A new study led by researchers at the Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) at Monash University in Australia revealed that gastric band surgery can improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes overweight individuals. The study was published in the journal Obesity Surgery and is entitled “Gastric Band Surgery Leads to Improved Insulin Secretion in Overweight People with Type 2 Diabetes.”
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 90 to 95% of the individuals diagnosed with the disease. Patients with type 2 diabetes do not make enough insulin or do not use it properly, leading to insulin resistance and eventually to higher blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). Insulin is a hormone essential to control blood sugar levels and convert sugar, starches and other foods into energy.
Gastric band surgery is a weight loss surgery where the size of the stomach is reduced through a gastric band. This surgery has been shown to be highly effective in inducing long-term sustained weight loss, and to contribute to health improvements including a decreased incidence of medical conditions like diabetes, heart attack, stroke and cancer.
Previous studies have shown that gastric band surgery in obese patients with type 2 diabetes allows the achievement of diabetes remission, most likely through an improvement in insulin sensitivity.
The goal of the study was to determine the impact of laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB) in overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes. The team focused especially on beta-cells, unique cells in the pancreas that produce, store and release insulin. The team hypothesized that beta-cell function is a key determinant of glycemic outcome after the surgery.
The team analyzed 44 overweight individuals (pre-obese, body mass index between 25 and 29.99) with type 2 diabetes who had enrolled on a clinical trial to evaluate the rate of diabetes remission after 2 years of multidisciplinary diabetes care (MDC) or MDC combined with LAGB. The function of beta-cells and insulin sensitivity were assessed.
Researchers found that 2 years after the intervention, 12 LAGB and 2 MDC patients had diabetes remission. Insulin sensitivity was found to be significantly increased in LAGB patients.
The research team concluded that LAGB can improve beta-cell function in overweight people with type 2 diabetes, and that the beta-cell function was associated with diabetes remission, but not with the change in average blood sugar levels after LAGB.