8 Ways To Modulate Your Gut For Better Metabolism and Weight Management

April 14, 2024 7 min read

8 Ways To Modulate Your Gut For Better Metabolism and Weight Management Cover Image

If you were to take a journey through the human body, there’s no doubt it would be like a magical, mystery tour. For proper function and to sustain life, the body relies on many different chemical reactions that are happening simultaneously and continuously every second.

Central to these reactions, is the conversion of food into energy and the human gut microbiome is a key player in this. Collectively these processes make up your metabolism.

In this article, we’ll explore eight different ways you can modulate and support your gut microbiome to promote better metabolism and weight management.

1. Discover the benefits of resistant starch

For some people, the idea of eating starchy carbohydrates is a no-go, but not all starch and carbohydrates are bad. Resistant starch is a type of carb not digested in the small intestine. Instead, foods like green bananas, cooked and cooled pasta and potatoes, and oats are fermented by the bacteria in your gut.

Resistant starch is not only good for your friendly gut inhabitants but is also linked to several metabolic changes that may result in health benefits. For example, it can lower blood sugar responses after a meal, lower lipid (fat) levels in the blood, make you feel fuller and contribute to lower fat storage[i].c

Recent research has shown that resistant starch can stimulate weight loss by increasing the abundance of a specific probiotic strain called  Bifidobacteria adolescentis.  We think this is so exciting that we’ve written a whole blog on it.

2. Increase your intake of prebiotics

Prebiotics come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They are types of fibre that are acquired from the diet and help sustain beneficial gut bacteria. By breaking down these fibrous foods, your gut microbiota yields many important metabolites, like short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and vitamins that benefit various areas of your health.

SCFAs are important for regulating energy metabolism and appetite by stimulating the release of satiety hormones, signalling to your brain that you feel full, and reducing calorie intake. In animal studies, the administration of propionate stimulated the release of peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Therefore, propionate could reduce appetite in the short term by stimulating the release of appetite-suppressing hormones[ii].

We have a range of prebiotics available to help support metabolism and promote balance in the adult gut. Check out our range.

3. Try Akkermansia probiotic

Akkermansia muciniphila  has been pinpointed as a next-generation probiotic because of its positive impact on host metabolic health and its ability to maintain balance in the human gut.

It is well known that the gut microbiome composition in healthy individuals differs from those living with obesity or type 2 diabetes. Dao et al., (2016) investigated the effects of  A. muciniphila  on fecal microbiome gene richness, host characteristics, and the changes following a 6-week calorie restriction period in overweight and obese adults.

The results found that the probiotic bacterium was linked to a healthier metabolic status and improved clinical outcomes. Individuals with a higher abundance of  A. muciniphila  had a bigger improvement in glucose homeostasis, blood fats, and body composition after a calorie-restricted diet.

Further studies have found that oral supplementation of  A. muciniphila  has a positive effect on obesity and diabetes. For example,  Akkermansia  may reduce weight gain, control fat build-up, improve the immune response and reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to a high-fat diet[iii].

You can take advantage of this next-gen probiotic with our  Akkermansiaprobiotic  product. Packed with 100 million colony-forming units (CFU) of  Akkermansia,  250 g of 2’-Fucosyllactose (2’-FL) human milk oligosaccharides, and 750 mg of resistant starch for survival, this probiotic is sure to start a revolution in your gut!

4. Promote gut-friendly colonies with a Bifidobacteria probiotic

Bifidobacteriaare health-promoting bacteria found in the human gut associated with numerous benefits. They are also one of the seven most common probiotic products alongside  Lactobacillus, Saccharomycesand Streptococcus  to name a few[iv].  

A study involving 51 people with metabolic syndrome was assigned to a control group or a probiotic group. The latter consumed fermented milk containing probiotics for 45 days. The results showed that the probiotic,  Bifidobacterium lactis,  was associated with a significant reduction in body mass index (BMI), blood lipids, and pro-inflammatory cytokines.

You can support the growth of  Bifidobacteria  colonies in your gut through human milk oligosaccharide supplementation. Daily doses of 2’-FL and LNnT substantially increase the abundance of  Bifidobacteria.  Our PureHMO® Prebiotic Powder supports the growth of 200 billion good gut bugs, including  Bifidobacteria.

5. Experiment with fermented foods

Fermented foods have been dietary staples for civilizations. The earliest use of fermented foods and drinks has been traced back to around 8000 BC in Asia[v], but they are becoming increasingly popular in the Western world.

Research has shown that fermented foods could help to improve metabolic outcomes in diabetic and prediabetic adults, such as reducing fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and diastolic blood pressure[vi].  

Fermented foods include:

  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha
  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Probiotic yoghurt

Fermented foods are commonly metabolized into short-chain fatty acids which may naturally have an appetite-suppressing effect[vii].  Some fermented foods contain probiotic strains, such as  Lactobacillus plantarum,  that studies have found can reduce body weight in mice fed high-fat diets[viii].

6. Combine the benefits of pre- and probiotics with a synbiotic

Synbiotics are a combination of pre- and probiotics, where the prebiotic has been specifically chosen for its ability to selectively favor the probiotic organisms in the product[ix].

Synbiotics are being investigated for their potential to modulate the gut microbiome to improve dysbiosis. A study by Button et al., (2022) found that the administration of a synbiotic containing HMOs and  B. infantis  can influence the gut environment through HMO metabolism and the production of beneficial metabolites, such as butyrate which has several health benefits. Overall, the synbiotic promotes the growth and activity of good gut bacteria and inhibits the growth of enteropathogens[x].

At Layer Origin, we have a dedicated SuperHMO® Synbiotic containing five HMOs and 10 probiotic strains that work synergistically to promote a healthy weight, support your immune system, and improve your overall health and well-being.

7. Exercising can positively manipulate the gut microbiome

It has been demonstrated on numerous occasions that physical activity can modulate the composition of the human gut microbiome, and both have an important effect on our overall health[xi].

A study by Wang et al., (2023) found that a particular bacterial species called  Alistipes putredinis  modifies the link between physical activity and body weight. People with a high abundance of A. putredinishad less weight gain during each 15-MET-hour/week increment than those with a lower abundance. Therefore, suggesting that gut bacteria may be influential in improving the efficacy of physical activity[xii]

Exercise also enriches the diversity of the microbiota, improving the Bacteroidetes-Firmicutes ratio which can improve weight loss, gastrointestinal disorders, and obesity-related diseases[xiii].

 8. Understand how your diet could be affecting your health with an Online Nutrition Assessment

Understanding your nutrient intake is key to recognizing how your diet may be impacting the composition of your gut microbiome, and the effect this could have on your overall metabolism and weight.

Using an algorithm trusted by leading medical research universities, the picture-based food frequency and questionnaire analyses your food intake, calculates your nutrient intake and helps you gain a comprehensive understanding of the nutrients that may be absent from your diet. You can then use our personalized recommendations to help ensure you’re eating the right foods.


The gut microbiome is influential in your metabolic health. Ongoing research shows that prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics, diet, and even exercise can all modulate the composition of the gut microflora environment to the body’s advantage. In all, this may have a positive effect on your metabolism and the maintenance of your weight within healthy parameters.

Written byLeanne Edermaniger, M.Sc. Leanne is a professional science writer who specializes in human health and enjoys writing about all things related to the gut microbiome.  


[i] Higgins JA. Resistant starch: metabolic effects and potential health benefits. J AOAC Int. 2004 May-Jun;87(3):761-8. PMID: 15287677.

[ii] Zhang Y, Li X, Huang G, Wang H, Chen H, Su Y, et al. Propionate stimulates the secretion of satiety hormones and reduces acute appetite in a cecal fistula pig model. Animal Nutrition. 2022 Sept;10:390–8. doi:10.1016/j.aninu.2022.06.003

[iii] Rodrigues VF, Elias-Oliveira J, Pereira ÍS, Pereira JA, Barbosa SC, Machado MSG, Carlos D. Akkermansia muciniphila and Gut Immune System: A Good Friendship That Attenuates Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Obesity, and Diabetes. Front Immunol. 2022 Jul 7;13:934695. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.934695. PMID: 35874661; PMCID: PMC9300896.

[iv] Office of dietary supplements - probiotics [Internet]. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; [cited 2024 Apr 11]. Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Probiotics-HealthProfessional/#:~:text=The%20seven%20core%20genera%20of,commercial%20strains%20of%20probiotic%20organisms.

[v] Cuamatzin-García L, Rodríguez-Rugarcía P, El-Kassis EG, Galicia G, Meza-Jiménez ML, Baños-Lara MDR, Zaragoza-Maldonado DS, Pérez-Armendáriz B. Traditional Fermented Foods and Beverages from around the World and Their Health Benefits. Microorganisms. 2022 Jun 2;10(6):1151. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms10061151. PMID: 35744669; PMCID: PMC9227559.

[vi] Zhang XF, Qi Y, Zhang YP, Deng JL, Chen XL, Li RN, Zhou QL, Fan JM. Fermented foods and metabolic outcomes in diabetes and prediabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2023 May 19:1-18. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2023.2213770. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37204758.

[vii] Jalili M, Nazari M, Magkos F. Fermented Foods in the Management of Obesity: Mechanisms of Action and Future Challenges. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jan 31;24(3):2665. doi: 10.3390/ijms24032665. PMID: 36768984; PMCID: PMC9916812.

[viii] Ma Y, Fei Y, Han X, Liu G, Fang J. Lactobacillus plantarum Alleviates Obesity by Altering the Composition of the Gut Microbiota in High-Fat Diet-Fed Mice. Front Nutr. 2022 Jun 30;9:947367. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.947367. PMID: 35845812; PMCID: PMC9280677.

[ix] Pandey KR, Naik SR, Vakil BV. Probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics- a review. J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Dec;52(12):7577-87. doi: 10.1007/s13197-015-1921-1. Epub 2015 Jul 22. PMID: 26604335; PMCID: PMC4648921.

[x] Button JE, Autran CA, Reens AL, Cosetta CM, Smriga S, Ericson M, et al. Dosing a synbiotic of human milk oligosaccharides and B. Infantis leads to reversible engraftment in healthy adult microbiomes without antibiotics. Cell Host & Microbe. 2022 May;30(5). doi:10.1016/j.chom.2022.04.001  

[xi] Boytar AN, Skinner TL, Wallen RE, Jenkins DG, Dekker Nitert M. The Effect of Exercise Prescription on the Human Gut Microbiota and Comparison between Clinical and Apparently Healthy Populations: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2023 Mar 22;15(6):1534. doi: 10.3390/nu15061534. PMID: 36986264; PMCID: PMC10054511.

[xii] Wang, K., Mehta, R.S., Ma, W. et al. The gut microbiome modifies the associations of short- and long-term physical activity with body weight changes. Microbiome 11, 121 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-023-01542-w

[xiii] Monda V, Villano I, Messina A, Valenzano A, Esposito T, Moscatelli F, Viggiano A, Cibelli G, Chieffi S, Monda M, Messina G. Exercise Modifies the Gut Microbiota with Positive Health Effects. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:3831972. doi: 10.1155/2017/3831972. Epub 2017 Mar 5. PMID: 28357027; PMCID: PMC5357536.

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