Gastric bypass surgery radically improves subjects' gut biomes


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So if we find a safe way to temporarily reduce stomach acidity, we might have a non-surgical (and non-feces based) method for boosting microbiome!!!


So… Tums?


If it was that easy - people who take prilosec (or generic equiv.) every day would be skinny - and the venn diagram of obese people who take daily antacids is most likely to look like a single circle.


well when I was taking prescription does of tagamet it definitely helped the food move through the system much easier. dunno how much that helps with cutting down the calories though.


The number of diseases due to the flora being screwed may be a lot more than we suspect. It would be nice if we could identify all the inhabitants of healthy gut bacteria and figure out how to deliver that permanently – or on a repeating basis to keep it going. An artificial hydroponic appendix or something.


It was my understanding that it was surprisingly common for people following surgery to eventually stretch the volume of their reduced stomachs and ultimately end up just as obese as before. I’m not too clear on the details though.

Are the relapse rates for gastric bypass substantially lower than those of gastric banding? That would be consistent with what this study suggests.


I’m a little concerned (in a FakeNews kind of way) about your titling that GBS "radically improves"a gut biome. Perhaps “radically diversifies” the gut biome is more accurate.

The study’s term is “distinctive” microbiomes, not “hyperimproved” microbiomes. I’m sure they chose that term advisedly.

We have no data to demonstrate that higher proportional diversity among gut fauna is necessarily an improvement. Gut fauna reproduce very quickly, if the right conditions exist, and so tiny amounts of billions of biome species may exist in the “normal” gut. We don’t know the levels of biota considered measurable, at least in what I read.

It seems to me likely that much depends on the diversity and components of what one eats, and needs digestion, by appropriate biota – which gut biota then respond to.

It’s not “A causes B.” It’s more “A affects B, and affects the conditions of C, and the constraints of D, and the synergies of E on F and G, etc.” Expecially when talking about rapid-response systems like microbial gut biota.


I wonder to what extant the idea that “good gut biome is the key to weight loss” may be confusing cause and effect. Because the population of your gut biome is going to be heavily influenced by what you eat. I suspect that balanced and varied diet is going to promote a varied population of gut bacteria, while a diet heavy in simple sugars would do the opposite.


Oh, good points. Also the “normal” gut biome is probably different for each person. So then how do you find an optimum? If we’re lucky, maybe we can identify a good starting point.


Just wanted to say that I love this concept and phrasing a lot.


Is it for sale in the bOINGbOING store?


Installation not included.


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