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ISME J. 2017 Sep;11(9):2047-2058. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2017.71. Epub 2017 May 26.

Distinctive microbiomes and metabolites linked with weight loss after gastric bypass, but not gastric banding.

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Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.
School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.
Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.
Mayo Clinic, Division of Gastroenterology, Scottsdale, AZ, USA.
William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA.
School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.


Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) are anatomically different bariatric operations. RYGB achieves greater weight loss compared with LAGB. Changes in the gut microbiome have been documented after RYGB, but not LAGB, and the microbial contribution to sustainable surgical weight loss warrants further evaluation. We hypothesized that RYGB imposes greater changes on the microbiota and its metabolism than LAGB, and that the altered microbiota may contribute to greater weight loss. Using multi-omic approaches, we analyzed fecal microbial community structure and metabolites of pre-bariatric surgery morbidly obese (PreB-Ob), normal weight (NW), post-RYGB, and post-LAGB participants. RYGB microbiomes were significantly different from those from NW, LAGB and PreB-Ob. Microbiome differences between RYGB and PreB-Ob populations were mirrored in their metabolomes. Diversity was higher in RYGB compared with LAGB, possibly because of an increase in the abundance of facultative anaerobic, bile-tolerant and acid-sensible microorganisms in the former. Possibly because of lower gastric acid exposure, phylotypes from the oral cavity, such as Escherichia, Veillonella and Streptococcus, were in greater abundance in the RYGB group, and their abundances positively correlated with percent excess weight loss. Many of these post-RYGB microorganisms are capable of amino-acid fermentation. Amino-acid and carbohydrate fermentation products-isovalerate, isobutyrate, butyrate and propionate-were prevalent in RYGB participants, but not in LAGB participants. RYGB resulted in greater alteration of the gut microbiome and metabolome than LAGB, and RYGB group exhibited unique microbiome composed of many amino-acid fermenters, compared with nonsurgical controls.

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