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A study from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston shows why gastric bypass surgery is the only effective treatment for morbid obesity. People who weight 100 or more pounds than they should are called morbidly obese because they are at high risk for premature death. After food enters the stomach, the stomach releases a hormone, called ghrelin, that makes people feel hungry. Preventing food from entering the stomach, prevents the stomach from releasing ghrelin, hunger and causes weight loss.

Doctors have known for years that the only way we have to cure morbid obesity is to make a hole in the upper part of the stomach so that food passes from the esophagus and almost directly into the intestines. Now we know why. This study shows that gastric bypass surgery prevents food from entering the stomach and therefore markedly reduces production of ghrelin. This why gastric bypass surgery succeeds and stomach stapling or banding often does not. For more on ghrelin see report #1133.

Obesity Research, 2003 Aug;11(8):919-24. Serum ghrelin levels in response to glucose load in obese subjects post-gastric bypass surgery. Tritos NA, Mun E, Bertkau A, Grayson R, Maratos-Flier E, Goldfine A. Joslin Diabetes Center, One Joslin Place, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Checked 5/3/07

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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