Can You Lose Weight With Probiotics?
Pharmacist and pharmacologist Daniel Sincholle explains what can be expected of probiotics and prebiotics to lose weight.
Probiotics are defined officially as “living micro-organisms which, when consumed in adequate quantities, produce a benefit to the host’s health”. The most common are lactic bacteria: lactobacilli (of the genus Lactobacillus ) and bifidobacteria (of the genus Bifidus). They can be found in yogurts, lacto-fermented foods and certain food supplements. The intestine and the colon naturally contain probiotics, which participate in what is called the “intestinal flora”. In the intestine, probiotics need fiber to grow. One can thus modulate the growth of certain beneficial probiotics to the detriment of others thanks to special fibers, most often belonging to the family of Fructooligosaccharides and which are called prebiotics.
Daniel Sincholle : The results of a study conducted by Nestle on products of their brand must be examined with caution. It is not impossible that it is effective but probiotics are living organisms that bring their own metabolism and interact with the other bacteria present in the colon and also with the food of their host. As these are living organisms within another living organism, things are very complicated to understand and explain.
Why think that taking probiotics we could slim down?
It all started in the mid-2000s, when around 2004-2005, American researchers realized that the bacterial flora of an obese mouse was different from that of a normal corpulence mouse. In mice, the scientific work that followed on the modification of the intestinal flora by strains of probiotics to lose weight were very demonstrative. In man, on the other hand, solid data are still lacking in order to recommend a probiotic strain. Some lactobacilli seem to be fattening and not losing weight. That is why, personally, I advise rather to take prebiotics than probiotics.
Would prebiotics be more effective than probiotics?
Prebiotics, in particular Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) such as inulin, make it possible to create favorable conditions in the colon for the growth of good probiotics. It is by prebiotics that it begins. Moreover, basic research on flora has shown that the modification of the intestinal flora of obese mice is accompanied by a general inflammatory state. Prebiotics such as FOS facilitate the reduction of inflammation (in particular by decreasing inflammatory cytokines), improve the intestinal flora and the state of tight junctions of the intestine. By helping to tighten these junctions, prebiotics prevent food debris from passing directly from the intestine into the bloodstream, causing inflammation and sometimes autoimmune reactions. Prebiotics also allow the growth of bifidobacteria, probiotics of interest for health and weight.
Is weight loss important with prebiotics?
The direct consequence of taking prebiotics, via the mechanisms I have just mentioned, is weight loss. Certainly not spectacular but significant in time.
What prebiotic do you recommend? At what dose?
Inulin is the best known and most researched. The doses usually used are between 5 and 20 g per day, the effective dose rotating around 8-10 g.
Since there is no intolerance and no toxicity, inulin can be taken continuously but regarding dietary supplements, I always advise to favor 3-month cures interspersed with breaks of 1 to 3 months. Let everyone see what works for him.
What foods can be found in prebiotics?
The inulin of dietary supplements is extracted from the root of the chicory. In general, the root vegetables contain Fructooligosaccharides. This is the case with artichoke, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, onions, etc.