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Probiotics Instead of Weight Loss Surgery?

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WELLNESS-In a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism on August 4, they have proven a link between weight loss surgeries and gut microbes. It appears that after a weight loss surgery, the microbes in the gut are altered and the levels of probiotics increase making it easier for that person to break down and digest food. These researchers are connecting the success of these surgeries, at least in part, to this new discovery.  

Gastric bypass Surgery includes making the stomach smaller and causes the food to bypass part of the small intestine. This allows for less food to be consumed at any one time and it helps the patient feel full after only eating a small amount.  There are various types of weight loss surgeries, also known as bariatric surgeries, but one is most common.  

The common one is called Roux-en-Y and the way it works is the stomach is shrunk through a surgical procedure and ends up being about the size of an egg. Also, in the normal person there are 3 segments to the small intestine.  In the Roux-en-Y patient the first part of the small intestine is skipped by attaching the stomach directly to the second part of the small intestine instead. This allows for less calories to be absorbed and for the patient to feel full sooner than they did prior to the surgery.  

Scientists observed in a recent discovery that after the surgery there was a drastic change in the gut microbes present. In the Swedish study there were 14 woman that were researched and followed for a decade after their gastric bypass surgeries. These woman’s gut bacteria were compared to the gut bacteria of other woman that were obese but had not gone through surgery. It was discovered that their levels of healthy probiotics were higher than the non-surgery woman.  

The other interesting procedure they performed was taking gut microbes from the patients that had undergone the bypass surgery and inserted them into mice that were raised with no gut microbes. The mice that were given the microbes from the post surgical patients developed a healthy level of gut probiotics showing that it is possible that the friendly bacteria they received were stronger than the average person.  

What this study shows is that it is quite possible that there is an important link between obesity and gut bacteria. With the right gut bacteria one could avoid bypass surgery all together. This new research coupled with all the other research showing the benefits of probiotics drives home the fact that probiotics are an important part of good health. 

 

(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR)

-cw 

 

CityWatch

Vol 13 Issue 66

Pub: Aug 14, 2015

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