FRIDAY, June 24, 2011 (HealthDay News) -- The health benefits of gastric bypass surgery may go beyond helping people lose weight, new research suggests.
The new study included 15 people who had gastric bypass surgery. Six months after surgery, the participants showed a decrease in proteins that cause inflammation associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and an increase in proteins that reduce such inflammation.
The study was released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.
"We're amassing evidence that weight loss is a very important part of changing the way the body's systems work in people with high-risk diseases like diabetes and heart disease," chief investigator Gary D. Miller, an associate professor at Wake Forest University, said in a university news release.
"It can be encouraging for people who have these diseases and need to lose weight. We're proving that the benefits of dropping the weight are excellent," he added.
A previous study by Miller and colleagues found that gastric bypass surgery followed by a healthy diet and exercise reduces abdominal fat known to increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.
"I'm hoping this research will help us show people that weight loss is not just about dropping the pounds or about looking different. It's about changing your body's disease-fighting power, too," Miller said.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about weight loss surgery.