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New study may explain how weight-loss surgery reverses type 2 diabetes
Date:3/24/2010

astrointestinal surgery and a specialist in bariatric surgery at UC Davis Health System. "It's clear from the outcome that something physiologic is at work with controlling diabetes that is not related to weight loss.

"UC Davis has the perfect environment for collaboration between basic and clinical scientists to take this discovery to the next step, which is identifying the molecular signals that set these physiologic changes in motion," said Ali, who was not a participant in this study, but has collaborated with Havel on previous research.

About bariatric surgery in humans

In severe cases of obesity -- usually when the patient is 80 to 100 or more pounds overweight -- bariatric surgery is used to alter or reconstruct the stomach and/or the intestinal tract. In such cases, obesity is not just a weight issue but also a life-threatening health problem that often leads to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and sleep apnea.

There are several types of bariatric surgeries available in the United States. The most commonly performed surgical procedure, known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, limits the amount of food the stomach can hold and reroutes the digestive tract, resulting in changes in intestinal function and hormones produced by the gastrointestinal tract.

In 2008, about 220,000 people with severe obesity in the U.S. had bariatric surgery, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

The new study

Havel and colleagues set out to test a hypothesis that certain bariatric surgical procedures were successful in improving type 2 diabetes, at least in part, because the procedures increased the flux of unabsorbed nutrients to the far end of the small intestine and, in doing so, triggered increased secretion of two hormones. Those hormones -- glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide-YY (PYY) -- are known to have a role in controlling food intake and improving insulin se
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Contact: Patricia Bailey
pjbailey@ucdavis.edu
530-752-9843
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

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