weight with diet and exercise alone. But did you know that the weight loss results from surgery can be improved by taking probiotics after surgery?
Why are probiotics so important? And how are they able to help bariatric patients lose weight? Let’s find out.
What Are Probiotics? The Importance of Probiotics
Probiotics are a catch-all term for various types of bacteria that live in our guts. Often called “good bacteria” to distinguish it from the “bad bacteria” that causes infections, probiotics play an important role in many of our bodily functions.
There’s a lot we still don’t know about gut bacteria, but we have found that gut bacteria can influence more than just digestion. Gut bacteria can influence our body weights, our moods, our skin health, and possibly our susceptibility to certain diseases.
Probiotics are often consumed in fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir. However, probiotic supplements are also available.
Benefits of Taking Probiotics After Weight Loss Surgery
Probiotics may help you lose additional weight after surgery.
In a 2008 study performed at Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. John M. Morton and his team of researchers took 42 post-op bariatric patients and gave half of them probiotic treatment. The other half took a placebo. The probiotic group lost more weight on average (70% of excess weight lost vs. 66% of excess weight in the placebo group). They also had lower “bad” cholesterol levels and higher “good” cholesterol levels.
This study had the probiotic group take 2.4 billion colonies of Lactobacillus bacteria, which is more than one would be able to get in food. Despite this, as well as other limitations, there seems to be promising evidence that probiotics may influence post-op weight loss.
Probiotics may improve other health outcomes.
Gut bacteria has been found to play a role in depression, IBS, skin conditions, immune health (including autoimmune disorders), and even obesity itself. Taking probiotics may improve your health overall.
Because the research on probiotics is so varied, it’s hard to truly say whether consuming additional probiotics is good for you. However, the current evidence indicates that it is, and at the very least, it won’t hurt.
If you’re just starting to lose weight, check out this article on starting a weight loss journey.