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J Gastrointest Surg. 2015 Mar;19(3):451-7. doi: 10.1007/s11605-014-2715-x. Epub 2014 Dec 18.

High-protein diet improves postoperative weight gain after massive small-bowel resection.

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Division of Pediatric Surgery; St. Louis Children's Hospital, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA.



Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a morbid clinical condition that results from massive small-bowel resection (SBR). After SBR, there is a dramatic weight loss in the acute postoperative period. Our aim was to determine the impact of a high-protein diet (HPD) on weight gain and body composition in mice after SBR.


C57BL/6 mice underwent 50 % proximal SBR. Postoperatively, mice were randomly selected to receive standard rodent liquid diet (LD) (n = 6) or an isocaloric HPD (n = 9) for 28 days. Mice weights were recorded daily. Body composition analyses were obtained weekly. Student's t test was used for statistical comparisons with p < 0.05 considered significant.


Mice that were fed HPD after SBR returned to baseline weight on average at postoperative day (POD) 8 versus mice that were fed LD that returned to baseline weight on average at POD 22. Total fat mass and lean mass were significantly greater by POD 14 within the HPD group. Both groups of mice demonstrated normal structural adaptation.


HPD results in greater weight gain and improved body composition in mice after SBR. This finding may be clinically important for patients with SBS since improved weight gain may reduce the time needed for parenteral nutrition.

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