Lactobacillus Gasseri – the Weight Loss Probiotic?

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There are millions of bacteria that inhabit our guts.  Most are beneficial, and are referred to as Probiotics.

A healthy and diverse population of these good bacteria are key to proper functioning of our digestive and immune systems, greatly impacting our physical and mental health. (1234).

We can improve the population of good bacteria in our guts thru proper nutrition, and by taking Probiotic supplements.

Research has shown this can relieve many chronic health problems.  While not as strong as Garcinia Cambogia, some Probiotics may also help us lose weight and belly fat.

Probiotic Strains that may help lose weight and belly fat

650x600_lactobacillus_finalStudies have found that certain strains of the Lactobacillus family can help you lose weight and belly fat.

In one study, eating yogurt with Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus reduced body fat by 3–4% over a 6-week period (21).

Another study of 125 overweight dieters investigated the effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements on weight loss and weight maintenance (22).

During a 3-month study period, the women taking the probiotics lost 50% more weight compared to the group taking a dummy pill (placebo). They also continued to lose weight during the weight maintenance phase of the study.

Note that in these 2 studies mentioned above subjects were provided with Prebiotics along with the LG (Yoghurt and Inulin) which is thought to improve the effectiveness.

Lactobacillus Gasseri

Lactobacillus gasseri is generating the most excitement and further research for its  effects on weight loss.

There have been several mouse studies that showed positive results for weight control (25262728).

Human studies are also promising.  Most recently,  a 2 week study of 30 healthy men in 2015.

Subject were given a glass of fermented milk to drink every day, with half including Lactobacillus gasseri in their drink and the other half not.

Testing of fecal samples before and after the study showed those receiving Lactobacillus gasser had a higher amount of fat in the feces after the 2 weeks, while the control group did not (29).

lactobacillus gasseri and weight loss

Effect of intake of fermented milk containing Lactobacillus gasseri on fecal fat excretion in humans.

This proved that not only does the Lactobacillus gasseri survive the digestive process, but that it had an effect on the metabolism, resulting in less fat being absorbed.

This study demonstrates the mechanism for how Lactobacillus gasseri can effect the system.

An earlier Japanese study showed Lactobacillus gasseri can effectively reduce waist size, BMI and the dangerous visceral fat that accumulates around the organs (30).

A Korean company has patented a form of LG derived from mothers milk they call Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17, and been granted a certificate of Functional Ingredient for Body Fat reduction  (31)

Some strains of the Lactobacillus family have been shown to reduce weight and belly fat. Lactobacillus gasseri appears to be the most effective.

Natural Food Sources of Lactobacillus Gasseri

probiotic foodsLactobacillus bacteria is the most commonly used for fermentation.

Most fermented foods naturally contain Lactobacillus gasseri bacteria.

Kombucha, Kefir, yoghurt and pickled vegetables like kimchi, sauerkraut are good sources of a wide variety of Lactobacillus strains.

Some fermented meats like salami and chorizo also contain lactobacillus bacteria.

You can also ferment foods yourself at home, but be sure to do it properly. I recommend starting with these recipes for kefir, kimchi or sauerkraut.

Lactobacillus gasseri is also found naturally in breast milk, which is thought to help the development of an infant’s immune system.

Where to buy Lactobacillus Gasseri

amazon cartLactobacillus Gasseri is the most effective probiotic strain for weight loss identified so far.

There are several brands on Amazon that include some L Gasseri in combination with 10 or more other strains.

These are the only 2 we have been able to find that primarily use L Gasseri.

Swanson  – A single strain – Lactobacillus Gasseri –  3 billion CFUs.

Phillips Colon Health  – 3 different strains including Lactobacillus Gasseri –  1.5 billion CFUs.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are bacteria (biotic)  we eat that are beneficial (pro) to our bodies.

We humans carry around 10 times as many microorganisms with us as we have cells in our body.  (5).

what are probiotics
They are most prominent in  the stomach and intestinal tract where they aid nutrient absorption and  immune system and are referred to as our gut flora or gut microbiome.

There are hundreds  of strains   of these friendly bacteria that aid digestion and produce important nutrients, including B and K vitamins.

Antibiotics we sometimes use can  kill or inhibit the growth of the “good”  bacteria in our gut as well as the the “bad” bacteria which can seriously impact our health (6).

By adding more probiotic foods into your diet, you could reap the following health benefits:

  • Stronger immune system
  • Healing leaky gut syndrome and IBS
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased energy
  • Weight loss
  • Healthier skin

 Damage to our Digestive Systems

Probiotics-vs-Antibiotics-1Modern agricultural practices including  rampant use of pesticides, chlorine soaking,  preservatives and refrigeration   leave our foods have very little probiotics today.

In fact, some foods now have dangerous antibiotics that destroy the bacteria in our digestive system.

In addition to the problems with our foods, we also encounter many toxins in our environment that harm our digestive system, resulting in chronic inflammation that is the root cause of many diseases and chronic health issues
Damaged from:

  • Antibiotics
  • Processed Grains
  • Sugar
  • Emotional Stress
  • Chemicals and medications

Too many of us are subjected  to many of these everyday.  If they’re not addressed, the population of good bacteria is decimated  and you gut can become a breeding ground for bad bacteria, parasites, yeast and fungi.

Our foods, environment, stresses and medicines can all damage the biology in our guts and wreak havoc on our health.

How does Gut Bacteria affect weight

woman-eating-yogurt-with-berries-flaxThe biology of our guts is not static, and can be changed by diet and outside environmental factors(12).

Bacteroidetes and firmicutes are the 2 main families of bacteria that are important for regulating bodyweight by digesting  fatty acids and dietary polysaccharides.

Imbalance of these ratios (gut dysbiosis)  affect weight loss or gain.
The functions of the hundreds of different strains of bacteria are complex and not entirely understood, with some disagreement among researchers (78).

Some bacteria help digest  fiber into beneficial fatty acids  butyrate (9).

Prevotella  is a enterotype, or  family of bacteria strain that help digest carbohydrates and are more prevalent in people who consume a lot of carbohydrates.

Bacteroides are another family of bacteria that is more prevalent in people who consume significant amounts of animal protein.

Increasing the population of certain strains of bacteria is now thought to effect how our bodies process and store food, which can affect weight.

weight-loss-research-scientists-mouseAn early sign of this was a study where gut bacteria from obese mice that are transplanted into the guts of normal weight mice result in those mice soon becoming obese (13).

Minimising low-grade inflammation, one of the main drivers behind metabolic disease, is the primary suspect (141516).

In people, studies show that those who are overweight  have much different populations of bacteria  than people of normal weight (1718).

This lead to further studies to see which strains of bacteria were different.

Those studies show normal weight people have more bacteroidetes, and fewer firmicutes than overweight people. (1920).

Several studies have demonstrated regular use can increase number and diversity of bacteria microbiota, and provide relief from colitis, diarrhea, and improve immune system response (32,33,34,35,36,37)

These results opened up some very exciting possibilities for weight loss to see how much we can alter our gut bacteria to help cure obesity.

There is wide variation in the population of bacteria in each persons gut. Research shows it is influenced by out diet, and these bacteria play a powerful role in controlling weight

Final Thoughts

Besides weight loss, a healthy microbiome can have improve digestive health, reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular risk factors and even help fight depression and anxiety.

Proper diet is the best way to improve your gut flora.

Probiotic Supplements can also increase the number and diversity of your gut flora.

Research indicates probiotics can help some people lose belly fat and weight.

The effects are minor though, along the lines of what you might expect from using Cumin
or Niagen.

On the plus side though, Probiotics do not have the side effects
of strong diet supplements.

As always, we recommend a low carb diet and more exercise as the most effective way to lose weight.