Why weight-loss surgery cures diabetes
The actions of specialised cells in the intestine that secrete a cocktail of powerful hormones when we eat may explain why diabetes is cured in the majority of patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery, says a study.
Most common type of gastric bypass actually also bypasses a proportion of the gut hormone cells and that may result in change or reprogramming of the malfunctioning gut hormone cells, the researchers suggested.
"Our research centred on enteroendocrine cells that 'taste' what we eat and in response release a cocktail of hormones that communicate with the pancreas, to control insulin release to the brain, to convey the sense of being full and to optimise and maximise digestion and absorption of nutrients," explained Craig Smith from The University of Manchester in Britain.
"Under normal circumstances these are all important factors in keeping us healthy and nourished. But these cells may malfunction and result in under or over eating," Smith explained.
Gut hormone cells previously thought to contain just one hormone, had up to six hormones including the hunger hormone ghrelin, the findings revealed.
"Most common type of gastric bypass actually also bypasses a proportion of the gut hormone cells. It is thought that this causes the gut hormone cells to change and be reprogrammed. For us, understanding how these cells change in response to surgery is likely to hold the key to a cure for diabetes," Smith noted.
The study appeared in the journal Endocrinology.
(Posted on 12-07-2014)