Branched Chain Amino Acids Implicated in Diabetes Reversal After Gastric Bypass

diabetes reverseMyHealthNewsDaily posted an article this week with new research shedding light on why weight loss surgery often reverses diabetes, while losing weight through diet and exercise do not. The study was conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center and was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The researchers studied two groups of obese individuals with a body mass index (BMI) over 35. One group received gastric bypass surgery and the other went on a diet with the goal of a 20 pound weight loss. Both groups lost about the same amount of weight (20 pounds), with the surgery group losing weight about twice as fast, but those who received the surgery saw a significant decrease in their blood glucose levels. According to the article, the surgery group also had much lower levels of amino acids called branched-chain amino acids compared with those who lost the weight through dieting. These types of amino acids have been associated with insulin-resistance and heart disease.

The findings indicate that losing weight from surgery affects the metabolism in a different way than losing weight through dieting. The researchers hope that this study can lead to more treatment options for those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes.

However, the surgery is not without risks. It can cause malabsorption of nutrients. Expert bariatric surgeon, Dr. Sunil Bhoyrul of Olde Del Mar Surgical, spoke to MyHealthNews and said “It really shows the double-edge sword of malabsorption. It might be a good explanation for why you get a better resolution of diabetes, but it also may be the cause of protein malabsorption. Because of this issue, use of the surgery should be approached with caution.”

“Someone with newly diagnosed diabetes might be better off receiving gastric banding, which restricts the stomach but doesn’t come with as high a risk of malabsorption.

But for a patient with longstanding severe diabetes, the risks of malabsorption from gastric bypass might be outweighed by the reversal of diabetes from the surgery, Bhoyrul said.

‘This kind of study may help us choose the right operation for the right patient,’ Bhoyrul said.”

You can read MyHealthNewsDaily’s full article here.

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