A couple of new studies show that undergoing gastric bypass or banding will cure people of their diabetes. Even more surprising to the authors was that this happened so quickly and sometimes even before they lost weight. Why this is surprising to them is even more surprising to me. Diabetes (Type II) is about diet as it relates to the macronutrients one takes in and hormonal response (insulin) that occurs. I remember in medical school being taught that a diabetic placed in a controlled hospital environment will have to have his or her meds watched closely because the strict diet will bring sugars down immediately. The real problem is that most diabetes “out eat” the meds we give them. The other issue is that the standard American diet (SAD) is 70% carbohydrates leading to a chronic barrage of insulin production. After surgery, these patients eat so few calories that I bet their insulin production is minimal. I am simplifying this and I understand there could be more hormonal changes (Leptin, etc) that occur after these surgeries but for the most part, I still believe this is about diet.
Now for a side note. I am blown away by some quotes from Dr. Steve Nissen. He is the fist-pounding cardiologist who has put the kibosh on so many drugs due to any negative studies. In the linked article he says that these studies “don’t even begin to show how successful this was” and that “this is sensational”. Nissen was coauthor of one of the studies so that is a conflict of interest right there. For a guy who has made news over the years trying to stop some drugs from being prescribed that he has deemed dangerous it sure sounds like he needs to be a little more careful about glorifying the results of a study that may push more people into surgery.