Which is better at controlling type 2 diabetes: gastric bypass surgery or lifestyle management?
The researchers fully expected that this test would come out even — neither treatment winning over the other. But the results weren’t even close.
After one year, 19 percent of the lifestyle-management group had met the health standards, while 49 percent of the gastric bypass participants had reached the goal. Even more astonishing, the gastric-bypass participants’ diabetes was reversed in days, sometimes hours, postsurgery — long before they had actually lost weight.
Regardless of the surgery’s clear results, both researchers say gastric bypass surgery is not a likely long-term future treatment for diabetics, because better, nonsurgical options will emerge. “What we need to find are inroads — nonsurgical ways — to accomplish this result,” says Bernlohr, who is studying the biology of the participants’ fat tissue and why its inflammation is reversed by bypass surgery.
The study’s one-year data collection provided the early findings needed for publication in June. Now the scientists are collecting year-two data to determine how gastric bypass surgery affects mitochondrial function, or energy production, in fat tissue.