The rising incidence of obesity requires the reevaluation of our current therapeutic strategies to optimize patient outcomes. The objective of this study was to determine whether compositional and functional characteristics of the gut microbiota in adults predict responses to a comprehensive lifestyle intervention program in overweight and obese adults. We recruited 26 participants from the Mayo Clinic Obesity Treatment Research Program between August 6, 2013, and September 12, 2013, to participate in a lifestyle intervention program for weight loss. Adults aged 18 to 65 years with a body mass index of 27 to 39.9 kg/m2 and able to provide informed consent were included in the study. Fecal stool samples were obtained at baseline and after 3 months. Loss of at least 5% of baseline weight after 3 months was defined as success. Clinical characteristics and gut microbial composition and function were compared between those who achieved at least 5% and those who achieved less than 5% weight loss. After 3 months, 9 of 26 participants lost at least 5% of their weight. The mean weight loss was 7.89 kg (95% CI, 6.46-9.32 kg) in the success group and 1.51 kg (95% CI, 0.52-2.49 kg) in the less than 5% weight loss group. An increased abundance of Phascolarctobacterium was associated with success. In contrast, an increased abundance of Dialister and of genes encoding gut microbial carbohydrate-active enzymes was associated with failure to lose 5% body weight. A gut microbiota with increased capability for carbohydrate metabolism appears to be associated with decreased weight loss in overweight and obese patients undergoing a lifestyle intervention program.
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