‘Good’ bacteria in food can help gastric-bypass patients lose fat

July 15th, 2009 - 4:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 15 (IANS) Use of probiotics after a gastric bypass can help obese patients lose weight at a faster pace and avoid vitamin-B deficiency, according to the latest study.
Probiotics are the so-called ‘good’ bacteria found in yoghurt as well as in over-the-counter dietary supplements that help in digestion of food.

John Morton, associate professor of surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine (SUSM), found that patients who take probiotics after the gastric-bypass, tend to shed more pounds than those who don’t take them.

The researchers followed 44 patients on whom Morton had performed the surgery from 2006 to 2007. Patients were categorised into either a probiotic or a control group.

“Surprisingly, the probiotic group attained a significantly greater per cent of excess weight loss than that of the control group,” said Morton.

Both groups received the same medical care and nutritional counselling, as well as the support of weight-loss study groups.

Both groups were also allowed to consume yoghurt, a natural source of probiotics. In addition, the probiotic group consumed one pill a day of a probiotic supplement available in stores.

The study showed that after three months, the probiotic group registered a 47.6 per cent weight loss, compared to only 38.5 per cent of the control group, said an SUSM release.

The study also found that levels of vitamin B-12 were higher in the patients taking probiotics - a significant finding, since patients often show deficiency of vitamin B-12 after having gone through gastric-bypass surgery.

These findings were published in the July issue of the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.

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