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Probiotics help gastric-bypass patients lose weight more quickly, Stanford study shows
Date:7/13/2009

STANFORD, Calif. 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.

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Contact: Diane Rogers
donut@stanford.edu
650-723-3900
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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