The role of the gut microbiome in pediatric obesity and bariatric surgery

Gut microbiome changes after bariatric surgery in children and adolescents are largely unknown.

In a review led by Cynthia Omoge Akagbosu, M.D., a gastroenterology fellow at Children’s National Hospital, a team examined the magnitude of childhood obesity, the importance of the developing microbiome in establishing metabolic pathways and the future direction for the potential development of microbiome-based therapeutics to treat obesity.

Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States that impacts nearly 20% of children. Severe childhood obesity is associated with complications including hypertension, fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Pediatric bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for childhood obesity, however, there is limited research into the role of the gut microbiome after weight-loss surgery in children.

Read the full review in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

This review was co-authored by Evan Nadler, M.D., director of the Child and Adolescent Weight-loss Surgery Program at Children’s National and Suchitra Hourigan, M.D., chief of the Clinical Microbiome Unit, Laboratory of Host Immunity and Microbiome at the NIH/NIAID.