How Can Probiotics make you Gain Weight?

In case you are going through hell trying to manage your weight, then there is a likelihood that you have already gone through the prospects of probiotics and their relation with weight gain, loss and metabolic syndrome.

Gut bacteria have effects on the weight and this depends on the types or strains of micro biome present. Depending on an individual, the effects may also be positive as well as negative.

Probiotics and Weight Gain

Basing on some studies, there are very many types of different species of bacteria strains that could lead to weight gain. An example is the Lactobacillus.[1]The studies are not exhaustive:e most are constrained to the genus Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. The weight gain in this case may be as side effect or a benefit. For adults who want to lose weight it is a side effect and for low-weight infants it is a benefit.

From literature review it is evident that there might be limitations of the size of the samples and limited follow up. The species and strains of probiotics that have been studied mostly are the Saccharomyces cerevisiae var boulardii and Enterobacter halii.

Following continuous study on the strains Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii and Enterobacter halii, elucidation has been made concerning their effects on weight gain.[2].  Other Strains that have been shown to cause weight gain include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus ingluvei.

However, other strains such as the Lactobacillus gasseri (European Journal of Nutrition, 2010) and Lactobacillus plantarum have a higher likelihood of causing weight loss on the other hand[3]. Lactobacillus rhamnosus, according to a study publication in the British Journal of Nutrition (2014)[4], also improves weight loss.

Yet another study that was found to support the findings of weight loss in most of the strains in probiotics is one Japanese controlled trial that looked at Lactobacillus gasseri. Findings indicated  that fat was excreted in stool, reducing Basal Metabolic Index (BMI) and weight overall[5]. Find out more ideas and tips on how probiotics aid in weight loss in addition to the best brands

Probiotics weight gain
Probiotcs Can make you gain Weight

How Can Probiotics make you Gain Weight?

Looking as if weight gain has been outweighed, a study conducted on Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus ingluvei revealed significant weight gain in humans and in animals raising the suspicion of the likelihood of host-specific or idiosyncratic effects.

Babies/Infants Weight

Weight gain in infants who consume probiotics has been viewed as another success in cases of extremely low birth weights. Fei and Zhao (2013), in a study of the obese phenotype Enterobacter cloacae showed that infants who consumed probiotics and supplements with probiotics added on weight as compared to those who did not consume this.

This finding has ever since been supported by Mohamad Al-Hosni et al and Vermont Oxford Network’s study on the same. These studies are aimed at solving cases of failure of infants failing to thrive among more conventional means by the book in practice.

One crucial thing to note is that if a child seems not to be growing well, then you should first consider checking the amount of calories taken. Step up to target adequacy in case of inadequacy.

Findings from another study revealed that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium infantis 500 million Colony Forming Units (CFU) when administered to infants as subjects of the study once a day until lapse of 34 weeks in the postmenstrual age produced quite a notable increase in weight.

According to Kathy (Dr. Greene),

“Hiprobiotimy daughter was also diagnosed with failure to thrive. But after I changed her diet with all organic and GMO free my daughter has gained weight. Also, I give her raw probiotics.[6]” This is a review that indicates the accrued benefits form customers who have used probiotics before. This clearly points out that probiotics are out to bring better than any harm.

It is rather factual that premature babies have higher amounts of Clostridium difficile which are housed in the intestines[7]. These strains of bacteria is responsible for indigestion and colic leading to loss of appetite and even irritation at time of feed. This eventually leads to weight loss. In the long run, it leaves more reason to add on weight upon treatment of the dysbiosis by administration of probiotics with ‘good’ bacteria that curb the C. difficile.

This has also been seen to take place in babies who are either breast-fed or formula-fed. With different composition of intestinal cultures in these two types of babies, the former is likely to have a higher number of lactobacilli strains than the bacteroids while in the latter, bad bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Clostridium difficile and bacteroids dominate[8].

Pregnant Women

In pregnant women, adverse effects are likely to occur and it is likely that both the baby and the mother will suffer the futility. In a bid to try and understand this and invent ways to go around this, it has been found that the gut microbiome is a key factor and so is the flora that habits the vagina and placenta.

There is a general dysbiosis in pregnancy perhaps due to stress and sub-standard nutrition. Probiotic supplementation could come in handy in reducing complications by regulating the balance of microflora.[9]

Apart from that, pregnant mothers are at a higher risk of contracting Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) and metabolic syndrome[10]. It is therefore advisable, more beneficial and healthy that you should you’re your weight at par during pregnancy in order to reduce central obesity especially those with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

A Finnish study brought to a conclusion, upon findings of weight loss that these two strains lead to weight loss. Referring to the other Lactobacillus strains and host-specificity, there could be weight gain when probiotics are taken instead.

Animals -Poultry

In animals, poultry in particular, it has been found adding probiotics and prebiotics to broiler diets can boost body weight gain and feed conversion rates. This is according to a publication on the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture

Digestive Enzymes Weight Gain

More still, weight gain can also be caused by histamine intolerance. This is the imbalance in the breakdown of histamine and its synthesis in the gut.

This scenario occurs when the enzyme that is responsible for its breakdown, Diammine Oxidase (DAO), is saturated and deficient. When there is a buildup of histamine in the gut, there is inflammation and weight loss since much of the food is not absorbed well hence excreted.

In summary, histamine degrading bacteria such as Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Bifidobacterium longum improve digestion and increase weight. It is important that you should be careful because taking probiotics for long can on the contrary lead to the opposite effect of weight loss on the respective strains.

Brands & Strains

Lactobacillus Acidophilus

It is a species of gram positive bacteria in the genus Lactobacillus. It is a homofermentative microaaerophilic species that ferments sugar into lactic acid and it grows at very low pH. Lactobacillus acidophilus has been found to cause weight in some studies.

Activia Yogurt

The presence of corn starch in Activia Yogurt has been shown to be the reason behind the weight gain associated with his brand. Modified starch in the yogurt leads to an increase in blood pressure and leads to weight gain due to storage of the excess glucose in fat stores of the body.


Culturelle is a top probiotic brand based on Lactobacillus GG strain. This strain has been shown to have an amazing number of benefits from reducing colic in infants. Reviews have shown that some people are suffering from its weight gain side effect and this would probably point out to the strain as its side effect.

Probiotic Weight Gain Tips & Ideas

Since weight gain is a side effect of taking probiotics  one possible solution is to reduce the dosage and the number of pills that you take in a day. For instance, if you have been taking two pills of probiotics in a day, reduce the number to one a day and monitor yourself. If you are still gaining weight then switch to another probiotic.

Remember that the species and particular strains may cause different effects on your body. Lactobacillus species act differently with L. rhamnosus and L. gasseri being the top notch strains that may help you lose weight. However, L. acidophilus acts quite in the opposite manner.

It is also important to note that not everyone wants to lose weight. There are those who want to gain.

Therefore you could choose to avoid or take  probiotics from the following brands if you want to lose or gain weight.

  1. Florastor
  2. Probacto probiotics
  3. Align Probiotics

Note: that there is no concrete evidence that these particular brands cause weight gain. This only based on the idea that they contain lactobacillus spp.

Brands that contain Bifidobacterium infantis such as Align Probiotics, Digestive Probiotics, Propolis Plus, Super 10 Probiotic Complex, Flora 20-14, LactoPrime Plus, MegaFlora Plus, LifeStart-2, Probiotic All-Flora, Ultimate Flora Critical Colon and Ultimate Flora Ultra Potent among many others.

Current medication or medical condition may also have a hand to play while you are taking these probiotics. Probiotics that cause weight loss are able to do so since they modulate the permeability of the intestines to pro-inflammatory molecules from entering the bloodstream. This hence prevents the cascade that leads to weight-related disease such as glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

If you are treating a leaky bowel syndrome, it will sure take some time to regain the normal permeability even after 2 weeks of taking probiotics. Some medication may disrupt the flora in the intestines as a side effect such as occurs with antibiotics. This ultimately causes passage of the pro-inflammatory molecules into your blood stream.

Therefore; it is important to note the time before or after taking antibiotics during which probiotics can be taken. Otherwise you will mistakenly blame probiotics for you


[1] Million M., Angelakis E., Paul M., Armougom F., Leibovici L., Raoult D., Comparative meta-analysis of the effect of Lactobacillus species on weight gain in humans and animals








[9] Gomez Arango LF, Barrett HL, Callaway LK, Nitert MD, Probiotics and pregnancy.



  1. About 4+ years ago I began to lose weight. Within the first year I had lost 30 lbs.
    My primary physician has been very thorough by having blood work, CT scans,
    X-rays and MRI’s-all negative results. My doctor referred me to a Gastroenterologist
    who preformed several upper and lower Endoscopy’s, again, negative.
    In April however, I went through a Hydrogen Breath test and it was concluded that
    I had SIBO. The Gastroenterologist put me on antibiotics for one week and suggested
    that I go on a high fat low carb diet and that I take a probiotic supplement-I have since lost another ten pounds.
    Could it be as simple as a different brand of probiotic?

  2. Which probiotic can you recommend for weight loss. I need go take but find i am gaining weight. Dont need extra weight I exercise eat good and know its probiotics they seem to puff me
    Up a size. Please help

  3. So as someone who watches their weight really closely, I can tell you that when you first start taking lactobacillus, you will likely see a weight increase.

    I started lactofermenting vegetables at home, which is super easy to do and also delicious, and eating them at most meals. At that same time, I had several dinner parties and within three days, I gained 5 pounds… which is absolutely not due to the dinner parties, because I weigh myself religiously and I know exactly what to expect when I hit those parties.

    Studies show that lactobacillus slows digestion by about 12.5 hours. When you first get on them, if you happened to go to several dinner parties, you’re gonna see an uptick in your weight due to the slower digestion. You’ll feel a little different. That doesn’t mean that you are constipated… it’s just better digestion.

    However, eventually you’ll get balanced out as you get used to the new digestion. As someone who gas always been iffy with digestion, I can tell you it makes a huge difference.

  4. purchase 4 months supply of biethica probiotic been taken as instuctions and have gained 8 pounds in weight instead of what it said on packet lose 30lb in 30 days help

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