• Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Affect Insulin Sensitivity? - Chromatography Investigates


Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Affect Insulin Sensitivity? - Chromatography Investigates

Sep 21 2019

Gastric bypass surgery is a type of bariatric surgery that is used to treat patients suffering from morbid obesity. There are several different types of bypass surgery depending on how the surgeon reconnects the intestines. But most of the surgeries involve making the stomach smaller before reconnecting parts of it to the intestine.

But although the procedure can reduce some of the morbidities associated with obesity, the procedure affects how the body can absorb nutrients from the food we eat. Primarily, this is because food passes through the stomach and intestine differently giving less time for the body to absorb nutrients. So, patients have to ensure they eat a nutrient rich diet after surgery.

But, there are also other beneficial changes after surgery besides weight loss. A recent paper in the journal Obesity Surgery - The Effect of One Anastomosis Gastric Bypass on Branched-Chain Fatty Acid and Branched-Chain Amino Acid Metabolism in Subjects with Morbid Obesity - has looked at how the body might improve its sensitivity to insulin after surgery.

Reducing the stomach size

Gastric bypass surgery is used to help people lose weight by changing how the stomach and intestine handle food. With a smaller stomach, it is hoped that the patient feels full with less food, and because the food doesn’t get to parts of the stomach and intestine, fewer calories will be absorbed. There are two basic steps in gastric bypass surgery:

  • first the stomach is split into two with a small upper section and a larger lower section. Food goes into the small upper section, so you feel full with less food.
  • the upper stomach is connected to the small intestine. Food now goes from the upper stomach to the small intestine meaning fewer calories are absorbed by the body.

Changing insulin sensitivity after surgery

But gastric bypass surgery can also have other consequences too. In the study referenced above, the effect of surgery on levels of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) and branched-chain fatty acids (BCFA) was investigated. Gas and liquid chromatography were used to determine the fasting levels of BCAA and BCFA before and after surgery and in a control group. The ability to increase chromatographic throughput is discussed in the article, Increasing HPLC / UHPLC Sample Throughput: Doing More in Less Time.

Studies have shown that levels of BCAAs and BCFAs are linked to insulin sensitivity in the body. Insulin sensitivity describes how the body reacts to the levels of insulin in the body. People with low sensitivity - said to be insulin resistant - require larger amounts of insulin to regulate their blood glucose levels. Higher amounts of insulin are linked to many different health conditions. The paper referenced above reports that after gastric bypass surgery, altered levels of BCAAs and BCFAs may be related to an improvement in insulin sensitivity. Meaning gastric bypass surgery means more than just weight loss.

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