However, reducing food intake before surgery tended to reverse these activities for all mice age groups, even in the setting of the simulated infection. The results suggest that while fat is a very dominant tissue in the human body, its ability to rapidly change might be leveraged to lessen complications in humans during stressful situations such as surgery.
In an accompanying review article composed with key collaborator James Mitchell, PhD, assistant professor of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, the researchers suggest that restricting diet in humans before surgery provides a unique opportunity to test whether this method will decrease the incidence and severity of surgical complications brought on by over-exuberant inflammation and other stressors.
Simply cutting out certain dietary elements (without malnutrition) may be a feasible, inexpensive and effective way of protecting the body against stress from an operation. In the review article, the researchers specifically point to further studying this method in patients undergoing vascular surgery, a population that faces increased risks of surgical complications such as wound-healing problems, heart attack and stroke.
"The relationship between surgical outcomes and obesity has always been complex," said Ozaki. "Our results and those of others highlight that the quality of your fat tissues appears to be important, along with the total amount of body fat when it comes to the body's response to an operation."
|Contact: Marjorie Montemayor-Quellenberg|
Brigham and Women's Hospital