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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2009 Mar;19(3):198-204. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2008.04.005. Epub 2008 Aug 5.

Bariatric surgery in obesity: changes of glucose and lipid metabolism correlate with changes of fat mass.

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  • 1Universit√† degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.



Bariatric surgery induces significant weight loss and improves glucose metabolism in obese patients (BMI>35 kg/m(2)). Our aim was to compare restrictive (LAGB, laparoscopic gastric banding) and malabsorptive approaches (BIBP, biliary-intestinal bypass) on the loss of fat-free mass (FFM), fat mass (FM), and on changes of glucose and lipid metabolism.


Body composition (bio-impedance analysis, BIA), blood glucose (BG), insulin, triglycerides, total- and HDL-cholesterol, liver enzymes (AST and ALT) were measured at baseline and 1 year after surgery in patients undergoing LAGB, BIBP, and in diet-treated control patients. In the main study, with patients matched for initial BMI (43-55 kg/m(2), LAGB=24, BIBP=12, controls=6), decreases of BMI, FM, BG and cholesterol were greater in patients with BIBP than with LAGB (p<0.01), while decreases of FFM, insulin, HOMA-IR and triglycerides were similar. No effects on BMI, FM, FFM, BG, insulin, HOMA-IR or cholesterol were observed in the control patients. Decreases of BG, insulin, HOMA-IR, cholesterol and triglycerides correlated with FM but not with FFM decrease. Similar results were obtained in an additional study in patients with a different initial BMI (LAGB=25, BIBP=6, controls=24) and when considering all subjects together. A decrease of liver enzymes (ALT) was greater with LAGB than with BIBP, and HDL-cholesterol increased with LAGB and decreased with BIBP.


BMI, FM, BG and cholesterol decrease more with malabsorptive than with restrictive surgery, while FFM, insulin, HOMA-IR and triglycerides decrease in a similar way. FFM loss is of low entity. Changes of glucose and lipid metabolism are proportional to a decrease of fat mass but not of fat-free mass.

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