The wonderful and secretive world of bacteria. We blame them for disease, now we praise them for their health benefits. While there are millions of strains of bacteria that have different effects on the planet and inside the human body, the research is becoming crystal clear-bacteria has a powerful effect on our health! They are faithful allies that play a huge role in our overall state of health and well being.
Studies have shown powerful benefits for conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular health, detoxification and toxin removal, immunity, skin health, mood, nutrient absorption, gastrointestinal disorders, weight loss, and so much more. One little known benefit of certain strains of bacteria is the ability to increase metabolism. If you’ve ever struggled to lose weight or felt you have a slow metabolism, there are several strains of bacteria that may be exactly what your body is craving.
1. Lactobacillus gasseri
A long-term study found that the Lactobacillus gasseri strain caused changes in certain genes related to fat storage. According to research, lactobacillus gasseri may help reduce the size of fat cells, the accumulation of fat, and overall weight gain. A very similar strain also reduced white fatty tissue (the kind you don’t want much of), leptin, overall weight, and insulin levels in mice. Those benefits can go far beyond just losing weight and may help lower the chances of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and more.
2. Lactobacillus fermentum & Lactobacillus amylovorus
A study of these two strains revealed that when used together, they may help to lower body fat when consumed over several months. In a short-term study of only 6 weeks, the control group taking a placebo lost 1% body fat, while the group taking these two bacteria lost 3-4% body fat! That’s an impressive increase in such a short period of time without doing anything else.
3. Bifidobacterium animalis lactis
Research on the bifidobacterium animalis lactis strain looked at the effects on 135 people with significant amounts of belly fat over the course of 3 months. It was found that participants lost a considerable amount of belly fat, had lower waist circumference, and a reduction of their BMI from this strain. The effect was stronger in women, but the men in the study still saw encouraging results.
4. Lactobacillus rhamnosus
A placebo-controlled study on the lactobacillus rhamnosus strain looked at the effects on obesity. The results were somewhat surprising, with women responding much more positively than men. The women in the study lost nearly 50% more weight compared to placebo, while the men remained nearly the same. Reductions in fat mass and leptin were only seen within the female group. Excellent results for women, but may not be able to do much for men.
5. Lactobacillus paracasei
A study that tested mice using the lactobacillus paracasei strain showed that it may help alter fat storage within the body. This specific strain has shown to increase angiopoietin-like 4, which plays a role in fat and glucose metabolism. It also appears to influence how triglycerides are deposited in the body. The triglyceride benefits are powerful because we know how dangerous high levels are for the cardiovascular system. More studies are needed to see how strongly it influences overall weight.
While probiotic strains should not be considered a standalone solution to weight loss, research is painting a clear picture that specific strains may be able to make a big difference in how our metabolism functions. Most probiotic strains won’t have much of an effect on weight loss (although they can improve other aspects of health), but these definitely appear to according to a decent body of research. Using the strains listed on a consistent basis should yield very encouraging results over time.