Metagenics Launches Bariatric Essentials(TM) Bariatric Meal to Address Nutritional Needs of Obesity Surgery Patients

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 17, 2006--Metagenics Inc., a privately held company that develops and manufactures science-based nutraceuticals and medical foods, announced today that it has launched Bariatric Essentials Bariatric Meal, a specialized medical food designed specifically for bariatric (obesity) or gastric bypass surgery patients. Bariatric Essentials Bariatric Meal supplies targeted vitamins and a high-quality blend of soy and whey protein to help promote lean muscle mass, reduce fatigue, and support immune function before and after surgery, and is specifically designed for easy absorption by post-operative bariatric patients.

An investigator-sponsored study of 33 post-operative patients found that Bariatric Essentials Bariatric Meal medical food was effective at lowering body mass index (BMI) and preserving lean muscle mass. After surgery, the fat loss to muscle loss ratio in patients using Bariatric Essentials Bariatric Meal was 14:1, compared to the normal bariatric post-operative surgery average of 3:1. In addition, patients did not report significant fatigue, weakness, or hair loss normally associated with bariatric surgery due to compromised nutritional intake. A nutritional program is an important part of any bariatric practice, and one of the distinguishing factors used to designate a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the Surgical Review Corp. based on guidelines set by the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons (ASBS).

"Clinical studies show that protein malnutrition is a significant challenge bariatric surgery patients face, and its effects can seriously impact patient health - resulting in unfavorable post-surgical outcomes," said Lee Trotter, D.O., a bariatric surgery consultant and medical director of Nevada's Carson-Tahoe Surgical Weight Loss Clinic, who was the study investigator. "Patients taking Bariatric Essentials Bariatric Meal are successful at not only reaching their weight loss goals but resolving many of their medical problems because they primarily lose unhealthy fat while maintaining lean muscle mass. When combined with proper nutrition, bariatric surgery can succeed in providing patients with an effective and healthy way to lose body fat."

Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic and has been scientifically linked to many of today's most challenging chronic diseases. In September 2005, the World Health Organization estimated that more than 1 billion people worldwide are overweight and the number is expected to grow to 1.5 billion by 2015. The U.S. National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly 25 percent of American adults are officially obese and more than 50 percent are overweight.

A growing number of the 12 million morbidly obese Americans are undergoing gastric bypass surgery as a means of losing weight and cutting down on the harmful problems often associated with obesity, such as cardiovascular disease. The American Society for Bariatric Surgery estimates that 140,000 patients had bariatric surgery in 2004 and expects that number to climb to over 170,000 for 2005.

Bariatric surgery makes the gastric pouch and bypass area smaller, which in turn restricts caloric absorption, helping patients to lose weight. However, protein intake also may be inhibited, which can lead to the unwanted effect of loss of lean tissue and muscle mass. According to the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons, a significant number of post-operative bariatric surgery patients develop protein deficiencies that can lead to surgical complications (including hair thinning, finger and toe nail loss, fatigue and weakness).

"The number of patients opting to undergo bariatric surgery has skyrocketed and it is imperative that they receive adequate nutrition after their operations to stay healthy," said Jeffrey S. Bland, Ph.D., president and chief science officer of Metagenics. "Bariatric Essentials Bariatric Meal is another example of how we use nutritional research and clinical experience to develop products that address significant, unmet patient needs."

About Bariatric Essentials

The Metagenics Bariatric Essentials product line includes Bariatric Meal - a medical food in powdered beverage form in multiple flavors that nutritionally supports the management of altered body composition (unhealthy fat-to-lean mass ratio), dyslipidemia (elevated LDL levels) and metabolic syndrome (abnormal blood sugar metabolism). It contains a targeted blend of macro- and micronutrients designed to address specific concerns of bariatric patients, including hair and nail growth, fatigue, weakness, immune function, and tissue health and repair.

Bariatric Essentials also includes nutraceutical products to support the general health of the bariatric patient, including a chewable multivitamin and mineral supplement; a protein repletion drink mix; a low-allergy-potential fiber drink mix; a liquid zinc supplement; and a specialized iron formula.

Healthcare practitioners can call 1-800-692-9400 or go to for more information.

About Metagenics Inc.

Metagenics Inc. is the leading developer and manufacturer of science-based nutraceuticals sold to healthcare practitioners worldwide. The company has headquarters in San Clemente, with manufacturing and multiple research facilities located in Gig Harbor, Wash. - including its MetaProteomicsĀ® nutrigenomics research center and Functional Medicine Research Center(SM) for human clinical research. Metagenics holds multiple proprietary formula patents, and produces over 400 research-based products to optimize health. The company demonstrates its commitment to purity and quality through its certifications for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) from the National Nutritional Foods Association, NSF International, and the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia. For more information about Metagenics, please visit the company's Web site at

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