Gastric-bypass patients are often required to commit to nutritional counseling sessions and a regular exercise regimen in order to lose weight and keep it off for the long-term. Researchers now say that many patients can benefit from taking probiotic supplements because these supplements help with the complete digestion of food, and can help prevent any major nutritional deficiencies.
A study published in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery in July indicates that gastric-bypass patients that took probiotics immediately after their procedure, along with their nutrition program, were able to lose weight much more quickly than those that did not. The research was conducted at Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Hospital and Clinics, and was led by John Morton, MD, associate professor of surgery t the medical school.
Dr. Morton has performed over 1,000 gastric-bypass surgeries at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, and states that he was surprised at the results achieved with probiotic supplementation when comparing the results of those in the control group. The probiotics group achieved approximately 48 percent weight loss, while the control group achieved approximately 39 percent.
Those who took probiotics also had higher levels of B-12 in the body, which is often depleted in patients who have had gastric bypass surgery. Many patients do struggle with nutritional deficiencies after gastric-bypass surgery because the digestive system may not work the same as it did before the surgery. Probiotic supplements may be effective in improving the digestive process and helping the patient absorb all of the nutrients they need from every meal.
The nutritionist or dietician that partners up with the gastric bypass patient can provide recommendations on brands and types of supplements that will be most beneficial for the patient. Probiotics are available over the counter at most drugstores and health food stores, but it is important for the patient to select a quality brand, and ensure that the caplets are easily digestible. For now, Dr. Morton and his research team suggest that all gastric bypass patients add probiotics to their nutritional regime.