Gastric bypass has additional weight loss properties
Gastric bypass surgery can lead to sustained weight loss as it causes the small intestine to work harder and burn more energy, according to a new Swedish study.
The principle behind the weight loss surgery is to shorten and re-route a patient’s digestive system so they digest less food.
It also means it takes less food to make them feel full.
But researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy now think the surgery could have additional weight loss effects.
Sustained weight loss
While a gastric bypass can cause weight loss, past studies show patients lose more than the reduction in the level of calories consumed alone can account for.
The new study, in which patients spent 24 hours in a metabolic chamber both before and up to 2 years after the surgery, found an increase in patients’ energy expenditure during and after meal times.
Researcher Malin Werling says parts of the patients’ small intestine became much more active after the operation.
The increased activity results in these sections of the digestive system absorbing more nutrition. It means the blood absorbs fewer nutrients to store as fat.
As a result, she claims people are essentially burning calories by eating.
Boosting the system
The rise in energy levels required by the body after meals has been long-established, as the gastrointestinal tract requires energy to break down and absorb nutrients.
What the new study reveals is that gastric bypass surgery actually strengthens this process and helps patients to preserve their weight loss.
The research team will continue its work in an attempt to pinpoint the specific mechanism that increases the energy usage.
They hope to be able to control the mechanism via drugs in the future.
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