Altered gut and pancreatic hormone secretion may bolster resolution of insulin resistance after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), but the independent effects of weight loss and hormonal secretion on peripheral glucose disposal are unknown.
Two groups of nondiabetic morbidly obese patients were studied: RYGB followed by standardized caloric restriction (RYGB, n = 12) or caloric restriction alone (diet, n = 10). Metabolic evaluations (euglycemic–hyperinsulinemic clamp, meal tolerance test) were done at baseline and 14 days (both groups) and 6 months after RYGB.
At baseline, body composition, fasting insulin, and glucose and peripheral glucose disposal did not differ between groups. At 14 days, excess weight loss (EWL) was similar (RYGB, 12.7% vs. diet, 10.9%; p = 0.12), fasting insulin and glucose decreased to a similar extent, and RYGB subjects had altered postmeal patterns of gut and pancreatic hormone secretion. However, peripheral glucose uptake (M value) was unchanged in both groups. Six months after RYGB, EWL was 49.7%. The changes in fasting glucose and insulin levels and gut hormone secretion persisted. M values improved significantly, and changes in M values correlated with the % EWL (r = 0.68, p = 0.02).
Improvement in peripheral glucose uptake following RYGB was observed only after substantial weight loss had occurred and correlated with the magnitude of weight lost.