Potential gut–brain mechanisms behind adverse mental health outcomes of bariatric surgery

Robyn M. Brown, Eva Guerrero-Hreins, Wendy A. Brown, Carel W. le Roux, Priya Sumithran

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Bariatric surgery induces sustained weight loss and metabolic benefits via notable effects on the gut–brain axis that lead to alterations in the neuroendocrine regulation of appetite and glycaemia. However, in a subset of patients, bariatric surgery is associated with adverse effects on mental health, including increased risk of suicide or self-harm as well as the emergence of depression and substance use disorders. The contributing factors behind these adverse effects are not well understood. Accumulating evidence indicates that there are important links between gut-derived hormones, microbial and bile acid profiles, and disorders of mood and substance use, which warrant further exploration in the context of changes in gut–brain signalling after bariatric surgery. Understanding the basis of these adverse effects is essential in order to optimize the health and well-being of people undergoing treatment for obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-559
Number of pages11
JournalNature Reviews Endocrinology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

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