Weight Loss Surgery May Make You Younger

    November 30, 2013
    Toni Matthews-El
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It would be a beauty and youth-seeker’s dream come true: Weight loss surgery not only getting rid of excess pounds, but perhaps making you younger in the process. This was the preliminary result of research released by Stanford University. The belief centers on the lengthening of telomeres. Telomeres exist at the ends of DNA strands and protect them from being destroyed. Over the course of our lives, these telomeres shorten. The aging of the human body overtime has been seen as the main cause.

For half of those who submitted to research, a year later finds that their telomeres have lengthened significantly. This highly irregular development suggests for the very first time that it is possible to influence the body’s aging process through surgery.

But aging isn’t the only positive benefit that could be noted. Dr. Jaime Ponce, the former president of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, told Aljazeera that it’s very possible for depression levels to be impacted. He adds that a follow-up has shown that even four years after major weight loss procedures, many patients have more positive scores regarding depression levels than they did prior to their surgeries. As it turns out, telomeres are also linked to depression.

Patients with high cholesterol and inflammation prior to weight loss surgery saw major improvements over time. Again, telomere levels were affected. It’s enough to suggest broad benefits, but nothing directly linked to a visible reverse in aging.

Which is why skeptics say it’s too early to draw any major conclusions. There are too many factors that could cause telomeres to change. And before ushering obese patients into weight loss procedures, it’s good to remember there are major risks. These risks, which include infections, blood clots, and possible heart attacks, often cause many to forego weight loss surgery altogether.

Researchers hope to develop safer and less controversial alternatives to the invasive surgical procedures which could deliver the same results as observed in the studies.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

  • JK

    Ok …. what moron out there would believe this? Let me break this down for people.

    1) Surgery in no way, shape or form will alter DNA. Sucking fat out of a persons stomach is not going to alter DNA. Putting essentially a rubber band around a person’s stomach is not going to alter DNA.

    2) Why are depression levels impacted? Because you simply feel better about your appearance. End of story.

    3) Why are cholesterol levels going down? Because people are probably eating better and exercising more after they just had thousands of dollars worth of surgery to get rid of fat. Fat after all, can come back and the only way to keep it off is to diet and exercise.

    4) Why is inflammation going down? Your not as fat and there is less stress on joints. Heck, you may even be exercising more to keep the fat off.

    Don’t believe BS articles and studies like this. Increasing your metabolism, diet and exercise is the only way to get rid of fat over the long term. There is no magical cure or surgery. Plus, we all age. There is nothing we can do to reverse that. Well, not by surgery anyhow. Maybe through genetic manipulation, but good luck with that. Our understanding of genetics is very limited. We know a lot more than in the past, but I equate it to being in the third grade when the goal is to get a PHD. Plus, we don’t have a clue what will happen generations down the road. Say a woman gets her gene’s manipulated. A man get his. The meet. Marry. Have Kids. We have no clue what that will mean for the child.

    I have a scientific background but I believe in God. God was not a fool or an idiot. He gave man all he needed to live long and happy lives. He gave us good food to eat and we are made to be active. He gave us a brain so we can make life better for ourselves. It is pretty much that simple.

  • Clemencedane

    Shouldn’t they have done a comparison of overweight people who had lost the same amount of weight gradually to see whether their telomeres had also lengthened?