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Post-op protein supplements

Post-op protein supplements to prevent muscle mass loss

Trial will to investigate the effectiveness of protein supplementation in reducing the risk of developing protein malnutrition and muscle wasting in post-bariatric surgery patients in Qatar

Investigators from Qatar have established a randomised clinical trial to investigate the effectiveness of protein supplementation in reducing the risk of developing protein malnutrition and muscle wasting in post-bariatric surgery patients. Protein supplementation for post-bariatric patients is not yet a standard procedure at Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar and therefore the trial will be used to establish evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.

The design of the trial was outlined in the paper, ‘The effect of protein supplementation on body muscle mass and fat mass in post-bariatric surgery: a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study protocol,’ and was published in the Archives of Public Health (the official journal of the Belgian Public Health Association, by researchers from the Hamad Medical Corporation and the College of Health Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.

The study will enrol approximately 160 post-bariatric surgery patients who will be randomised to receive 200ml intervention can (Cubitan-Protein, Nutricia - containing 20g of protein, 250Kacl plus various micronutrient and macronutrient) to be taken orally 3 times a day throughout the study period or a 200ml placebo can (containing 0g protein, fat free, 100 kcal and enriched with electrolytes). Patients will be followed for six months.

As well as estimating the difference in change of muscle and fat mass between participants who received protein supplement and those who received the placebo, the study will also record the percentage of weight reduction in the intervention in comparison with control group, difference in protein level (albumin/total protein) in post-bariatric patients receiving intervention compared with control group, blood level changes in Vit B12, Magnesium and Zinc in the intervention group in comparison with the control group, and differences in these changes in relation to types of bariatric surgery.

Therefore, body weight, muscle and fat mass, total protein, albumin, vit B12, Magnesium and Zinc will be measured at baseline and every follow up/study visit. Study variables will be compared between the two groups at different stages of the trial, including baseline, using Sample T-test (paired and unpaired) and the significance level will be confirmed with the 95% confidence interval (with alpha error set to 0.05).

All patients will be enrolled in the study prior to admission and will be given the intervention or the placebo on the first day post-surgery, depending on their randomisation.

The authors note that there was no external funding required for this trial, however, products provided by Hamad Medical Corporation were supplied through Hamad General Hospital local pharmacy.

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