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The gut microbiome may be a mediator between obesity and health outcomes. However, it is unclear how intentional weight loss changes the gut microbiota and intestinal permeability. We aimed to systematically review and quantify this association. We searched Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane databases, and trial registries until June 2020 (PROSPERO: CRD42020205292). We included trials of weight loss interventions (energy-restricted diets, pharmacotherapy, bariatric surgery) reporting on the microbiome. Two reviewers independently completed screening, extraction, and risk assessment with the ROBINS-I tool. Pooled standardized mean differences (SMDs) were obtained from random-effects meta-analyses. Forty-seven trials with 1,916 participants (81% female) and a median follow-up of 6 months (range: 2–24) were included. Based on imprecise evidence but with fairly consistent direction of effect, weight loss was associated with a statistically significant increase in α-diversity [SMD: 0.4 (95% CI: 0.2, 0.6], p

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Journal article


Gut Microbes

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