14. September 2009 11:09
From 1996 to 2002, bariatric surgery increased seven-fold, tripling among youth. Unfortunately, as many as one fifth of people may put the weight back on. So now we have developed deep brain stimulation (DBS) to help people lose weight. Does this sound extreme? How about before considering something so drastic why doesn’t every patient get a comprehensive evaluation of their gut bacteria?
It’s not crazy alternative medicine talk, it is solid science.
Bifidobacteria are a intestinal commensal group of bacteria whose presence is often associated with health-promoting effects. Total Bifidobacteria has been found to be lower in patients with higher inflammation, fasting insulin and glucose. Researchers are just starting to look at how obesity and inflammation are related in gastrointestinal disease such as in inflammatory bowel disease. Healthy predominant gut bacteria are also associated with obesity. It all works together.
Not surprisingly post-gastric-bypass patients have been found to have large bacterial population shifts, that may reflect the double impact caused by the surgical procedure and the consequent changes in food ingestion and digestion.
Due to discoveries in the last several decades stool tests can now accurately assess healthy or predominant bacteria. Granted, I work at a lab that does such testing, but any patient contemplating gastric surgery should first evaluate their level of predominant bacteria, specifically their level of Bifidobacteria. I have a presentation on Bifidobacteria if you want to learn more.