When we think of bacteria, we usually associate these microorganisms with germs that make us sick. We don’t immediately think of probiotics, a type of bacteria that can support our health instead of making us sick. Probiotics are specific strains of bacteria that are healthy and important for our bodies. We all host billions of probiotic bacteria in our digestive system (and even on our skin) that play very important roles in human health. But what in particular makes probiotics beneficial after bariatric surgery?
To begin, we must understand what probiotics do in our bodies. Probiotics, also known as “good bacteria” exist in balance with “bad bacteria.” This balance is very important; if there aren’t enough of the good guys, the bad bacteria can take over and spread through the digestive system. Other benefits of probiotics include:1
The balance and strength of your own bacteria can be altered by a number of factors including stress, diet, and certain medications, especially antibiotics. After bariatric surgery, the colonies of good bacteria can be significantly reduced. This clears the way for bad bacteria to take over. Restoring balance to the digestive system can both treat bacterial overgrowth and improve bariatric outcomes. In a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine, researchers found that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients who took a probiotic after surgery tended to lose more weight than those that did not take a probiotic supplement.2
There are many ways to get probiotics, both from food and supplements. Good food sources include fermented dairy like yogurt and Kefir or fermented foods like pickled vegetables, tempeh, miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut.1 When looking for a supplement, there are a few key guidelines to ensure you are taking an effective, high-quality product:
Our BALANCE Probiotic + Prebiotic capsules for bariatric patients contains 28.5 billion CFU’s at time of manufacture, is shelf stable, and guarantees 15 billion CFU’s at expiration. This probiotic is made up of 5 strains and the strains that have...read more
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