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Protein Intake, Body Composition, and Protein Status Following Bariatric Surgery



Daily protein intake recommendations have recently been proposed for the bariatric patient. We aimed to evaluate the accomplishment of these recommendations, and the influence of protein intake (PI) on fat free mass (FFM) and protein status changes following bariatric surgery.


We examined 101 consecutive patients undergoing laparoscopic Roux-in-Y gastric gypass (LGBP) or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG). Based on 3-day food records, PI from food and supplements were quantified at 4, 8, and 12 months after surgery. The association between PI and body composition (bioelectrical impedance), plasma albumin and pre-albumin was evaluated at all study time points.


A PI <60 g/day was present respectively in 45%, 35%, and 37% of the cohort at 4, 8, and 12 months after surgery (p < 0.001 relative to baseline). Despite our universal recommendation of protein supplementation, supplements were taken only by 63.4, 50.5, and 33.7% of the participants at 4, 8, and 12 months. However, protein supplementation was effective in helping patients to achieve the daily protein intake goal. In linear regression analysis, male gender and weight loss, but not PI, were significantly associated with loss of FFM (p < 0.001). No significant correlation between PI and plasma albumin or pre-albumin was found.


Our study underscores the value of protein supplementation for the achievement of the recommended daily protein intake in the bariatric patient. However, our data does not help to define a PI goal as critical in determining the FFM and protein status changes following LGBP or LSG.

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Correspondence to Josep Vidal.

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This work was supported by a grant from the FIS of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, PI 157/06 Madrid, Spain.

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Andreu, A., Moizé, V., Rodríguez, L. et al. Protein Intake, Body Composition, and Protein Status Following Bariatric Surgery. OBES SURG 20, 1509–1515 (2010).

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  • Protein intake
  • Protein supplementation
  • Fat free mass
  • Body composition
  • Albumin
  • Prealbumin
  • Gastric bypass
  • Sleeve gastrectomy