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Weight loss is perhaps the biggest health-related obsession of humans. "How do I lose weight fast?" is a question on the minds of many Americans, but the statistics suggest we have not found an answer to the question just yet. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 99 million American adults are overweight, 70 million of whom are obese. The picture is not much different for children and adolescents; up to 14.4 million of this population – a prevalence of 20% - live with obesity.
These alarming figures explain why fad diets come in and out of the US on a regular basis. It also explains why hectic fitness programs and weight loss drugs are on the market today. That's not to say they are not effective - some of them are – but they tend to be too difficult to follow or unsustainable in the long run. So are there options that are easy to adhere to and cause changes that promote a healthy weight over time? The answer is yes. What are these options, you ask? If your guess is probiotics and prebiotics, you would be very right!
Probiotics are living, healthy microorganisms that form part of the normal flora of the digestive system. Prebiotics on the other hand, are indigestible fibers that serve as a source of nutrition for these microorganisms, consequently promoting their growth and proliferation. These two supplements confer a good number of benefits, one of which is weight loss. But are probiotic and prebiotic supplements as effective for weight loss as marketers claim? Is there scientific data to back up the claim? How exactly do they contribute to shedding fat? These questions and more will be answered shortly. Buckle up for an interesting and informative ride.
To understand how prebiotics and probiotics promote a healthy body mass index, we first have to understand how the population of bacteria in our bowels contributes to our body weight.
It's no secret that the human gut is home to trillions of bacteria. The gut microbiome is a blend of good and bad bacteria that has to exist in a healthy balance. Consumption of processed food, acute and chronic illnesses and antibiotics are major examples of factors that can provoke a tilt in this balance between good and bad bacteria. Weight gain and obesity are prominent on the list of problems that can arise from this imbalance.
Experiments in humans and mice have shown that the gut microbiome differs with body weight.
Broadly speaking, there are two groups of bacteria we harbor in our bowels: Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. In obese humans and mice, the population of Firmicutes outweighs that of Bacteroidetes, while the reverse is the case in those with lean body mass. Another groundbreaking study in 2013 also provides more evidence to support that the earlier finding was no coincidence. After transplanting stool from an obese human twin into lean mice, significant weight gain was observed in the rodent. This did not occur when stool from the thin human twin was transplanted. This research added further credence to the belief that a strong relationship exists between gut population and weight.
Loss of appetite control is the main mechanism by which microbiome imbalance leads to weight gain. Scientific studies prove that bad bacteria suppress the release of two hormones – Pancreatic YY (PYY) and Glucagon-like Peptide 1 (GLP-1) – which promote satiety. These two hormones tell our brains that we have had enough to eat, but there is a tendency to eat in excess when they are reduced.
Recent research also indicates a strong link between gut bacteria and ghrelin, the "hunger hormone" that stimulates appetite and food intake.
Other mechanisms by which microbiome imbalance contributes to obesity include exaggerated inflammatory responses and impaired blood sugar regulation. More scientists are carrying out even more research on this subject area, but the current evidence is already convincing.
The effects of imbalance in gut bacteria have been highlighted above, so it stands to reason that a return to a healthy balance can improve body weight. How can you restore this balance? The use of probiotics, of course. The microorganisms contained in these supplements will help increase the population of friendly bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Probiotics also affect fat metabolism in your favor. They may contribute to reduced absorption of fatty acids along the gut, thereby promoting increased excretion. They may also increase the levels of proteins that regulate fat, especially angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4). These proteins act to reduce fat storage in the body.
Additionally, by improving the healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, probiotics reduce the likelihood of gut inflammation. Inflammatory responses throughout the body are linked to weight gain and obesity, so by counteracting this process, it should be easier to shed weight.
Prebiotics are believed to have an even higher contribution to weight loss than probiotic supplements. Prebiotics are fibers that intestinal bacteria feed on. Fibers have a well-established filling effect that satisfies us early and leaves less room for calorie-dense food. By including prebiotics in your diet, you would be suppressing your tendencies to overeat.
These supplements may also provoke the release of short-chain fatty acids, Pancreatic Y, and Glucagon-like Peptide 1 that suppress appetite and promote the feeling of satiety in a healthy way. The fibers in prebiotics are a food source for healthy bacteria, so these supplements will help the friendly microbes grow in excess of the bad ones. They may also reduce the absorption of fat into the bloodstream.
Our final verdict is yes. It would help if you introduced both of these supplements into your diet. And if you are looking to do this, you should go for the best probiotics and prebiotics on the market.
Progurt has a line of critically acclaimed and positively reviewed products that can be of great help to you in your journey to weight loss.
By combining our supplements with healthy dietary modifications, lifestyle changes, and regular exercises, you should witness an accelerated reduction in your body weight.
Purchase our probiotics and prebiotics products today, and begin to enjoy the numerous health benefits.