Probiotics Help Gastric-bypass Patients Lose Weight More Quickly

on 1/7/12 3:45 am - United Kingdom
 i wanted to share this article that i found , i started buying yogurts  with probioticand changed my multivitamins(centrum) to (multibionta probiotic)

Using dietary supplements following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery has been proven to help obese patients to lose weight quicker in addition to avoiding a crucial B vitamin deficiency. This is according to new research conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Hospital and Clinics. This study was written by Dr. John Morton, MD, a third year medical student (Gavitt Woodard) and five additional medical students for publication in theJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 

Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 

The conclusion of the study is that those gastric bypass patients who took probiotics post-surgery tended to successfully lose more weight than those who did not take probiotics. Probiotics are simply “good" bacteria that may be found in food products such as kefir, and over-the-counter dietary supplements like the popular Bacteral.

Details of the Study

The study documented the progress of 44 subjects for whom Dr. Morton had performed gastric bypass from 2006-2007. Subjects were randomly placed into either the control or probiotic group; both groups received the same medical care, nutritional counseling and support of weight loss groups. Both the control and the probiotic groups were allowed to consume a natural source of probiotics: yogurt. However, the probiotic group consumed one probiotic supplement per day whereas the control group did not. After three months, the probiotics group showed a 47.6 percent weight loss in comparison to 38.5 percent loss in the control group.

Vitamin B-12 levels were significantly higher in the probiotic group; at three months the levels in the probiotic group were 1,214 picograms per milliliter and 811 picograms per milliliter in the control group. This is a significant finding since bypass patients are often found to be deficient in B-12 post surgery.

Morbid obesity is a very real problem in America and bypass surgery is becoming increasingly the popular treatment option. Approximately 150,000 American’s opt for gastric bypass surgery every year. Dr. Morton has performed over 1,000 bypass surgeries and due to post surgery problems he observed, specifically patients with post surgical eating problems, he designed this study. He observed many patients with problems eating after surgery but when he could not find any anatomical reasons for the problems he realized that perhaps the problem was with bacterial overgrowth in the intestine. This study was designed to prove or disprove his hypothesis that bacterial overgrowth could be the causative agent for blockage and the resultant eating problems in post surgery patients. The results seem highly indicative that probiotics have a very positive effect on these symptoms.

Dr. Morton states that now he recommends that his bypass patients use probiotic supplements post surgery. He is planning to look for other ways to further enhance results of the bypass procedure.

Most of us are unaware of the importance of bacteria in our intestines. Bacteria are critical for proper digestion but when you have too much “bad" bacteria it alters how your digestive tract empties and causes changes in your motility. Probiotics, whether found in natural foods or in supplements like Bacteral, help promote a bacterial balance. Dr. Morton feels that a portion of the puzzle of obesity may be related to the type of bacteria contained in the intestine.

on 1/7/12 4:03 am - NC
Very interesting! I am going to take my probiotic


HW 225, SW 219, GW 140, CW 124

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  

on 1/7/12 4:07 am - Garden Grove, CA
My Dr was telling me about Probiotic  yesterday it was in the Medical Magazine
on 1/7/12 5:50 am - Chandler, AZ
RNY on 08/17/11 with
Be sure this multi follows the ASMBS multi guidelines (I am not familiar with it):

Multivitamin-mineral supplement - RNY: A high-potency vitamin containing  200% of daily value - Begin on day 1 after hospital discharge - Begin with chewable or liquid - Progress to whole tablet/capsule as tolerated - Avoid time-released supplements - Avoid enteric coating - Choose a complete formula with at least 18 mg iron, 400 g folic acid, and containing selenium and zinc in each serving - Avoid children’s formulas that are incomplete - May improve gastrointestinal tolerance when taken close to food intake - May separate dosage - Do not mix multivitamin containing iron with calcium supplement, take at least 2 hr apart - Individual brands should be reviewed for absorption rate and bioavailability - Specialized bariatric formulations are available
"Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come"           

WhoIWantToBe *.
on 1/7/12 6:06 am
RNY on 01/10/12
Does anyone have brands to recommend?  There are quite a few on Amazon.  What's special about Bacteral?
WhoIWantToBe *.
on 1/7/12 6:22 am
RNY on 01/10/12
 Oh, HERE'S an interesting tidbit.

I googled trying to find more information about this, and found the same study but from a Science Daily web site.  They actually listed the brand used in the study as PURITAN'S PRIDE, and no mention of Bacteral at all.  It seems someone from Bacteral may have gotten hold of the article and tweeked it a bit.

New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Hospital & Clinics suggests that the use of a dietary supplement after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery can help obese patients to more quickly lose weight and to avoid deficiency of a critical B vitamin.

In a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, John Morton, MD, associate professor of surgery at the medical school, showed that patients who take probiotics after the gastric-bypass procedure tend to shed more pounds than those who don't take the supplements. Probiotics are the so-called "good" bacteria found in yogurt as well as in over-the-counter dietary supplements that help in the digestion of food.

"Surprisingly, the probiotic group attained a significantly greater percent of excess weight loss than that of control group," said Morton, who wrote the paper with lead author Gavitt Woodard, a third-year medical student, and five other medical students at the Surgery Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation in Stanford's Department of Surgery. Morton has performed more than 1,000 of these bypasses at Stanford Hospital & Clinics.

The researchers followed 44 patients on whom Morton had performed the procedure from 2006 to 2007. Patients were randomized into either a probiotic or a control group. Both groups received the same bariatric medical care and nutritional counseling, as well as the support of weight-loss study groups. Both groups also were allowed to consume yogurt, a natural source of probiotics. In addition, the probiotic group consumed one pill per day of Puritan's Pride, a probiotic supplement that is available online and in many stores. Morton has no financial ties to the company that makes the supplement.

The study showed that at three months, the probiotics group registered a 47.6 percent weight loss, compared with a 38.5 percent for the control group.

The study also found that levels of vitamin B-12 were higher in the patients taking probiotics — a significant finding because patients often are deficient in B-12 after gastric-bypass surgery. The probiotics group had B-12 levels of 1,214 picograms per milliliter at three months, compared with the control group's levels of 811 pg/mL.

Morton said he now recommends probiotic supplements to his patients, and he plans to continue to look for ways to enhance the outcomes from the procedure.

Roughly 15 million Americans are morbidly obese, and bypass surgery is becoming an increasingly common treatment for the problem. Some 150,000 Americans who have a body mass index of more than 40 — who are typically at least 100 pounds overweight — have the procedure each year.

Morton said the study was prompted by the fact that some patients have problems eating after gastric-bypass surgery. "For some reason, the food doesn't go down right," he said. When no anatomical reasons could be found for blockages, he hypothesized that a build-up of bacteria in the intestine — bacterial overgrowth — might be the culprit.

"Bacterial overgrowth can be bad in that it changes your motility, how you empty," Morton said. "A lot of people aren't aware that we all carry about a lot of bacteria in our intestines and that they're extremely helpful in aiding digestion. And I thought, 'Well, if we give these patients probiotics, then maybe we can improve these symptoms.'

"Part of the obesity puzzle may be due to the kind of bacteria you have in your intestine," he said.

There was no outside funding for the study.

on 1/7/12 7:46 am - Germantown, MD
 The skeptic in me questions the relationship b/w probiotics & weight loss (e.g. is it because those taking probiotics may be more compliant in overall vitamin habits? are there other variables at play in this study? is the N too small to extrapolate general claims? are the authors confusing weight loss with more frequent bowel evacuation?). That being said, I've been using probiotics and fiber supplements to keep regular. I'd had a TOUGH time with pooing, as many do, postop and after my body got used to the probiotics - there is an adjustment period and may involve some extra gas - I no longer needed stool softeners or laxatives!! So I'm saying probiotics worked for me.... but as to blanket recommendations, I tend to defer to the ASMBS.

First ultra: Stone Mill 50 miler 11/15/14 13:44:38, First Full Marathon: Marine Corps 10/27/13 4:57:11Half Marathon PR 2:04:43 at Shamrock VA Beach Half-Marathon, 12/2/12 First Half-Marathon 2:32:47, 5K PR  Run Under the Lights 5K 27:23 on 11/23/13, 10K PR 52:53 Pike's Peek 10K 4/21/13(1st timed run) Accumen 8K 51:09 10/14/12.


on 1/8/12 11:07 am
Do you remember how long after taking the Probiotic that you stopped taking the stool softeners and/or laxatives? I would love not having to take those!!!! 


on 1/9/12 8:44 am - Germantown, MD
I think I gave probiotics a 2nd chance (after taking them immediately postop and having a ton of excess gas!) around month 5 and then after taking them for a month or so started weaning myself off of Colace... Miracle of miracles, I was able to poo somewhat regularly! Occasionally I go a day or 2 without pooing and if I start feeling backed up or worried that I might get constipated, I'll crack out the Milk of Mag.

First ultra: Stone Mill 50 miler 11/15/14 13:44:38, First Full Marathon: Marine Corps 10/27/13 4:57:11Half Marathon PR 2:04:43 at Shamrock VA Beach Half-Marathon, 12/2/12 First Half-Marathon 2:32:47, 5K PR  Run Under the Lights 5K 27:23 on 11/23/13, 10K PR 52:53 Pike's Peek 10K 4/21/13(1st timed run) Accumen 8K 51:09 10/14/12.


on 3/28/12 11:50 pm - Canada
Hi there - I'm almost 4 months out and have the same issue.  Taking Colace is only making it less painful when I go.  What type of probiotic are you taking?  I live in Canada so our brands may be different but I am wondering if your pill is a multi-bacterial or focused on one specific strain?
HW: 260lbs  Pre-Optifast: 257lbs  SW: 242lbs  Happy: 150lbs SG: tbd 
Referral: January 2011, Orientation: July 8/11, Nut/Behav: Aug 22/11 Education Class: Nov 2/11 
Surgeon Appt: Nov 1/11, Surgery: Dec 5