Bariatric surgery and bone disease: From clinical perspective to molecular insights

F. Folli, B. N. Sabowitz, W. Schwesinger, P. Fanti, R. Guardado-Mendoza, G. Muscogiuri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The use of bariatric surgery for the treatment of morbid obesity has increased annually for the last decade. Although many studies have demonstrated the efficacy and durability of bariatric surgery for weight loss, there are limited data regarding long-term side effects of these procedures. Recently, there has been an increased focus on the impact of bariatric surgery on bone metabolism. Bariatric surgery utilizes one or more of three mechanisms of action resulting in sustained weight loss. These include restriction (gastric banding, vertical banded gastroplasty and sleeve gastrectomy), malabsorption surgery with or without associated restriction (Roux en Y gastric bypass, duodenal switch, biliopancreatic diversion and jejunoileal bypass) and changes in gut-derived hormones that control energy metabolism also referred to as neuro-hormonal control of energy metabolism (Roux en Y gastric bypass, duodenal switch, biliopancreatic diversion, jejunoileal bypass, surgical procedures as above and gastric sleeve). Weight reduction has been associated with increased bone resorption but the mechanisms behind this have not yet been fully elucidated. Each of the mechanisms of action of bariatric surgery (restriction, malabsorption, neuro-hormonal control of energy metabolism) may uniquely affect bone resorption. In this paper we will review the current state of knowledge regarding the relationship between bariatric surgery and bone metabolism with emphasis on possible mechanisms of action such as malnutrition, hormonal interactions and mechanical unloading of the skeleton. Further, we suggest a future research agenda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1373-1379
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • adipose tissue-derived hormones
  • bariatric surgery
  • bone metabolism
  • gastrointestinal hormones
  • osteomalacia
  • osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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