A recent study has shown that obese patients who undergo weight loss surgery may also benefit from an added side effect. The reason is that many of these patients also report that they experience a reduction in their cravings for sweet and sugary foods. The new study looked into the way that the receptors and dopamine circuits in the brain and the nerves in the digestive system are affected by these procedures.
There are currently four different types of bariatric weight loss surgery that are currently available in the United States for the treatment of obesity. They have all been around for a while and have a relatively strong history of benefits for these patients.
In the majority of reports that have been published on these procedures, over 80 percent are considered to be a complete success.
However, the precise methods for achieving the most successful results have yet to be known for weight loss surgery patients, nor are they entirely understood. The reason is that there are a tremendous number of different mechanisms that are all functioning together in different ways in order to form the positive outcomes that would make a procedure a successful one. Among them, malabsorption and restriction are typically believed to be the two largest players.
Mal-absorption occurs when nutrition uptake is reduced. Restriction occurs when the amount of food that can actually be consumed is decreased. These are both considered to be quite helpful, but unfortunately neither of them explains all of the potential benefits of bariatric surgery. A new study from the Yale University School of Medicine by Ivan de Araujo found that there is a connection between the presence of dopamine and the draw to eat sugar.
As sugar is addictive (this has been proven through studies with mice), the more sugar a person eats, the more they crave it. However, the opposite is also proving to be the same. Therefore, someone who has undergone a weight loss procedure will not be able to eat as much and will not be able to absorb nutrients as effectively, reducing sugar intake. Along with this reduction in sugar absorption also comes a decrease in sugar cravings because the dieter isn’t able to eat as much sugar in order to perpetuate the addiction.
Further studies will be required in order to understand exactly how this is linked to the dopamine system in the body, but it has brought considerable insight into this area.