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Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery News and Info

Posted on March 18, 2021 by Deb Hart

The addition of a daily probiotic supplement may reduce digestive discomfort, help you maintain a higher vitamin B12 level, and increase weight loss after weight loss surgery.

Your Gut is Full of Bacteria

The digestive system is full of bacteria. It’s incredible what these tiny single-cell microbes do for us. They help the body:

  • Digest food
  • Absorb nutrients
  • Make enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids
  • Produce short-chain fatty acids
  • Promote gut health
  • Protect against pathogens
  • Keep “bad” bacteria from growing out of control

The number and variety of bacteria in the gut can change from stress, diet, medications, age, and disease. A reduction in the number and diversity of good bacteria can result in inflammatory bowel disease, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer.

Obesity and Gut Bacteria

We have learned that there are differences in the population number and types of bacteria between moderate-weight individuals and those with obesity.

  • Overweight individuals have more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes than moderate-weight people.
  • Those with obesity have less diversity in their gut bacteria, and those with the least variety tend to weigh the most.
  • Transplanting gut bacteria from obese mice into lean mice results in the lean mice developing obesity.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are living microorganisms, bacteria, and yeast, which help maintain a proper balance of good bacteria in the gut. Probiotics are found in foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut. They can also be taken as a supplement.

What do Probiotics have to do with Weight?

Probiotics may affect weight in several ways:

  • Reduce the number of calories absorbed from food
  • Change the levels of hormones related to appetite and fat storage
  • Decrease inflammation, a driver of obesity

A study using probiotics with overweight men and women had positive results. Those taking the probiotic for six months lost weight, decreased waist size, and positively changed gut bacteria activity. Ten billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per day of B420 of the probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis B-420 (B420) was used for this study.

In 2009, a Stanford University study found that those taking a probiotic after gastric bypass had few digestive complaints, higher vitamin B12 levels, and lost more weight.  The study used a supplement containing 2.4 billion colonies of Lactobacillus.

Choosing a Supplement

If you would like to try taking a probiotic, be sure to:

  • Consult with your health care provider first if you have an immune disorder or serious health condition.
  • Choose a product from a trusted manufacturer and check the expiration date.
  • Consider the form that works best for you – pill, capsule, powder, liquid, or chew.
  • Look at storage instructions – some need refrigeration.
  • Look for a probiotic supplement that contains at least 5 billion CFUs per dose. Those with a variety, at least seven different bacteria strains appear to be the most effective.
  • Follow the instructions on the label.

Every Bit Helps

A probiotic supplement might just fit into your weight loss plan. Use in in combination with a wholesome diet, regular exercise, good sleep habits and a healthy lifestyle.



Posted on February 19, 2021 by Deb Hart

Collagen supplements are the rage right now, with claims of fewer wrinkles, a full head of healthy hair, and thicker nails. It’s big business, but does it deliver what it claims. Here’s the scoop so you can decide for yourself.

Download On Track with Barix: Are There Benefits to Collagen Supplements After Weight Loss Surgery?


What is Collagen?

Collagen is the form of protein most abundant in the body – making up about a third of the total protein mass. It provides structure, strength, and stability and is found in joints, bones, teeth, and skin.

Collagen is a family of proteins. There are 28 different types of collagen, each with a unique amino acid (protein building block) combination. Collagen is rich in three non-essential amino acids, lysine, glycine, and proline.

As a Protein Supplement 

Collagen is an incomplete protein, meaning it does not include all the essential amino acids that the body needs. Better options to reach protein goals include low-fat meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, whey protein supplements, or soy products.

Collagen and Skin

In the skin, collagen provides structural support and elasticity, giving the skin a healthy appearance. People make less collagen each year, starting at age 20. As collagen declines, structural support and elasticity are reduced, fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin begin to appear.

Collagen and Hair Growth

Collagen plays a significant role in maintaining healthy hair follicles. It is found in the skin surrounding each hair follicle. During the growth stage, the amount of collagen surrounding the hair bulb thickens. And then naturally thins as the hair follicle goes into the resting stage.

In the case of thinning hair after bariatric surgery, stress, rather than a collagen deficit, is likely the cause. The surgery itself, followed by a low caloric intake and the resulting rapid weight loss, creates stress in the body. This stress can cause more hair strands to go into the resting phase than usual and then 3-4 months later fall out. Hair grows back once the condition that caused the hair loss is corrected, although it can take months before the hair returns to its previous thickness.

More Collagen In Doesn’t Necessarily Equate to More Body Collagen 

When collagen is consumed from an animal product or supplement, it is broken down into single amino acids. Those amino acids are put together in different combinations to make whatever proteins, including any collagen the body needs. The amino acids may form enzymes, hormones, make red blood cells, or other needs the body has. It may not be used to plump up the skin or promote lush locks.

The body will form more collagen with a balanced diet of protein-rich foods and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Nutrients that may support collagen production include:

  • Adequate protein intake. The amino acids that make up collagen are non-essential, meaning the body can produce them if it has the right building blocks.
  • Foods rich in vitamin C like oranges, strawberries, peppers, and broccoli.
  • Copper-rich foods like shellfish, nuts, and red meat.
  • Dark green leafy and orange vegetables for vitamin A.

Limiting Collagen Breakdown

Collagen production naturally decreases with age. Although science has yet to figure out how to slow aging, other factors that lead to lower collagen levels are generally within our control:

  • Excess sun exposure
  • Smoking
  • A poor diet
  • A high sugar intake
  • Excess alcohol intake

What Do the Studies Show?

Most health professionals agree that the studies into the effectiveness of collagen supplements for skin or hair health are lacking. Those that have been done have small numbers of participants and are often funded by supplement companies.

Potential Downside

Manufacturers of collagen supplements don’t have to prove their effectiveness or safety before selling them.

Collagen supplements come from animal collagen especially, bones, skin, and fish scales. These can potentially contain toxic heavy metals.

U.S. consumers are expected to spend $293 million on collagen products in 2020.

Yet, there is Some History

In China, women have considered collagen a fountain of youth for centuries. They consume collagen sources like pig’s feet, shark fins, and donkey skin. They must believe there is some benefit.

Gelatin, a cooked source of collagen, has been a long-standing treatment for hair, skin, and nails in the United States.

And the Word-of-Mouth Testimonials

Some people swear by collagen supplement. They feel their hair and skin improve significantly after taking supplements.

The Bottom Line

There is no good research showing the effectiveness of collagen supplements. The studies that have been done are often funded by the supplement companies themselves. However, there is some history to the use and a lot of word-of-mouth testimonials.

If you decide to give it a try, buy from a reputable manufacturer and let us know what you think by posting on the Barix Clinics Facebook Support Group.

Posted on December 27, 2020 by Deb Hart

If you typically start the New Year with a list of resolutions and solid intentions yet give up before January is over, you’re not alone. Eighty percent of people do just that. We all settle into patterns of learned behavior or habits, which are comfortable. Many daily tasks are done on autopilot—with little conscious thought required. These behaviors, good or bad, tend to stay stable over time until we drum up the motivation to change.

To make lasting changes to our habits, we need to have a planned out process. We need to be willing to sacrifice to make it happen. Here are five steps to take right now to make this year different.

Download On Track with Barix: Out with Old Habits, In with New Ones 

Step 1: Write down your goals in clear and measurable terms. I want to be fit is too vague. Instead, get very specific. I want to be able to run a 5k in 22 minutes by June 1. Get crystal clear on what you want and write it down.

Little by little becomes a lot.

Step 2: Uncover the “why.” Having a good understanding of the real purpose of your goal helps you stay motivated. Your goal may be to earn $10,000 more this year. Define what that money will do for you: establish a savings account so you have a safety net, get a more reliable car, or pay off debt. The purpose will keep you motivated when things get challenging.

Step 3: Decide what you are willing to give up to make this goal a reality. Say you’ve decided that your goal is to prepare five home-cooked meals every week. You will have to be willing to give up time to shop, prep, and cook.

Step 4: Make a plan and take action. What are the steps that you need to take to reach your goal? How will you measure your progress?

To run a 5k in 22 minutes by June 1, you may decide to follow a couch to 5k program. You will go to bed and get up 30 minutes earlier each day to treadmill time. Your progress can be measured on a fitness app.

To earn $10,000 additional income this year, you may decide to work a part-time job. If the part-time position pays $15 per hour, you’ll need to work 13 hours each week to reach your goal. If you plan to save the money, deposit the checks into a separate account that will grow by $833 a month.

To prepare five home-cooked meals each week, you may decide to set up a meal plan, shop each Saturday morning, and meal prep on Sundays at 2:00 PM for the following week. Progress can be measured by putting a star on your meal prep calendar for each meal prepared.

“Slow, steady progress is better than daily excuses.” Robin Sharma

Step 5: Stay Focused. It is easy to get distracted. Post your goal, the “why,” your plan, and monitor in a place where you will see it each day. There will be challenging times. Don’t give up. Recommit, refocus, pick yourself up and get back at it. Breaking through these challenges is how we move forward and improve our lives.

Step by step, form better habits that allow you to become the person you want to be.

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