Metabolic Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery: Is It All About Calories?

Katharina Herzog, Johan Berggren, Mahmoud Al Majdoub, Claudia Balderas Arroyo, Andreas Lindqvist, Jan Hedenbro, Leif Groop, Nils Wierup, Peter Spégel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bariatric surgery is an efficient method to induce weight loss and also, frequently, remission of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Unpaired studies have shown bariatric surgery and dietary interventions to differentially affect multiple hormonal and metabolic parameters, suggesting that bariatric surgery causes T2D remission at least partially via unique mechanisms. In the current study, plasma metabolite profiling was conducted in patients with (n = 10) and without T2D (n = 9) subjected to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB). Mixed-meal tests were conducted at baseline, after the presurgical very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) intervention, immediately after RYGB, and after a 6-week recovery period. Thereby, we could compare fasted and postprandial metabolic consequences of RYGB and VLCD in the same patients. VLCD yielded a pronounced increase in fasting acylcarnitine levels, whereas RYGB, both immediately and after a recovery period, resulted in a smaller but opposite effect. Furthermore, we observed profound changes in lipid metabolism following VLCD but not in response to RYGB. Most changes previously associated with RYGB were found to be consequences of the presurgical dietary intervention. Overall, our results question previous findings of unique metabolic effects of RYGB and suggest that the effect of RYGB on the metabolite profile is mainly attributed to caloric restriction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2027-2035
Number of pages9
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Surgery


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