Gastric bypass surgery often leads to diabetes resolution, even before weight loss, for reasons that are unclear. Changes in the way the small intestine processes glucose appear to play an important role, report investigators led by a team at Boston Children’s Hospital (Saeidi N et al. Science. 2013;341:406-410).
The intestines expand after gastric bypass surgery, which reroutes food from a small part of the upper stomach directly to the small intestine. Through experiments in rats, the researchers discovered that to fuel this expansion, the intestines begin expressing the glucose transporter-1 protein, which removes glucose from circulation.
Hampton T. Study Reveals Clues to How Gastric Bypass Can Resolve Diabetes. JAMA. 2013;310(9):894. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.276645