux. However, I cannot recommend a course of action as I am unfamiliar with your medical history. That said, I do suggest that you speak with your doctor, get his thoughts and also discover the trigger of your reflux. This is because, triggers will vary for each person and only by working with your doctor closely can you discover most if not all of them. In the meantime, you can stick to the diet you are already used to and also observe your body’s reaction to your favorite foods. Another common cause of GERD are medications and it would be best that you also alert your doctor of these. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day!

  6. Muriel Linda Choquette

    I have a probiotic every morning but I don’t get the whole thing. My cat makes sure he gets his share. His vet is aware and has no problem with this part of his diet. Cats are usually lactose intolerant but they are omay with a probiotic. By the way Leon is a big boy, He went for a nail trim to the vet today and weighed in at 20 pounds, he is also a very active boy when he isn’t eating or sleeping.

  7. I just started on cocoa burn. How does this compare and is it safe.

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Nelson,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your thoughts with us! I am not quite familiar with the product you mentioned but did a little research. it seems to affect a different action from probiotics as these are more for the efficient digestion of fat in the gut. They also help boost immunity and help you avoid that bloated gassy feeling. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day!

  8. There are a wide variety of probioctics on the market. I have read there are about 19 different kinds of good bacteria that your probioctic should contain. Do you make or can you suggest the proper way to dicipher a good vs a better probiotic?

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Diane,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns with us! Ideally, a daily probiotic needs to deliver a blend of probiotics in the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genus that are normal inhabitants of a healthy human gut. Probiotic yeast and spore-forming probiotics also offer health benefits. The key is to select a product that contains specific strains of probiotics that have been clinically shown to offer health benefits. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day!

  9. Can u take it if your on meds

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Joan,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your thoughts with us! There should be no problem with you taking Probiotics and most medications. However, I do recommend that you first speak to your doctor and get his thoughts. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day!

  10. What is effective dosage?

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Judy,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns with us! There is no strict dosing when it comes to Probiotics but you want a product with a range of 1 to 5 billion CFU’s (Colony Forming Units) for good digestive health. However, for some with stomach discomfort or illnesses, they may need a product with a higher CFU count and must speak to their doctor prior to taking the supplement. To be sure, I do recommend you check in with your personal doctor and get his thoughts on adding a probiotic supplement to your diet. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day

  11. Thank you for this very interesting information ! I have not been using a probiotics more recently but have done so in the past. I am not sure but do think it helped with my weight loss when I did take it. After reading this I am going back on my probiotic!! Thank you!

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