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Dear Luba: Probiotics

Dear Luba,

There’s been a lot of talk about probiotics and the gut microbiome; can you explain the effects of probiotics on weight?


It has been proven that the kind of bacteria in your gut or lack thereof can be a factor in the development of obesity.

     People who are overweight or obese have been shown to have Intestinal Microbiota that is imbalanced, and lower in microbial diversity compared to people who are a normal weight. 

You’re probably wondering why that is!

There are several mechanisms by which our gut microbiome helps to maintain our metabolism and weight:

  1. If there is a lack or imbalance of a certain bacteria, the energy we get from the food ingested is used more readily and extra calories are stored as fat 
  2. This altered microbiota also lowers the production of a protein called Fiaf(fasting-induced adipose factor). This leads to increased storage of triglycerides in fat tissue and lowers the release of hormones such as GLP-1 and peptide YY. These hormones send signals to our brain that we are full and to stop overeating.

Wow! I get it now! How do I make sure to get my probiotics in then?! 

Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as

Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha. 

Ugh, not my favorites. What if I take a supplement?

Choosing a probiotic supplement

It should contain many different strains of that “good bacteria” and at least 5-10 billion CFUs (colony-forming units).

Luba Surman is a Doctor of Pharmacy and has been practicing as a registered pharmacist for 17 years. 
Using a holistic individualized approach to healthcare, wellness, and nutrition, she empowers and educates patients on how to achieve and lead a healthy lifestyle.