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May 04, 2007

Protein Supplementation After Weight Loss Surgery

Whey_single_choco_w Over 140,000 weight loss surgeries (including gastric bypass and the lap band procedure) are performed in the United States each year, and as surgical technology advances, and surgeons themselves become more skilled this number is sure to rise. 

With nearly one third of American adults suffering from obesity, including 9 million considered severely obese, viable solutions for curbing this epidemic are clearly in short supply. 

And considering the multitude of deadly health risks that accompany overweight and obesity, it may be apt to use the old saying: desperate times call for desperate measures.

Yet as desperate as surgical intervention may seen to some, scientific evidence supports the fact that the surgery’s benefits increasingly outweighs its risks.  As the data is analyzed, researchers have found that by and large weight loss surgery works remarkably better than many other approaches.  This study:

Meta-Analysis: Surgical Treatment of Obesity

for example, found that weight loss surgery helped severely obese people lose more weight than did diet or exercise alone, or pharmacological intervention (weight loss drugs).

But researchers and physicians are sure to make one thing clear:  weight loss surgery is not a panacea which allows the overweight patient to continue poor dietary habits. 

Gastric_bypass_2  In the wake of weight loss surgery, the pounds often come of at a rapid, but unsustainable pace.  With the stomach reduced to the size of a walnut, overeating can literally be a painful experience, causing a dramatic reduction in the amount of food the patient is physically able to eat.

Yet as time goes on it is ultimately dietary and lifestyle changes which largely determine the patient’s long-term weight loss success.

Welcome To The Wonderful World Of Nutritional Supplements

After weight loss surgery, especially in the first three months, when the patient is advised to eat liquid or pureed food as to not over-burden an already sensitive digestive system, many weight loss surgery patients make their first venture into the mysterious world of dietary supplements.

In an effort to hasten recovery from surgery, and to maintain muscle mass in the face of relative starvation, many patients are advised to consume protein supplements in particular, and with many physicians and nutritionists still unaware of the differences in protein supplement quality, their patients are largely left to fend for themselves in this often unscrupulous world of nutritional supplements.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Smoothie51 As important as we feel proper protein supplementation is for everybody, we believe it to be especially important for the weight loss surgery patient.  Many of the ingredients used in protein supplements can hinder proper digestive function and irritate their surgically-altered digestive tract.

As we said before, weight loss surgery is not an excuse to continue poor dietary habits – even if the offending ingredients happen to be hidden in foods and supplements which are marketed as healthy.

We recommend that weight loss surgery patients avoid protein supplements produced with:

-Whey Protein Concentrate
-Artificial Sweeteners, Colors, and Flavors
-Thickeners (especially carrageenan, which can have harmful effects on the gastrointestinal tract).

And that’s why we’ve released the May 2007 Integrated Supplements Newsletter:

Protein Supplementation After Weight Loss Surgery

As a follow up to our April Newsletter, The Myth of Convenience – which goes into greater detail with regard to many of the hidden additives lurking in protein supplements.

Both are available for free download.
And hopefully information like this will help men and women who have undergone weight loss surgery make the decision to nourish their “new” bodies with the highest quality foods and supplements available.


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