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Bacterial changes

Bypass surgery alters gut microbiota profile

Surgery leads to changes similar to those seen after prebiotics treatment
Melania Osto

Gastric bypass surgery induces changes in the gut microbiota and peptide release, a study presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior has found.

Previous animal research has shown that ingestion of a high-fat diet produces weight gain and profoundly affects the gut microbiota composition, resulting in a greater abundance of phyla bacteria called Firmicutes, and a decrease in Bifidobacteria spp and Bacteroidetes. A similar pattern has also been found in obese humans.

Feeding of prebiotics, substances that enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria, changes the composition and/or the activity of the gastrointestinal microbiota, to promote the release of gut peptides and to improve glucose and lipid metabolism in diet-induced obese and type 2 diabetic mice.

“Our findings show that Roux-en-y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery leads to changes in gut microbiota that resemble those seen after treatment with prebiotics,” said lead author of the study, Dr Melania Osto, Institute of Veterinary Physiology, Vetsuisse Faculty University of Zurich, Switzerland. “The results of this study suggest that postsurgical gut microbiota modulations may influence gut peptide release and significantly contribute to the beneficial metabolic effects of RYGB surgery.”

In her presentation, Osto said that recent studies have reported substantial shifts in the composition of the gut microbiota towards lower concentrations of Firmicutes and increased Bacteroidetes in obese subjects after RYGB. Most of the human studies on gut microbiota have been carried out using faecal samples, which may not accurately represent how RYGB surgery affects the gut microbiota profile along different parts of the intestine.

This new measured the bacterial composition and the amounts of different peptides that affect food intake along different intestinal segments after RYGB in rats. They reported that 14 weeks after surgery, Bifidobacteria spp, and Bacteroides-Prevotella spp content were significantly increased, especially in the small intestine of the RYGB rats compared with control animals.

Osto concluded that following RYGB, not only do changes in gut microbe populations resemble those seen after treatment with prebiotics, but microbiota changes were also associated with altered production of gastrointestinal hormones known to control energy balance.

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