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Weight Loss Surgery May Reverse Aging

Nov 30 2013, 5:38am CST | by , in News | Other Stuff

Weight Loss Surgery May Reverse Aging
Photo Credit: Getty Images

It has been found that bariatric surgery for weight loss purposes may reverse the ravages of the ageing process. Especially in obese patients who have too much bad cholesterol or happen to be diabetic, the signs of disease may become less prominent.

Weight loss surgery may reduce the ageing process significantly. Patients who lost nearly half their weight emerged from the operations appearing younger than usual. It appears that their telomeres had lengthened on a post-operational basis. The genetic changes were quite marked. Inflammation, a major cause of obesity, had been reduced too. These are the finding of the study conducted by researchers from Stanford University. 

"This unique study demonstrates that surgically induced weight loss is able to reverse a marker of aging, telomere length," said study author John Morton, MD, of Stanford University. "Past research has shown a tie between telomere length following weight loss through diet and exercise, but not through bariatric surgery."

In the past, it was common knowledge that telomeres could be lengthened by following a good diet and exercise regimen. The discovery that surgical weight loss efforts could have an effect too is a revolutionary finding. Reduction in length of telomeres causes all sorts of degenerative diseases. Cardiac Pathology, Type 2 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s not to mention an early death are just some of the ailments that afflict those who make unwise lifestyle choices. 

The more the external and internal fat tissues and the higher the Body Mass Index, the greater are the chances of catching these diseases. The study presented at Obesity Week, mostly conducted on female patients, showed that they benefitted greatly from the complicated weight loss procedure.

The gastric bypass surgery also cut off a major part of their gastrointestinal tract along with a reduction in stomach size. The health effects of changes that occur in the length of telomeres are a valuable addition to the storehouse of medical knowledge. And it is a common heritage of humanity in its endeavor to fight disease and restore health.  

"Telomere erosion is known to be a marker of cellular longevity; however, little is known about the direct effects of telomere lengthening on health outcomes," said Bruce Wolfe, MD, TOS Advocacy Committee Member and Professor of Surgery and Co-Director of Bariatric Surgery, Oregon Health and Science University. "Results like these are an important addition to our understanding of the role of telomeres in aging and disease, as well as the long-term benefits of bariatric surgery."

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