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Gut microbiota changes after metabolic surgery in adult diabetic patients with mild obesity: a randomised controlled trial

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Published: 21 May 2021
Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome , Volume 13, pp 1-15; doi:10.1186/s13098-021-00672-1

Abstract: Background Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery is one of the most efficient procedures for the treatment of obesity, also improving metabolic and inflammatory status, in patients with mild obesity. The underlying mechanisms have not been fully understood, but gut microbiota is hypothesized to play a key role. Our aim was to evaluate the association between gut microbiota changes and anthropometric, metabolic and inflammatory profiles after metabolic surgery compared with medical therapy, in type 2 diabetic (T2DM) adults with mild obesity (BMI 30–35 kg/m2). Methods DM2 was an open-label, randomised controlled clinical trial (RCT: ISRCTN53984585) with 2 arms: (i) surgical, and (ii) medical. The main outcome was gut microbiota changes after: metabolic surgery (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass—RYGB) versus standard medical therapy. Secondary outcomes included anthropometric, metabolic and inflammatory profiles. Clinical visits, blood workup, and stool samples were collected at baseline and months (M)1, 3, 6, 12. Gut microbiota was profiled using 16S rRNA targeted sequencing. Results Twenty patients were included: 10 in surgical and 10 in medical arm. Anthropometric and metabolic comparative analysis favoured RYGB over medical arm. At M12, the percentage of weight loss was 25.5 vs. 4.9% (p < 0.001) and HbA1c was 6.2 vs. 7.7% (p < 0.001) respectively. We observed a continuous increase of genus richness after RYGB up until M12. In the medical arm, genus richness ended-up being significantly lower at M12. Composition analysis indicated significant changes of the overall microbial ecosystem (permanova p = 0.004, [R 2 = 0.17]) during the follow-up period after RYGB. There was a strong association between improvement of anthropometric/metabolic/inflammatory biomarkers and increase in microbial richness and Proteobacterial lineages. Conclusions This was the first RCT studying composite clinical, analytic, and microbiome changes in T2DM patients with class 1 obesity after RYGB versus standard medical therapy. The remarkable phenotypic improvement after surgery occurred concomitantly with changes in the gut microbiome, but at a lower level. Trial registration: ISRCTN53984585
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus / Insulin resistance / Microbiome / Roux-en-Y gastric bypass / Weight loss

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