Stomach bypass surgery reduces weight not just by limiting food intake but by increasing levels of appetite-suppressing hormones, according to investigators from Imperial College London. They assessed how weight-loss proceduresgastric bypass and stomach bandingaffect the hormones secreted by the gut. They found that patients who had stomach bypass surgery also had increased levels of the hormones PYY and GLP-1, which produce the sensation of feeling full, as well as improving blood sugar levels. This effect was not prevalent in patients who underwent gastric banding. If the effects of these increased hormones can be replicated in a drug therapy, it could lead to new treatments for severe obesity, say researchers. Their research was published in the January 2006 issue of the Annals of Surgery.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.