Yakult is a popular and nutritious drink that is believed to provide many health benefits due to its probiotic content. The probiotics found in Yakult can improve gut health and help break down the food in the digestive system. However, it is not so clear how beneficial Yakult is for weight loss. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into this probiotic drink and see if it could actually help you lose weight.
Table of contents:
What is Yakult?
Yakult is a widely-available sweetened probiotic beverage that originates from Japan. This fermented drink doesn’t contain any fat, gluten, or cholesterol. A typical bottle of Yakult (65ml) contains the following:
- 43 calories
- 10g of carbohydrates, of which 8.8g is sugar
- 0.9 g of protein
- 3mg of salt
- 0g of fat
In addition to skim milk, glucose-fructose syrup, sugar, and maltodextrin, Yakult contains Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS), a type of lactic acid bacteria commonly used in probiotics and dairy products.
The L. casei Shirota bacteria strain has been proven to alleviate various gut health issues and digestive conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), infectious diarrhea, and gut infections. Each bottle of Yakult has more than 20 billion L. casei Shirota bacteria cells, which is the highest concentration of probiotics in any dairy product.
Regular consumption of Yakult has been linked to improvements in digestive and immune system function, as probiotics can help to ease constipation and restore the natural balance of good bacteria in the digestive system.
Additionally, the beneficial bacteria in Yakult can help break down food, which can promote regular bowel movements. Yakult could also be a valuable drink for those who are trying to lose weight, which we will explore in more detail in this article.
Probiotics and Health Benefits
Probiotics are live microorganisms that already exist within our bodies. In case of an infection, poor gut health, loss of sleep, or stress, the number of beneficial bacteria in the stomach can be reduced. This imbalance of bacteria in the digestive system can have adverse effects on overall health.
In order to improve the balance between good and bad bacteria in the body, one can take probiotic supplements. Probiotics can also be found in fermented food and drinks, like yogurt and other dairy products.
Probiotics aren’t only used to increase the number of good microbes in the body and restore gut health. Consuming a healthy amount of probiotics on a daily basis can influence your physical and mental health. Here are some of the most important benefits of probiotics:
Whether probiotics can help improve your health and to what extent depends on many factors, such as your current health and lifestyle. In addition, factors such as genetics and hormones can also determine how effective probiotics can be, so it very much varies from person to person.
Probiotics and Weight Loss
Many studies have been conducted on the link between probiotics and weight loss. Individuals with obesity have a different bacteria flora in their digestive system than those who aren’t overweight.
To be more specific, overweight individuals don’t have as much gut bacteria diversity as those who are at optimal weight. A deficiency in beneficial gut bacteria can make those individuals more prone to weight gain.
This is where probiotics come in. By acting to improve the balance between the “good” and “bad” bacteria in your gut, probiotics help regulate body weight. By reinforcing the beneficial bacteria in your stomach, probiotics promote the production of essential vitamins and nutrients. Probiotics also aid the bacteria in breaking down fibre, which helps with digestion.
The two types of probiotics that have been proven to aid weight loss are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. In one study, a group of overweight and obese female participants took probiotic mix containing different strains of probiotics, while a different group took a placebo. After the eight-week trial was completed, the participants who took the probiotic strains lost more weight than the placebo group.
Another study shows probiotics can release appetite-regulating hormones and can even help counter obesity and diabetes. These peptide hormones are responsible for burning calories, and if they’re increased, the body is able to lose weight faster. Further research suggests that taking probiotics on a regular basis can increase the levels of fat-regulating proteins.
Does Yakult help with weight loss?
Yakult has the potential to provide numerous health benefits, and one of them is as a tool to facilitate weight loss. This probiotic drink contains the Lactobacillus casei Shirota bacteria strain, which has anti-obesity effects, making Yakult a good candidate for a weight loss aid.
A study was conducted on obese rats who were fed food containing the LcS bacteria. As a result, their body fat mass, leptin, and glucose levels were lowered. The study showed that adding the LcS bacteria to their diet improved body weight regulation.
To provide even more value to these claims, a human trial conducted on obese children found that the LcS probiotic strain contributed to weight loss while simultaneously improving lipid metabolism. As Yakult contains a high concentration of the mentioned probiotic strain, it may be an excellent aid to weight loss.
Is Yakult good for losing belly fat?
The relationship between the LcS bacteria strain and belly fat, otherwise known as visceral fat, is somewhat unclear. Even though there is no conclusive evidence that the LcS bacteria can directly benefit the loss of belly fat, it is known that probiotics can influence our weight in more ways than one.
For example, LcS helps produce vitamins, nutrients, and certain fatty acids, which are necessary for diverse gut flora. In other words, they keep your digestive system going and prevent gut issues, which is important to keep losing weight consistently.
An exercise is a known tool against weight gain and a great addition to any weight loss program. However, even vigorous exercise is unlikely to achieve spot reduction of fat. Since visceral fat is the most challenging to get rid of, it is most likely going to be the last to go.
However, belly fat will go away with time if you keep losing weight. Similarly, while Yakult will not magically melt away the belly fat, it is likely going to be a useful drink to add to your diet and optimize your gut function for weight loss.
Best time to drink Yakult for weight loss
While Yakult can be consumed at any time of the day, taking it on an empty stomach may enhance the effectiveness of its probiotics. Consuming Yakult 30-60 minutes before a meal may allow the beneficial bacteria to colonize more effectively in the gut.
It’s important to take probiotics while your stomach is inactive – which is also why it is generally recommended to take probiotics at least two hours before taking an antibiotic.
How to use Yakult for Weight Loss
The best way to incorporate Yakult into your weight loss regime is to drink it consistently and monitor your daily calorie intake. According to Yakult’s official website, it’s recommended to drink one to two bottles a day. You should try to incorporate Yakult into your regular diet, perhaps as a substitute for more caloric foods or drinks.
Depending on their health and current diet, people can react differently to an increased dosage of probiotics. If you feel bloated when you first start drinking Yakult, you can decrease the dosage to one bottle or less. When your stomach gets used to it, you can go back to two bottles a day.
In addition to consuming Yakult, incorporating other healthy habits such as regular exercise, a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and managing stress levels can also support weight management.
Can Yakult cause weight gain?
Even though some probiotic strains can cause weight gain, Yakult isn’t one of them. Since this probiotic drink doesn’t contain fat or cholesterol, and it is quite low in calories, it is highly unlikely to contribute to weight gain.
However, you may experience bloating when you drink Yakult for the first time. This happens because your body needs time to adjust to the regular dosage of probiotics, but it shouldn’t be mistaken for weight gain.
The Verdict – Yakult for weight loss
Yakult could be a great way to introduce extra probiotics into your diet. Not only can Yakult help with constipation, diarrhea, and various gut issues, but it could also help you lose weight. Since it is low in calories it can serve as a great substitute for more caloric foods and drinks, improving your overall health.
However, even with Yakult, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and track your daily calorie intake to ensure that the numbers on the scale keep going down.
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