Obesity is a growing problem, costing the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) around £6 billion a year, a figure expected to rise to almost £10 billion by 2050.
One of the treatments for obesity is bariatric surgery, which involves altering the stomach and digestive system to limit food and nutrient absorption.
Although surgery often produces positive results, some patients lose less weight than expected. Now researchers think they’ve found a key factor influencing these results: levels of inflammation in the blood.
Inflammation, not depression, affects weight loss
In a landmark study from King’s College London, scientists have shown that higher levels of inflammation in the blood are associated with less successful weight loss after bariatric surgery.
This research is the first of its kind to examine how depression and inflammation are related in patients before and after the procedure.
It has been known for years that depression and obesity coexist. Researchers previously hypothesized that the release of inflammatory proteins by the immune system could be the common trigger of both diseases.
To test this theory, researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College conducted a study involving 85 participants. All were obese and underwent bariatric surgery.
Of the 85 patients, 41 had degrees of depression that met criteria for clinical diagnosis. Before and after surgery, scientists measured the levels of various proteins released during inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).
People with depression had higher levels of these inflammatory proteins. Notably, patients with higher levels of these proteins lost less weight six months after surgery, whether they were depressed or not.
What this means for patients and doctors
Valeria Mondelli, lead author of the study and clinical professor at IoPPN, emphasized that these results could pave the way for more personalized treatments to improve patient outcomes after surgery.
Knowing that inflammation levels can predict weight loss could lead to anti-inflammatory treatments to ensure more successful weight loss after surgery.
dr Anna McLaughlin, another researcher involved in the study, emphasized that understanding these inflammation scores could help healthcare providers better predict who may need additional support post-surgery.
In particular, patients with a history of childhood trauma who are already in need of additional psychological support post-surgery may benefit from a multi-pronged approach that also includes treatment of inflammation.
In summary, this research suggests that fighting inflammation could represent a new frontier for improving bariatric surgery outcomes.
It’s not just about changing the body to eat less, but also about understanding the body’s internal environment and how it responds to surgery.
Because obesity places a huge financial burden on healthcare systems and is a risk factor for numerous health problems, these findings are an essential step toward improving treatment efficacy and patient quality of life.
If you care about losing weight, please read the related studies Hop extract could reduce belly fat in overweight peopleAnd Eating early, for a limited time, could help with weight loss.
For more information on weight loss, see recent studies A Mediterranean diet is much better at reducing belly fatand that A keto diet could help control body weight and blood sugar in diabetes.
The study was published In psychological medicine.
follow us on Twitter for more articles on this topic.
Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.