Can Probiotics Help You Lose Weight?
Kefir’s Got Many Health Benefits – Is Weight Loss One of Them?Apr 2nd, 2013 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: Coach Nancy - The Way I See It..., P90X Diet
It seems common knowledge now that if you have taken a course of antibiotics, you need to supplement with probiotics to restore your inner gut health. But some will tell you that as a nation, unless you are supplementing, you are most likely living with an unhealthy gut where the bad bacteria is way too high for your health.
I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now. I had been buying Greek yogurt for a couple years but then migrated to kefir. If you are not familiar with kefir, it’s like a liquid yogurt but more tart or tangy. But I didn’t like the price for it. So I did some research and found that you can make your own kefir if you get some kefir grains (not traditional grains) and ferment your own milk (preferrably raw milk but you can use low heat pasturized milk as well). I stumbled on the website Yeemos.com which is loaded with info and I bought both milk and kefir grains. (BTW I was very happy with their customer service and the quality of the grains they sent me.) So I was off and running. But I also kept researching what health benefits I could expect.
Kefir sites promise a LOT of benefits. I’m not sure how many of them have studies backing them but I’m more convinced the more I read that we can see many benefits from probiotic foods like kefir. Kefir, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is the milk based probiotic drink that seems to have started in the Caucasus mountain region there Turkish people were observed living very long lives (some say between 100 and 140 years) without much disease. So a long healthy life is the gist of all the benefits kefir promises.
So that brings me back to the question of weight loss. Can you really lose weight with probiotics? Maybe. There are a couple studies that are beginning to support this. One I know of was done with mice but there is a small study that was human based that showed fat loss from two specific strains of probiotics.
Now when I compared the strains of probiotics listed in the human weight loss study (Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus amylovorus), I noticed that the first is listed as a strain you’ll find in kefir made from kefir grains. Unfortunately it’s not in the store stuff – I checked – it’s also not in yogurt. Home made kefir (from grains, not powdered culture) can contain 20 – 40+ strains of probiotics and also has the benefit of beneficial yeasts which combat the bad yeast in your body. Also the home made kefir can contain 10 billion cfu per ml. When you consider that one tablespoon is over 14 ml, one tablespoon provides up to 140 billion CFU. Up that to a cup and you’ll have over 2.35 trillion CFUs. Now some will claim that most of the probiotics won’t clear the stomach. Actually milk components of milk kefir buffers the probiotics moving through the stomach so more survive than the pessimists think. That said, even if only 1% get through as I’ve seen argued, that’s still 23.5 billion which is more than most pills sold (assuming they can deliver their stated potency which is unlikely).
What I have noticed is that the more kefir I drink, the fewer calories I take in overall (I have to fight a tendency to overeat which goes away when I drink kefir). So that alone is pretty cool and likely to produce weight loss.
Expect to hear more from me about the benefits of kefir!