Bariatric Patients May Need Microbiome Boost

Microbial richness remains diminished even 5 years after gastric bypass, banding.

French researchers pointed to a need to shore up the composition of the gut's microbiota ecosystem before or during bariatric surgery after they found persistent decreased microbial richness in severely obese patients.

The study found that both adjustable gastric banding and Roux-en-Y-gastric bypass improved microbial gene richness, but that microbial abundance was only partly restored in the majority of patients. Most had persistently low richness despite major metabolic improvement and weight loss, reported Karine Clement, MD, PhD, of Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, and colleagues in Gut.

"The lack of full rescue post-bariatric surgery calls for additional strategies to improve the gut microbiota ecosystem and microbiome-host interactions in severe obesity," the team wrote, suggesting that specialized diets, prebiotics, probiotics, or gut microbiota transfers before or after bariatric surgery might further improve microbial gene richness and metabolic health in severely obese individuals.