Vertical Gastrectomy Shown to Reduce Hormone that Causes Hunger
Stomach reduction procedures are effective in suppressing the body's ability to produce Ghrelin, the hormone attributed to hunger and weight gain.
Scientists and researchers have discovered that the hormone responsible for stimulating the human appetite, Ghrelin, has been reduced and even neutralized by bariatric surgical procedures like vertical gastrectomy, (also known as sleeve gastrectomy), gastric bypass and duodenal switch.
Most of the hormone Ghrelin is produced in the stomach, and scientists believe that it evolved to fight weight loss in the human body. Professor Stephen Bloom, a British obesity researcher, describes it this way: "We are machines designed to live through famine. We are survivors of the obese. All we need is a plentiful supply of food and we gain weight. That's the way we are made and how we evolved."
To combat this predisposition to weight gain, bariatric surgical procedures have become popular in helping counteract the debilitating effects of obesity. Bariatric surgeons like Dr. Paul Cirangle, of Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco, have seen the effects of neutralizing Ghrelin firsthand. "We have discovered that, after performing a vertical gastrectomy and other stomach reduction procedures, the Ghrelin levels have decreased dramatically within 24 hours of the stomach being removed. We consider this proof that surgery can favorably alter the hormonal drive to eat and allow individuals to lose large amounts of weight without feeling hungry."
Researchers found elevated levels of Ghrelin in people who lost weight through dieting whenever they were measured for it, leading them to conclude that the body was signaling its owner to eat more in order to gain back lost weight. This conclusion has lent additional credence to the surgical option for obese people searching for a long-term solution to losing weight and keeping it off.
The reduction of Ghrelin levels from vertical gastrectomy and other bariatric procedures has captured the attention of scientists around the world who are striving to find the magic bullet to the obesity epidemic. Controlling the way the body produces Ghrelin, through surgery and medical research, may hold the key to the future of fighting an ever-increasing worldwide disease.