Up until recently, the modern way of dealing with obesity and weight loss has either been strict diets or surgery to make your stomach smaller, but recent study in the field has yielded some surprising outcomes. As a result, doctors and researchers alike are beginning to realize there is a far more complicated picture of weight. Sure dieting and exercise can contribute to weight loss but researchers are beginning to realize there are many other factors.
According to Yahoo’s Live Science, researchers now believe a slew of hormones from the gut, and their communication with the brain, play a role in the way the body both maintains and loses weight. Currently, there are two different types of weight-loss surgery including gastric bypass and gastric banding. Both involve making the stomach smaller. Research has shown that up to a third of patients will end up back at their pre-surgical weight seven to 10 years later and as a result, researchers are beginning to realize that weight loss after surgery is very different from weight loss achieved by dieting.
Ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, is said to be key component in weight loss. Researchers note that when we diet our ghrelin levels rise making us hungry. However, although we may lose weight out ghrelin levels stay high and we continue to feel hungry even after eating. The only way ghrelin levels come down is if we regain the weight.
There is usually a drop in ghrelin after gastric bypass. However patients who received gastric banding often experienced a drop in their hunger but not in ghrelin. They believe this may be because ghrelin communicates with the brain in a different way after surgery. Doctors and researchers alike believe that ghrelin is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hormones that contribute to weight loss, and more research is needed to isolate all the hormones related to this issue.
The recent study also found that the brain in conjunction with hormones plays a significant role in weight loss. As a result many believe it may be possible to replicate the results of surgery using drugs. Researchers are now seeking to develop an obesity vaccine that will block the production of hormones relating to weight.