Extra Benefits From Weight Loss Surgery
According to a recent study, researchers believe there might be benefits from weight loss surgery for the offspring of women who have lost weight as a result of bariatric surgery.
The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), looked at women who underwent weight loss surgery procedures, such as sleeve gastrectomy and gastric banding, to see what happened when they had children.
The results suggest that children of mothers who had a weight loss procedure had genetic improvements in comparison to the children of mothers who did not have bariatric surgery. These genetic improvements included better insulin resistance and improved cardiovascular health.
Marie-Claude Vohl, of the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods at Laval University and the co-author of the study, believes maternal obesity affects the DNA of offspring and puts them at risk for chronic disease. This revelation is what led her team to study how maternal bariatric surgeries, such as gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy, can help improve the health of their future children.
Twenty mothers and 50 children were surveyed as part of the study, including children born before and after their mothers had weight loss surgery. On average, the children were 15 years old at the time of the study, while the mothers were women between the ages 35 and 51 who had been obese before having weight loss surgery. Each mother in the study lost around 100 pounds following her bariatric surgery procedure.
Results of the Study
After the study was complete, researchers determined that children born after the procedures had a difference in genes from children born before surgery. Specifically, the researchers found:
- A total of 5,698 genes in children born after the weight loss procedure were different than the genes in the children born before surgery.
- Many of the gene differences related to insulin resistance and fighting off diabetes.
- Children born after surgery were generally among average weight, with smaller hip girth and smaller weights.
- Children born after the surgery had lower blood pressure.
Although the study isn’t conclusive, the study researchers suggest that children born to mothers who have had weight loss surgery tend to have better overall physical health.
Vohl plans to conduct further research on children of mothers who received weight loss surgery. She believes these findings can show mothers why it is important to maintain good physical health during pregnancy and beyond, focusing on proper weight management and weight loss if they are in the obese category.