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Article by Sylvie Martin

What are the best probiotics for weight loss and where can I find them?

Updated on 4 January 2024.

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ProbioticsAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO) definition, probiotics are, and I quote:

“live micro-organisms which, when ingested in sufficient quantities, exert beneficial effects on health”.

Research on this subject has identified thousands of different probiotics, of which the best-known bacterial strains belong to the genera Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. It’s a well-known fact that an imbalance in intestinal bacterial flora promotes weight gain.

Conversely, rebalancing the intestinal microbiota with probiotics is a promising natural way to accelerate weight loss.

Why use probiotics for weight loss?

Your gut contains both beneficial and harmful bacteria.

Digestion experts agree that the balance of intestinal flora should be around 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria.

In fact, there are two main families of bacteria in the intestine: the Bacteroidetes (good) and the Firmicutes (bad).

And according to some scientific sources, lean individuals have a higher proportion of bacteria from the Bacteriodetesfamily, while obese individuals have more of the Firmicutes.

In simpler terms, this means that obese people have an imbalance between bad and good intestinal bacteria.

These bad intestinal bacteria are designed to extract the bad parts of our food, namely fats and sugar.

By consuming certain types of food and probiotic supplements (often in capsule form), you can restore the balance of these ratios.

So modulating the intestinal flora to maximize good bacteria (Bacteroidetes) and minimize the bad (Firmicutes), will optimize the extraction of healthy elements from food and thus reverse the process of weight gain.

What’s more, probiotics are not new.

Throughout history, cultures have thrived on the probiotics present in fermented and cultured foods, which were invented to preserve food long before the refrigerator.

The fermentation process has been lost in recent years, as there is no longer a need to preserve food, which means we are now losing these vital probiotic benefits.

How do Probiotics for weight loss work?

The exact process by which probiotics work to drive weight loss is not 100% clear, but there is plenty of preliminary evidence to show that modulating the gut biome with probiotics can have a positive effect on weight management.

As previously mentioned, probiotics act by modulating the intestinal flora.

The gut microbiota has been reported as one of the potential determinants of obesity in recent human and animal studies.

Probiotic bacteria are currently classified as nutraceuticals, which are defined as dietary substances that provide a concentrated form of a bioactive substance in quantities greater than can be obtained from foods. [1]

A number of studies have demonstrated that supplementing intestinal flora with probiotics can prevent and treat diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria.

This effect is explained by the ability of probiotics to inhibit pathogenic bacteria. [2,3]

Since antibiotics disrupt the balance of the intestinal flora by killing sensitive bacteria, probiotic supplementation can prevent the commonly observed side effects of antibiotic therapy, and are therefore effective in restoring the intestinal flora eliminated by antibiotic therapy. [4]

Top 10 probiotic-rich foods

1. Kefir

probiotics-for-weight-loss-kefirSimilar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of milk and fermented kefir grains.

Kefir has been consumed for over 3,000 years. It is created by the fermentation of milk by bacteria.

And because the yeasts in kefir break down the lactose in milk, it can be suitable for people with lactose intolerance.

Although kefir has a slightly acidic, sour taste, it is richer in probiotics than yoghurt, containing between 10 and 34 strains of probiotics.

2. Sauerkraut

probiotics-for-weight-loss-sauerkrautSauerkraut is rich in vitamin C and digestive enzymes.

It’s also a good source of natural lactic acid bacteria, such as Lactobacillus.

Very popular in Germany, sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage and other vegetables.

It is not probiotic-diverse, but it is rich in organic acids that promote the growth of good bacteria.

3. Kimchi

Kimchi is a variant of sauerkraut.

It’s a traditional Korean dish made with lacto-fermented chillies and vegetables, i.e. soaked in brine for several weeks until acidity develops.

Its ingredients can vary, as there are over 200 varieties.

The most popular preparation is Chinese cabbage kimchi. It consists of radish, chili powder, garlic, ginger, shrimp, green onion and nuoc mâm sauce.

All these foods are swaddled in cabbage leaves and then piled into jars or jars to be fermented.

4. Coconut kefir

Made by fermenting coconut juice with kefir grains, this dairy-free option contains some of the probiotics found in traditional dairy kefir, but a little less.

Nevertheless, coconut kefir contains several strains that are also good for your health.

Coconut kefir has a pleasant flavor, and you can add a little stevia, water and lime juice to make a delicious drink.

5. Natto

probiotics-for-weight-loss-nattoNatto is a popular dish in Japan. Made from fermented soybeans, Natto contains the probiotic Bacillus subtilis.

This is an extremely powerful probiotic, which boosts the immune system, supports cardiovascular health and improves the digestion of vitamin K2.

Natto may also contain vitamin B12, which is usually lacking in vegan diets.

It’s also one of the most concentrated vegetable proteins, since one cup can contain up to 31 grams of protein.

6. Yogurt

Greek yogurt made from cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk is probably the most popular probiotic food.

Yogurt, in most cases, can rank at the top of probiotic foods provided it comes from grass-fed animals.

The problem is that there is a wide variety of yoghurts on the market, which are not equal in terms of quality.

When buying yogurt, look for three things: firstly, it must come from goat’s milk, sheep’s milk or cow’s milk.

Second, it must come from a grass-fed animal. And thirdly, it must be organic.

7. Kvass

probiotics-for-weight-loss-kvassKvass has been a common fermented drink in Eastern Europe since ancient times.

It was traditionally made by fermenting rye or barley, which gave it its mild flavor.

Today, Kvas is made to a new recipe using beet, fruit and other root vegetables such as carrots.

8. Miso

A staple of Chinese and Japanese diets for some 2500 years, miso is a mainstay of traditional Japanese medicine and is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking as a digestive regulator.

probiotics-for-weight-loss-miso-soupMade from fermented soy, rice or barley, the addition of a tablespoon of miso to hot water makes an excellent, quick and probiotic-rich soup.

The fermentation process can last from a few days to several years, and the end result is a red, white or dark-brown paste with a buttery texture.

Miso soup is world-famous, and very easy to prepare.

Simply dissolve a tablespoon of miso in a pot of water filled with seaweed and other ingredients of your choice.

9. Kombucha

Kombucha is a tangy drink made by symbiotically cultivating bacteria and yeast in a sweet medium such as tea or herbal tea with white sugar (70 g/l), honey or grape juice.

Also known as “Manchurian mushroom”, kombucha (Russian for “tea algae”) is actually a living mixture of bacteria (Acetobacter and Pichia) and yeasts (Saccharomyces, Zygosaccharomyces and Brettanomyces).

These micro-organisms are left to macerate in a mixture of green (or black) tea and sugar for 8 to 10 days, producing a slightly fizzy, alcoholic fermented juice with an acidic taste reminiscent of vinegar, cider or bitter tea.

You can buy kombucha in some organic stores or on the Internet. The average price is €5 per liter.

10. Raw dairy products

Raw cow’s milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and aged cheeses are particularly rich in probiotics.

It should be remembered that all pasteurized dairy products are devoid of healthy bacteria.

For this reason, and to obtain probiotics, you need to stick to high-quality raw dairy products.

How do I choose the best probiotic supplements?

First of all, you need to know that there are different types of probiotic strains.

The benefits and advantages of a probiotic strain can be completely different for each type.

So, if you want to use probiotics to treat a specific health problem, it’s essential to choose the right strain.

Otherwise, you could always be consuming several types at once.

The probiotic label displayed on the product should reveal the genus, species and strain of the probiotic.

The product (usually in capsules) should also give you the colony-forming units (CFU) at the time of manufacture.

What’s more, the majority of probiotics can die under heat, so it’s also important to know whether the product has benefited from appropriate storage and cooling conditions.

Here are a few rules to consider before buying a probiotic supplement:

1. Brand quality

Look for reputable, well-established brands.

This is your guarantee of a quality product.

2. High CFU count

Buy a probiotic Brand with a higher number of probiotics.

The higher the CFU count, the better. CFUs are counted in billions.

3. Survivability and strain diversity

Look for strains or formulas that allow probiotics to travel to and colonize the intestine, such as Bacillus coagulans, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bacillus clausii, etc.

4. Prebiotics and additional ingredients

During their development, probiotic bacteria also need prebiotics.

High-quality probiotic supplements will contain both prebiotics and other ingredients designed to support digestion and immunity.

Examples of these ingredients are flax seed (preferably fermented), chia seed, cañihua seed, astragalus, ashwagandha, hemp seed, pumpkin seed, pea, ginger, mung bean and turmeric.

5. Stability and organism types

Some probiotic strains need to be kept cold to preserve their potency.

In this case, this rule must be observed throughout the entire process, from production, transport and storage to sale.

Others are shelf-stable and do not require refrigeration.

Unfortunately, most refrigerated probiotics will never make it past the stomach as they are not stable.

So look for a shelf-stable product containing soil-based organisms that may not require refrigeration.

6. Sugar

Sugar is not a good food source for probiotics.

Prebiotics are the food source that keeps them alive.

A symbiotic is a supplement that contains both prebiotics and probiotics.

The best symbiotics contain healthy starches and fiber.

Beneficial probiotic strains

A probiotic supplement certainly has many benefits. And if you’re interested in this subject, you should start by learning about the different species of probiotics.

So here are some of the beneficial bacteria you should look for on a high-quality probiotic supplement label:

  • Bacillus coagulans ;
  • Saccharomyces boulardii ;
  • Bacillus subtilis ;
  • Lactobacillus plantarum ;
  • Bacillus clausii ;
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum ;
  • Bifidobacterium longum ;
  • Bifidobacterium breve ;
  • Bifidobacterium infantis ;
  • Lactobacillus casei ;
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus ;
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus ;
  • Lactobacillus brevis ;
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

Side effects and precautions when using probiotics

It’s a fact that not all probiotics are created equal. As a result, not all strains will necessarily have a beneficial effect.

So it’s important to do your research before starting a new supplement.

It’s best to be supervised by a healthcare professional.

Probiotic side effects can sometimes include diarrhea if you go too fast.

So it’s advisable to start with a small amount, such as a tablespoon of kefir or a capsule of probiotics a day, and increase the dose as you go along.

On the whole, however, most studies have shown that probiotics are associated with very few side effects, and on the other hand they have a large number of benefits.

Probiotic supplements: product suggestions

Probiosin Plus Biotics 8
Organic lactic ferments YourBiology

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