Can Probiotics Play a Role in Weight Loss?

Can Probiotics Play a Role in Weight Loss?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that offer health benefits when consumed. These so called "good bacteria" are found in fermented foods and in dietary supplements. While probiotics are widely known for their ability to improve digestive health, there has been growing interest in their potential for aiding weight loss.

There is evidence to suggest that probiotics can promote weight loss by regulating the gut microbiota. The gut microbiota refers to the trillions of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract, and it plays a crucial role in our overall health. Studies have found that obese individuals tend to have a different gut microbiota composition than those who are lean. By introducing specific strains of probiotics, researchers believe that it may be possible to rebalance the gut microbiota and promote weight loss.

One study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that taking a probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus for 12 weeks helped participants lose significantly more weight than those taking a placebo. Another study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that consuming a fermented milk product containing Lactobacillus gasseri for 12 weeks resulted in a significant reduction in abdominal fat.

However, it is important to note that probiotics are not a magic bullet for weight loss. While they may have a positive impact on gut health, they should not be relied upon as the sole solution for weight loss. A healthy diet and regular exercise are still essential for maintaining a healthy weight.

In conclusion, while probiotics may offer some benefits for weight loss, they should be seen as part of a holistic approach to health rather than a quick fix. As with any supplement, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting to take probiotics.


  • Sanchez, M., Darimont, C., Drapeau, V., Emady-Azar, S., Lepage, M., Rezzonico, E., … Tremblay, A. (2014). Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women. British Journal of Nutrition, 111(8), 1507-1519. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513003875
  • Kadooka, Y., Sato, M., Ogawa, A., Miyoshi, M., Uenishi, H., Ogawa, H., … Tsuchida, T. (2013). The efficacy of Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 for reducing abdominal adiposity in overweight Japanese adults: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Functional Foods, 5(2), 315-321. doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2012.11.002
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