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Study: Weight Loss Surgery Changes How The Body Senses Food

According to new research published in the journal Cell Reports, bariatric weight loss surgery impacts how the body senses food. The surgery reportedly changes digestion and absorption in the gut, resulting in increased production of gut hormones such as glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). Increased gut hormone production causes the body to make more insulin.

The Potential For Hyperglcemic Episodes

"For people who have gastric bypass surgery to treat obesity and who also have diabetes, after surgery body weight is reduced and the diabetes melts away quickly," said senior author Fiona Gribble of the Cambridge University Metabolic Research Laboratories at the Wellcome Trust -- MRC Institute of Metabolic Science. "But in lean patients with gastric cancer, they start off having normal glucose control and after the operation they end up having frequent hypoglycemic episodes because their sugar levels dip."

Gut “Rearrangement”

Following this type of weight loss surgery, the gut is essentially “rearranged” to create a Y-shaped connection between stomach bile and pancreatic enzymes from food.

"Most digestion does not happen until the bile and the pancreatic enzymes coming down from one side join the food coming down the other side, which occurs lower in the gut," explains Gribble. That is important because most GLP-1 is released lower down the gut. "If you digest and absorb your nutrients a bit lower down, you consequently stimulate the release of much more GLP-1."

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About the Author

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