Weight Loss Surgery Offering Hope for Genetic Obesity
Genetic obesity is a trend of obesity occurring in families who have a fat-related gene. It makes it difficult for them to lose weight or maintain their weight, because of this gene. Thanks to a new study, appearing in the April issue of Cell Reports, weight loss surgery shows a benefit for individuals with these obesity genes. The gene responsible for storing and burning fat just might be changed with bariatric surgery.
Type of Weight Loss Surgery
Moderate to severe obesity is considered a chronic condition when the individual is suffering from fat-related genes. These genes make it extremely difficult to lose weight on their own. Weight loss surgeries called bariatric surgery, help individuals lose weight and improve other health risks, such as lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attacks and helping manage diabetes. There are different types of weight loss surgeries, with gastric bypass being the current common one. Different varieties of weight loss surgeries are showing effective for genetic obesity, but the gastric bypass has the best results.
Study and Findings
Before this study began, researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden knew that these fat-related genes are responsible for how fat is burned and stored. It also reflects poor metabolic health. The participants of the study received weight loss surgery and the levels of the genes maintained normal and healthy levels, improving their metabolism and aiding with weight loss. The patients had their genetic makeup tested to be sure they had the type of genes known to cause an abnormal burning and storing level of fat. After this was accomplished, patients underwent weight loss surgery and were then monitored by Swedish researchers. The findings were exactly what researchers were hoping for.
Juleen Zierath, a professor at Karolinska, was the head of this study. She found evidence that after the weight loss surgery, patients were suddenly finding that it was easier to lose weight, because of the changes in their gene’s structure. It shows that the gene-environment can actually be altered and help with weight loss. Furthermore, the study proves new drugs may be created that help with the regulation of genes for these individuals.
Following this study, Zierath and her research team feel confident in the benefits of weight loss surgery for more than short-term weight loss. Now that they know the genetic makeup can be altered through these types of surgeries, they feel confident that in these individuals, long-term weight loss success can be obtained. Further studies will be conducted as well.