Probiotics are live bacteria, or yeast, that aid indigestion. The body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Good bacteria that reside in your intestines help digest food, produce vitamins (specifically vitamin K), and play a role in immunity.

What are probiotics - Probiotics After Bariatric Surgery

These “friendly” bacteria help your body maintain a healthy balance and keep bad bacteria from overwhelming your system and causing problems. Probiotics are generally safe unless you are immunocompromised. Consult your doctor before supplementing.

Food Sources for Probiotics

  • Yogurt (with live/active cultures)
  • Sauerkraut (unpasteurized)
  • Miso Soup
  • Fermented Soft Cheese (Gouda)
  • Kefir
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Buttermilk
  • Tempeh

What is the Purpose of Probiotics After Bariatric Surgery?

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that keep your gut healthy and help with the digestion of food before and after bariatric surgery. Probiotics help prevent gas, diarrhea, and cramping caused by the Standard American Diet (SAD), as well as antibiotics taken after weight loss surgery to prevent infections.

Patients will benefit from a course of probiotics, especially after bariatric procedures like RNY gastric bypass, duodenal switch surgery, and gastric sleeve surgery. They are a form of natural colonic flora administered orally to restore the natural bacterial milieu toward the normal state. Specific probiotic products include Lactobacillus Acidophyllus® and UltraFlora® lactose-free.

The more complex and inclusive the product, the better it seems to work. Unfortunately, these products may not be covered by third-party insurance companies. However, with a balanced diet, probiotics usually need to be taken for a brief period to restore the colon to a more normal bacterial state. [source] If you consume high amounts of artificial sweeteners, you may want to continue your probiotic supplementation to support and maintain a balanced gut =).

Adding Probiotic Foods to Your Bariatric Diet

To help keep your gut healthy after bariatric surgery, add probiotic foods by;

  • Eating fermented salsa/sauerkraut with eggs
  • Adding coconut water kefir/yogurt smoothies
  • Adding fermented vegetables and miso dressing to salads

Bariatric Probiotics Supplements Pre-Op/Post-Op

Start taking a probiotic 6 weeks before surgery or as soon as possible. You want one that has a minimum of 50 billion units, and the more strains, the more effective and discontinue 2 weeks before surgery.

*We recommend a probiotic with a minimum of 50 billion CFU and as many strains as possible.

Probiotic Supplements - Probiotics After Bariatric Surgery


When shopping for a probiotic, the CFU on the product stands for Colony Forming Unit, which tells you how many good bacteria you are getting.


Choose specific strains targeted to relieve your symptoms. The most common bacteria used in probiotic supplements are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus can help with diarrhea and may help people suffering from lactose intolerance after bariatric surgery. Bifidobacterium can also be found in dairy products and may help ease abdominal discomfort, gas, and bloating symptoms.


  • Align
  • Garden of Life
  • Culturelle

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