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Weight loss by gastric bypass surgery alters the metabolism of individuals in ways that are different from the effects of dieting, reports a new study in the 27 April issue of Science Translational Medicine. The results are preliminary but could help researchers find new ways to treat diabetes.

“The rapid reversal of diabetes after gastric bypass surgery points to mechanisms other than weight loss involved in improved glucose levels,” said lead author Blandine Laferrère, assistant professor in medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.