Weight Loss May Reverse Premature Aging in Obese Patients
Research presented at the 2016 “Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology” conference held by the European Society of Cardiology showed promising results from a study, aiming to prove that weight loss from bariatric surgery may reverse premature aging associated with obesity. The “Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology” meetings are considered to be one of the most relevant exchange platforms for basic and translational cardiovascular biology information. The most exciting results from the study were noticeable decreases in inflammation and elongation in telomeres after two years removed from the bariatric surgical procedures.
One positive benefit worth highlighting is the patient’s growth of longer telomeres after their bariatric procedures. Telomeres are the internal clock of each cell. They get shorter when a cell divides or when oxidative stress causes them to break. The negative effect of shortened telomeres is that the cell can no longer divide, and it will stay in the body as an aging cell. Previous research has found that obese women had shorter telomeres than women with a healthy resting weight.
Dr. Phillip Hohensinner, a researcher at the Medical University of Viennas in Vienna, Austria stated that with the weight lost “We think the cells appear to be getting younger, with longer telomeres, because there is less breakage from telomere oxidation. Obesity, and specifically having a lot of fat tissue, seems to put the entire body under increased stress. By losing weight and therefore adipose tissue, that stress reduces and the body becomes younger.”
The reduction in the number of shortened telomeres was not the lone benefit the patients whom had the bariatric procedures experienced. The patients who lost an average 38% of their bodyweight, also had decreases in the amount of the pro-inflammatory cytokines plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and interleukin-6, and an increase in the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10. These all signal a strong shi ft in the body from a stressed state of inflammation to a more stable cell environment.
Dr. Hohensinner was pleased with the result from his study commenting that: “This is positive news for patients who have bariatric surgery for weight loss because it shows that the damage from obesity can be reversed. Surgery is the last resort for these patients and it is good to see that not only do they lose weight but they also reduce the stress on their body and reduce the premature aging.”
*Interleukin-6: inflammation causing cell
Dr. Sadek, head surgeon at Advanced Surgical weighed in on the results of the study as well stating his opinion that “It is a promising study, which gives concrete evidence of the bodies shift from a pro-inflammatory state towards a healthier resting state after significant weight loss. We want all of our patients to be able to experience healthier, more enjoyable lives through bariatric surgery and this study just compiles more evidence for the benefits of these tried and true bariatric procedures.”