Probiotics may Assist in Weight Loss.

Recent research indicates that having the right mixture of healthy bacteria (probiotics) may assist in weight loss. The gut bacteria can be grouped according to whether they are firmicutes or bacteroides. Obese individuals have a higher amount of  bacteroides than firmicutes.  Firmicutes can secrete a compound that results in increased activity of lipoprotein lipase in fat cells, resulting in enhanced storage of these lipids.

Eating certain plant based foods that contain polyphenols, such as fruits like apples, pears, and grapefruits, green tea, and red wine vinegar have been shown to shift the balance of gut bacteria towards bacteroides away from firmicutes.

Supplementing with appropriate probiotics or prebiotics could change your gut microbiota to make it easer to lose weight. At this time, we don’t know exactly which species of bacteria to supplement the gut with to help with weight loss, so it is best to take a multi-strain supplement that provides at least 15 billion organisms. Ideally it would be a good idea to also consume some prebiotics to facilitate the growth of these friendly gut bacteria. Speak to Dr. Weitz about whether this might be recommended in your case.


Chen, Guo L, Zhang Y, et al. Incorporation of therapeutically modified bacteria into gut microbiota inhibits obesity. J Clin Invest. 2014;124(8):3391-406.

Rastmanesh R. High polyphenol, low probiotic diet for weight loss because of intestinal microbiota interaction. Chem Biol Interact. 2011 Jan 15;189(1-2):1-8.

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