Modification of fecal microbiota as a mediator of effective weight loss and metabolic benefits following bariatric surgery

Dominic Oduro-Donkor, Mark C Turner, Sebastien Farnaud, Derek Renshaw, Ioannis Kyrou, Petra Hanson, John Hattersley, Martin O Weickert, Vinod Menon, Harpal S Randeva, Thomas M Barber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Bariatric surgery (primarily Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy [LSG] and Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass [RYGB]) is an efficacious and durable therapeutic option for weight loss in obesity. The mechanisms that mediate weight loss following bariatric surgery remain incompletely understood. Areas covered: Pubmed search of published data on fecal microbiota, metabolic health, LSG, and RYGB. The fecal microbiome plays a key role in the establishment and maintenance of metabolic wellbeing, and may also contribute (through fecal dysbiosis) to metabolic dysfunction. LSG and RYGB both result in characteristic, procedure-specific changes to the fecal microbiota that may mediate at least some of the resultant weight-loss and metabolically beneficial effects, when applied to the management of obesity. Expert opinion: The human fecal microbiome, containing around 100 trillion microbes, evolved over millions of years and interacts symbiotically with its human host. Rodent-based studies have provided insights into the complexities of the gut-microbiome-brain axis. This includes the important role of the gut microbiome in the mediation of normal immunological development, inflammatory pathways, metabolic functioning, hypothalamic appetite regulation, and the absorption of essential nutrients as by-products of bacterial metabolism. Fecal transformation is likely to provide an important therapeutic target for future prevention and management of obesity and metabolic dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-373
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Review of Endocrinology & Metabolism
Issue number5
Early online date24 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2020


  • Fecal microbiota
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • bariatric surgery
  • incretins
  • microbiome
  • obesity
  • sleeve gastrectomy


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