There's nothing so depressing as throwing on a bathing suit and inspecting yourself in a full-length mirror, only to realize that, in spite of all those crunches and planks, you're still carrying more abdominal fat than you'd like. There might be a six-pack under there, but no can see it!

To help with your fat-loss goals, consider supplementing with probiotics. Boosting the amount of good bacteria in your gut has been associated with improved body composition.[1] And although they're not visible to the naked eye, probiotics might be just what you need to look your best naked.

A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigated whether or not daily consumption of a probiotic-enriched yogurt had an impact on body weight and body-fat levels in healthy, overweight subjects.[2] Each participant was asked to add two 3-ounce portions of a probiotic-enriched or regular yogurt throughout the day.

Researchers found that the group eating the probiotic-enriched yogurt experienced significantly greater weight loss and abdominal fat loss compared to the placebo group. Researchers hypothesized that the beneficial bacteria inhibited fat storage, thus leading to a larger reduction in body-fat levels, compared to the control group.

To match the amount of probiotics eaten by subjects in this study, you'd have to include dairy at almost every meal. This is impractical for most people, especially those who are lactose intolerant. To help reap the benefits of probiotics, consider adding a probiotics supplement to your day. When stored and taken appropriately, these little critters may be the big change that finally provide the finishing touches to your physique!

  1. Omar, J. M., Chan, Y. M., Jones, M. L., Prakash, S., & Jones, P. J. (2013). Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus amylovorus as probiotics alter body adiposity and gut microflora in healthy personsJournal of Functional Foods5(1), 116-123.
  2. Kadooka, Y., Sato, M., Imaizumi, K., Ogawa, A., Ikuyama, K., Akai, Y., ... & Tsuchida, T. (2010). Regulation of abdominal adiposity by probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055) in adults with obese tendencies in a randomized controlled trialEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition64(6), 636-643.

About the Author

Jeremy Partl, MS, CISSN

Jeremy Partl, MS, CISSN

Jeremy Partl, MS, CISSN, has worked with all aspects of the population in providing nutrition counseling and education.

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