Probiotics are living bacteria and yeast microorganisms that offer incredible health benefits for people — especially regarding digestive and gut health. Bacteria naturally live in your intestines, aiding in digestion and vitamin production. The “good” bacteria in probiotics help keep bad bacteria at bay. But what are bariatric probiotics?

The term “probiotic” itself signifies their function: “pro” for promoting and “biotic” for life. In essence, probiotics are living microorganisms that, when consumed in adequate amounts, can confer numerous positive effects on our health. Their primary role is to restore and maintain harmony within the gut, where they coexist with other bacteria and microorganisms.

This balance is crucial not only for digestive health but also for various aspects of overall well-being. While their specific actions can vary depending on the strain and species, they commonly contribute to digestive health, immune function, and even mental well-being.

Benefits of Bariatric Probiotics

As we delve deeper into the world of probiotics, we discover their multifaceted nature and their potential to support various aspects of human health. There is a lot of research out there right now about the many benefits of probiotics. They have been found to help prevent or treat many different medical conditions including:

  • Eczema
  • Tooth decay
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vaginal infections
  • Digestive disorders (e.g., Crohn’s disease, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Diarrhea and constipation

After a bariatric procedure, the GI tract undergoes alterations that can disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome. These side effects can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, and bloating, which are not uncommon post-surgery. Bariatric probiotics are specifically formulated to help restore and maintain a healthy gut microbiome, which can alleviate these symptoms and contribute to a smoother recovery process.

Additionally, bariatric patients face the challenge of potential nutrient malabsorption, particularly for fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and certain minerals. Bariatric probiotics may contain strains that assist in the absorption of these essential nutrients. By supporting improved nutrient absorption, these probiotics can help patients mitigate deficiencies and promote better overall health.

Finally, a strong connection exists between the gut and the immune system. Bariatric probiotics can play a role in bolstering the immune system, which is especially important as the body goes through the healing process. A healthy gut microbiome can help manage the immune response, reducing the risk of infections and other complications.

Bariatric Probiotics and Weight Loss

Recently, a Stanford University School of Medicine study showed that patients who took a specific probiotic supplement post-op lost more weight than those who didn’t. Not to mention, the group that took probiotics had less bacterial overgrowth when compared to the other group and had higher levels of vitamin B12.

There are a variety of different probiotic options to choose from that are readily available over the counter. They come in pills, powders, liquid, and more. At WeightWise, we recommend not consuming gummies to ensure adequate absorption and avoid unnecessary sugar.

Naturally Occurring Probiotics

Probiotics are also found naturally in certain foods, offering a delicious way to incorporate these beneficial microorganisms into your diet. One of the most well-known sources is yogurt, which is fermented with specific bacterial strains. Other fermented dairy products like kefir and certain types of cheese, such as Gouda and cheddar, also contain probiotics.

Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles are rich in probiotics, as they are created through the natural fermentation process that encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria. Additionally, traditional cultured foods like miso, tempeh, and kombucha offer strains of probiotics and are popular choices for those seeking to support their gut health through dietary means.

By incorporating these probiotic-rich foods into your meals, you can enjoy their potential health benefits while savoring a wide range of flavors and culinary traditions. However, it is very important to talk to your dietitian about your diet plan, as well as your surgeon about any supplements you take — including probiotics — before you start them.

Your medical team knows your medical history and will advise what is safe to take and what is not after bariatric surgery. If you are considering gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or any weight loss surgery, contact our team at WeightWise today to learn if you’re a candidate! We’re standing by to help you start your weight loss journey and to answer any questions about bariatric probiotics.

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