Gut Microbiome Health is Improved After Weight Loss Surgery

By: Mark Lange, PhD

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) are two types of bariatric operations.  RYGB is recognized to give patients superior outcomes over LAGB, and in a new study[1] insight as to why is given.  The findings of the study support previous research showing RYGB gastric bypass surgery has a huge effect on the microbial community structure, which influences host energy regulation and metabolism.

This is the first study to show that anatomically different surgeries with different success rates have different microbiome and microbiome-related outcomes.  The study compared groups of participants from whom fecal samples were collected and food diaries were kept.  Fecal analysis showed that RYGB microbiomes were different from LAGB microbiomes.  Beneficial microbes, previously unable to survive conditions in the obese gut, began to flourish in the surgically-modified environment.

The researchers theorize this is related to changes in gut pH, allowing good bacteria to survive.


[1] The ISME Journal, (26 May 2017) doi: 10.1038/ismej.2017.71