Another study connects probiotics and gut health to maintaining a healthy weight

Yogurt is a food that contains probiotics, which can aid digestive health. Aside from being rich in nutrients and having a high protein content, a study has recently revealed that yogurt drinks can also help you lose weight.

According to a new study headed by Norwegian researchers, taking probiotic supplements might help you shed inches from your waistline. The findings of the study revealed that by consuming yogurt drinks daily, one can lose at least 1.3 lbs (0.6 kg) after three weeks.

These results prove that probiotics, which have become a hot topic in the scientific community, can be the key to helping obese individuals lose weight. Because yogurt drinks are full of live bacteria, they can help correct an imbalance in the gut that causes the body to extract calories and turn them into fat.

Scientists from the Vestfold Hospital Trust in Tonsberg have looked into findings gleaned from 15 previous studies about probiotics and weight loss. Using data from 957 obese adults, the scientists observed that participants experienced a significant weight reduction after taking probiotic supplements for three to 12 weeks. Along with these benefits, the researchers also observed a small effect on their BMI, or the measure of body fat using the ratio between weight and height.

The study, which was published in the journal Obesity Reviews, proved that taking a round of probiotics for three weeks can result in a 0.27kg/m² loss in BMI. The team of researchers, which was led by Dr. Heidi Borgeraas, also saw a slight difference in fat percentage. There was a 0.6 percent reduction in fat percentage for those who took the probiotics compared to a placebo.

In the journal, the researchers stated, “Our meta-analysis showed that short-term probiotic supplementation reduced body weight, BMI, and fat percentage.” But Borgeraas et al. noted that these effects were “small.” The research must be continued to confirm the initial findings.

The team advised that “the risk of bias within included studies was low, but, importantly, a number of trials were not registered and/or lacked a priori sample size calculation and were thus regarded as having unclear or high risk of reporting other biases. Further long-term studies are required to examine the effects of probiotic supplementation on various measures on body weight.”

Probiotics, bad bacteria, and good bacteria

Probiotics help replace “bad” bacteria with “good” bacteria, and its effects on the body have been studied continuously in the past few years. Some studies have proven that probiotics are “perishable” bacteria and that heat and stomach acid can kill them, making them ineffective before they’re digested.

However, keep in mind that “diets high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods wreak havoc on the microbiome” and wipe out beneficial bacteria. Without the good bugs, bacteria like Firmicutes will extract more calories from the food we eat and cause weight gain. Studies about gut health also link it to various conditions like depression, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Fat-burning ways to consume yogurt

If you want to eat more yogurt to lose weight, check out the suggestions listed below. Before you try any of the suggestions to spice up your yogurt, make sure that you’re using plain yogurt since some flavored variants have more sugar than a Twinkie.

  • Frozen yogurt – Make this the next time you have a hankering for some fro-yo. Just get some Greek yogurt, add cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and your preferred toppings (diced fruit or berries). Cover the container and freeze the mixture for two hours for a healthy yogurt dessert.
  • Yogurt dips – You can make this dip in under two minutes, and this “tangy honey mustard yogurt dip” pairs well with anything from to cucumber sticks to chicken satay. Mix 1/4 cup honey mustard with 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt and two tablespoons of fresh dill, if you want. The mustard boosts your metabolism and the yogurt base ensures that your snack session is lean.
  • Yogurt smoothies – Use plain Greek yogurt to boost the nutrients and give your smoothie a rich texture. Blend yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit, a handful of spinach, and plant-based protein powder for an on the go breakfast or snack. Freeze fruits (like berries or bananas) and add some to give the smoothie a thicker texture that can beat your milkshake craving.

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