Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, finds that gastric bypass surgery induces changes in the gut microbiota and peptide release that are similar to those seen after treatment with prebiotics.
Previous animal research demonstrated that ingestion of a high-fat diet produces weight gain and profoundly affects the gut microbiota composition, resulting in a greater abundance of one type of 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.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery is considered the most effective treatment of morbid obesity and diabetes. Recent studies 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 fecal samples which may not accurately represent how RYGB surgery affects the gut microbiota profile along different parts of the intestine.