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The relevance of dietary protein after bariatric surgery: what do we know?


The growing obesity epidemic is associated with an increased demand for bariatric surgery with Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy as the most widely performed procedures. Despite beneficial consequences, nutritional complications may arise because of anatomical and physiological changes of the gastrointestinal tract. The purpose of this review is to provide an update of the recent additions to our understanding of the impact of bariatric surgery on the intake, digestion and absorption of dietary protein.After bariatric surgery, protein intake is compromised because of reduced gastric capacity and aversion for certain foods. A minority of patients reaches the recommended protein intake of minimal 60 g per day, which results in the loss of fat-free mass rather than the desired loss of fat mass. Despite inadequate protein intake, protein digestion and absorption do not seem to be impaired suggesting that other mechanisms could counteract the reduced secretion of digestive enzymes and their delayed inlet.After bariatric surgery, protein supplementation or diet enrichment could attribute to achieve the minimal recommended protein intake and benefit the amount and composition of postoperative weight loss.