Surgical weight loss the best for reversing diabetes
People who have weight-loss surgery are more efficient in reversing diabetes in comparison with those who diet or exercise, a new US study shows, Reuters reports.
Any degree of weight loss, even that achieved by non-surgical means (typically about 5% of starting weight as shown in this study), can be helpful in controlling health issues such as diabetes, lipids, and hypertension,” said Dr. Anita Courcoulas of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the study’s lead author.
“Nevertheless, the head-to-head comparison of lifestyle treatment versus surgical procedures, as in this study, shows (the) superiority of the surgical treatments for diabetes-control endpoints and weight loss,” Courcoulas said by email.
Remission in 5 years
Everyone in the study had type 2 diabetes, which is associated with aging and excess weight. Patients were 47 years old, on average, obese and living with dangerously elevated blood sugar levels.
Researchers randomly assigned 61 participants with type 2 diabetes to one of three weight-loss interventions: an operation known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass; a type of surgery known as laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding; or an intensive weight-loss program focused on cutting calories and increasing exercise.
The participants were followed for 5 years. After that, six people who got the Roux-en-Y procedures, or 30%, achieved partial or complete diabetes remission, compared with four people, or 19%, of the participants who had gastric banding, the study found. None of the people in the diet-and-exercise group achieved remission.
One limitation of the study is that researchers only tested one approach to diet and exercise for weight loss, and other approaches might have achieved different results, the study team notes in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The study was also small, and done at a single medical center, so results might differ with more people or in other locations.