Guest Post by Joseph Tucker
There is a lot of talk lately about the benefits of probiotics. One question that continues to come up is whether or not probiotics help control hunger.
This is an important question, especially if you are looking to lose weight.
One of the biggest challenges for people trying to lose weight is trying to decrease appetite and reduce cravings. Surprisingly, something as simple as a probiotic supplement might be the answer.
However, many who have taken this supplement for years say that probiotics increased their appetite, while others claim their appetite decreased. So, what’s the answer?
The real answer is that probiotics can do both! The effect upon appetite, whether increase or decrease, depends mainly on the bacterial strain in your probiotic.
For probiotics that decrease appetite, a 2019 study showed that this effect could be due to the release of the appetite-reducing hormones GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) and PYY (peptide YY).
So, how does this happen? Continue reading to learn more about probiotics’ appetite reduction effects.
Role of Probiotics in Appetite Suppression
Did you know that one of the gut’s responsibilities is to tell our brains when it’s time to eat more food because the stomach is empty, and when it’s time to stop eating?
Obviously, our guts can’t literally shout to the brain in words. Instead, messages are delivered through the production of certain hormones.
Let’s dive into these hormones and their effects on our appetite below:
1. Increase in GLP-1 (Glucagon-like Peptide-1)
The release of GLP-1 may result in reduced food intake and improved glucose tolerance. Changes in gut flora composition from probiotic intake help suppress weight gain because you might feel fuller.
2. Increase in GLP-1, Reduction in Ghrelin
Another study showed that beneficial bacterial strains, like those from Bifidobacterium, can increase the production of GLP-1.
These strains might also reduce or suppress the production of the hormone ghrelin, also known as the “hunger hormone” (which promotes higher food intake and increased appetite).
3. Increase in PYY (Peptide YY)
Studies have also shown that aside from GLP-1 increase, probiotics also promote the release of another appetite suppressant, the PYY (peptide YY).
4. Hormones in the Gut-brain Axis
The gut microbiome (made of trillions of bacteria and other microbes) has direct interactions (through hormone production) with the brain and could affect how we feel (including mood and hunger).
Photo credit: Pixabay
This is backed by a clinical trial involving obese men and women given Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 probiotic supplement in a 12-week weight-loss period and a 12-week weight-maintenance period.
Surprisingly, this simple supplementation led the test subjects to lose weight. The study subjects given probiotic supplements showed a marked decrease in food cravings and an increased satiety efficiency (satiety quotient for the desire to eat) at lunch.
The results were the same for men and women groups, leading researchers to conclude that probiotics can have a big impact on appetite control for everyone.
Probiotics & Appetite Suppression: Can Probiotics Help You Lose Weight?
Probiotics can help you lose weight because they help to improve your digestion. They do this by decreasing your hunger. The better your digestion, the more efficiently your body will be able to break down and use the food you eat.
This means that you will be able to absorb more of the nutrients from your food, and it will also help to reduce bloating and stomach discomfort. Probiotics also play a role in regulating the appetite, so they can help you to feel full for longer and consume fewer calories overall.
Probiotics are a great way to help with weight loss, and they can decrease appetite.
Studies have shown that this effect could be due to the release of GLP-1 and PYY hormones. These hormones are known to reduce appetite and food intake.
Probiotics are made specifically for our digestive system and they help keep our gut flora balanced.
Have you tried using probiotics to decrease your appetite?
Dr Lauren here: these are some of my most commonly prescribed probiotics, depending upon what I’m trying to accomplish. For massive repopulation after a low stool culture test, or a round of antibiotics, I go for Probiotic 100B. For those with SIBO, I tend to prefer LactoPrime as they have no prebiotics. For general maintenance I usually go with HMF Forte. Dosing is 2 caps daily for each of them!
Joseph Tucker is a dietitian by profession and has years of experience in nutrition and fitness. He is passionate about helping others achieve their fitness and wellness goals, and he loves nothing more than spreading the gospel of health and nutrition all around the web. He’s also an expert contributor at MaxHealthLiving.com.