If you want to lose weight for bikini season, it's super important to practice good habits like eating veggies, drinking water and exercising. But if you want a little more bang for your buck, clinical research on probiotics suggests that good gut bacteria may actually promote your weight loss efforts. In fact, the National Institutes of Health recently published a research study that links the gut bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus — which is found in certain probiotic supplements — to significant weight loss in women.
We caught up with Registered Dietician Serena Hunt to hear her thoughts on probiotics and their possible role in weight loss and weight maintenance.
According to Hunt, research is clear that good digestive bacteria can help people stay regular and fight off illnesses, which can certainly promote overall well-being. But where does the weight loss fit in? Although she was quick to point out that the science of gut bacteria and weight loss isn't yet fully understood, she "would not be at all surprised if the gut bacteria found in certain probiotics plays an important role in weight loss."
Apparently, foods that contain healthy gut bacteria can equalize the digestive and immune systems, thereby regulating the hormonal reactions inherent to weight loss and weight gain. "Any factors that signal to the body that there are healthy, anti-inflammatory mechanisms in place will help the body maintain a healthy weight," Hunt said. "Probiotics are one type of food which minimizes inflammation in your gut. Less inflammation leads to less hormonal imbalance, which can help your body reach homeostasis and a healthy body weight." While probiotic supplements may not be a weight loss magic bullet, they appear to provide the body with the hormonal foundation for weight loss.
Hunt was adamant that probiotic quality varies widely by supplement. "Probiotics are only beneficial when they're alive," she said. "Many supplements provide dead, and consequently, inactive organisms to the gut."
It's not enough, however, to purchase a supplement that boasts living bacteria. Hunt added, "It's important to buy brands that take measures to ensure their probiotics survive both packaging and digestion in order to make it to the colon alive and kicking." She suggested finding a brand with at least 30 billion colony-forming units per serving. Furthermore, she added that consumers need to choose a brand that uses either enteric coatings and refrigeration or a brand that contains acid- and bile-resistant bacteria.
If you're interested in trying out a probiotic supplement that contains Hunt's must-haves as well as the Lactobacillus rhamnosus of the NIH study, check out Keybiotics. Finding a high-quality probiotic supplement will boost your overall well-being, and you'll experience first-hand whether good gut bacteria is really the key to a rockin' bikini bod.
Even if you're not sold on probiotics as the key to a bikini body, you can rest assured knowing that good gut bacteria are great for your digestion and overall health. Look for a brand that boasts at least 30 billion colony-forming units per serving.
This post was sponsored by Keybiotics.
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