How does ‘metabolic surgery’ work its magic? New evidence for gut microbiota

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Metabolic surgery is recommended for the treatment of type 2 diabetes for its potent ability to improve glycemic control. However, the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of metabolic surgery are still under investigation. We provide an updated review of recent studies into the molecular underpinnings of metabolic surgery, focusing in on what is known about the role of gut microbiota. Over the last 7 years several reports have been published on the topic, however the field is expanding rapidly.

Recent findings

Studies have now linked the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism, neuronal and intestinal adaptations, and hormonal and nutrient signaling pathways to gut microbiota. Given that the composition of gut microbiota is altered by metabolic surgery, investigating the potential mechanism and outcomes of this change are now a priority to the field.

Summary

As evidence for a role for microbiota builds, we expect future patients may receive microbe-based therapeutics to improve surgical outcomes and perhaps one day preclude the need for surgical therapies all together. In this review and perspective, we evaluate the current state of the field and its future.

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