The team also wanted to know why the levels of GLP-1 increased after surgery. Normally, food is digested and absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. However, after surgery, a minor reduction occurs due to the reorganization of the gastrointestinal tract that involves the Y connection between bile and pancreatic enzymes with food. “Most digestion does not occur until the yellow and pancreatic enzymes descend from one side to the foods that descend to the other side, which occurs less in the intestines,” explains Greebel. This is important because most GLP-1 is released in the gastrointestinal tract. “If their nutrients are digested and absorbed a little less, therefore, they are stimulated to produce more GLP-1.”
Using the new RNA sequence and measurements based on mass spectrometry developed for this study, the team assigned the location of the various hormonal peptides in the intestine to humans and mice before and after vexgen keto surgery. They found that the cells that produce GLP-1 and other intestinal hormones were not affected by surgery. “This means that the cause of GLP-1 secretion is not greater because surgery changes the production of the gut hormone, but that happens because digestion and nutrients occur in a different place in the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to higher levels of GLP-1 and PYY, “says Gribble.
The team hopes to learn the precise mechanism responsible for rapid weight loss in the treatment of obesity. “If you can work on it and do a treatment that simulates it, that’s what everyone wants: an injectable or oral medication that can mimic surgery and cause people to lose weight without surgery,” she says. For those with hypoglycemia after gastric cancer surgery, the development of a compound that inhibits GLP-1 more permanently may help improve the quality of life of patients who are currently making significant adjustments in their eating behavior to avoid hypoglycemia.