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Probiotics Help Adult Weight Loss After Bariatric Surgery
Date:5/22/2008

The 'good bacteria' also boost gastrointestinal functioning, study found

THURSDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- A hefty dose of probiotics -- the "good" bacteria found in yogurts and supplements -- helps adult gastric-bypass patients lose even more weight, researchers are reporting.

The researchers didn't set out to see if probiotics could help the patients shed more pounds, said Dr. John M. Morton, associate professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, who presented the findings this week at the Digestive Disease Week 2008 meeting in San Diego.

Morton wanted to improve the patients' gastrointestinal functioning. "Some patients [after bypass surgery] have a small amount of bacterial overgrowth [in the intestines]," he said, adding that can have an impact on gastrointestinal function and quality of life. So his team evaluated 42 patients who had undergone the bariatric surgery known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, giving half of them probiotics daily and the other half no probiotics.

The researchers evaluated GI functioning and other measures and noted the patients' weight before surgery, after surgery, and at three and six months after beginning the probiotics program. The probiotics were given in supplement form -- 2.4 billion colonies of Lactobacillus daily.

The probiotic group fared better in all categories at the six-month mark -- and also lost more weight. The probiotic group lost 70 percent of excess weight, compared to 66 percent for the control group.

The finding initially surprised Morton. "But other research has suggested that part of the obesity problem may be infectious. Some of the weight gain [in obese people] might be associated with bacteria," he said.

Asked if obese people, or those who have had bypass surgery, should eat yogurt, Morton said it probably couldn't hurt, but noted that 2.4 billion colonies of Lactobacillus is a large amount t
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