26 July 2013
US scientists have discovered why some people are 'cured' of type-2 diabetes after undergoing gastric bypass surgery.
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital found that the small intestine plays an important role in the body's metabolism following the procedure, which reroutes food past most of the stomach and duodenum so that patients eat and digest less food.
Studies on rats revealed that after gastric bypass surgery, the small intestine begins to use and dispose of glucose, thereby helping to resolve type-2 diabetes by regulating blood glucose levels in the rest of the body.
"We have seen type-2 diabetes resolve in humans after gastric bypass, but have never known why," said Dr Nicholas Stylopoulos, from the hospital's endocrinology division.
"People have been focusing on hormones, fat and muscle, but we have shown in this study that the answer lies somewhere in the small intestine most of the time," he added.
The discovery, which is detailed in Science journal, could pave the way for the development of novel anti-diabetes therapies.
Posted by Philip Briggs
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