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Gastric Bypass May Aid Muscle Strength, Physical Performance

However, lean mass and absolute grip strength decline after surgery

overweight woman exercising

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Relative muscle strength and physical function improve meaningfully after gastric bypass, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Diana Alba, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined changes in body composition, strength, physical activity, and physical performance among 47 obese adults (37 women; mean age, 45 years) 12 months after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

The researchers found that participants experienced substantial 12-month decreases in total body weight (−37 kg, or 30 percent), fat mass (−48 percent of baseline), and total lean mass (−13 percent). There was a decline in mean absolute grip strength of 9 percent, but relative muscle strength increased by 32 percent (strength/body mass index) and 9 percent (strength/appendicular lean mass). For all physical performance measures, there were statistically and clinically significant postoperative improvements, including mean improvement in gait speed of >0.1 m/s and a decrease in 400-m walk time of nearly a full minute.

"Despite declines in lean mass and absolute muscle strength, relative muscle strength and physical performance significantly improve in morbidly obese adults following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery," the authors write.

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