Gastric bypass surgery may reverse type 2 diabetes due to improved insulin sensitivity

overweight women stomachRemission of type 2 diabetes has been found to be possible with weight loss surgery, specifically gastric bypass surgery, according to new findings. Insulin is responsible for transferring glucose into the bloodstream where it can be used by tissues and cells as energy. Insulin sensitivity refers to how readily the body responds to insulin. Among those who are obese or have type 2 diabetes insulin sensitivity is low, meaning their body does not use it effectively.

The researchers used abdominal fat and thigh muscle samples taken from obese patients with type 2 diabetes and obese patients with normal glucose control prior to undergoing gastric bypass surgery. Twelve months after the surgery all patients experienced weight loss and improved their insulin sensitivity. Insulin-controlled proteins increased in the fat and muscles of the body post-surgery. Non-diabetic patients saw the biggest improvements in regards to changes in their fat tissue.


The findings suggest that gastric bypass surgery is successful in improving insulin sensitivity. It’s important to note, though, that these changes occurred mainly after significant weight loss was experienced. Changes in fat tissue were more closely related with improved insulin sensitivity compared to muscle tissue. This reveals, as was previously believed, that fat tissue plays a large role in insulin sensitivity.

The research team came from the University of Copenhagen in collaboration with Novo Nordisk A/S, Hvidovre Hospital and Aarhus University in Denmark. The findings were published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

Also Read: Weight-loss surgery beats medications for controlling type-2 diabetes in obesity


Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.