Cholesterol metabolism after bariatric surgery in grade 3 obesity: Differences between malabsorptive and restrictive procedures

Alberto Benetti, Marina Del Puppo, Andrea Crosignani, Annamaria Veronelli, Enzo Masci, Francesca Frigè, Giancarlo Micheletto, Valerio Panizzo, Antonio E. Pontiroli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE - Malabsorptive bariatric surgery (biliopancreatic diversion and biliointestinal bypass [BIBP]) reduces serum cholesterol levels more than restrictive surgery (adjustable gastric banding [AGB]), and this is thought to be due to greater weight loss. Our aim was to evaluate the changes of cholesterol metabolism induced by malabsorptive and restrictive surgery independent of weight loss. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - In a nonrandomized, self-selected, unblinded, active-comparator, bicenter, 6-month study, glucose metabolism (blood glucose and serum insulin levels and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance [HOMA-IR] index) and cholesterol metabolism (absorption: serum campesterol and sitosterol levels; synthesis: serum lathosterol levels; catabolism: rate of appearance and serum concentrations of serum 7-α- and serum 27-OH-cholesterol after infusions of deuterated 7-α- and 27-OH-cholesterol in sequence) were assessed in grade 3 obesity subjects undergoing BIBP (n = 10) and AGB (n = 10). Evaluations were performed before and 6 months after surgery. RESULTS - Subjects had similar values at baseline.Weight loss was similar in the two groups of subjects, and blood glucose, insulin levels, HOMA-IR, and triglycerides decreased in a similar way. In contrast, serumcholesterol, LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, serumsitosterol, and campesterol levels decreased and lathosterol levels increased only in BIBP subjects, not in AGB subjects. A significant increase in 7-α-OH-cholesterol occurred only with BIBP; serum 27-OHcholesterol decreased in both groups. CONCLUSIONS - Malabsorptive surgery specifically affects cholesterol levels, independent of weight loss and independent of glucose metabolism and insulin resistance. Decreased sterol absorption leads to decreased cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, accompanied by enhanced cholesterol synthesis and enhanced cholesterol catabolism. Compared with AGB, BIBP provides greater cholesterol lowering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1443-1447
Number of pages5
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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