Inflammation levels may impact weight loss success after bariatric surgery

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Obesity is a growing concern worldwide, placing a significant financial burden on healthcare systems.

In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) spends approximately £6 billion a year on obesity-related issues, with estimates projecting this cost to rise to nearly £10 billion by 2050.

Bariatric surgery is one of the treatments offered to address obesity, but its effectiveness can vary among patients.

Researchers at King’s College London have conducted a groundbreaking study shedding light on a key factor influencing weight loss outcomes following bariatric surgery: inflammation levels in the blood.

Inflammation, Not Depression, Is the Critical Factor

While depression and obesity have been frequently associated, researchers have long suspected that inflammation could be the common link between these conditions.

In a pioneering study, scientists at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College explored the connection between depression, inflammation, and weight loss outcomes in bariatric surgery patients.

Study Details and Findings

The study involved 85 participants, all of whom were obese and scheduled for bariatric surgery. Of these participants, 41 met the criteria for a clinical diagnosis of depression.

Researchers measured levels of inflammatory proteins, including C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and Interleukin-6 (IL-6), in the participants’ blood before and after surgery.

The results were compelling: patients with depression exhibited higher levels of these inflammatory proteins.

Remarkably, six months after the surgery, individuals with elevated inflammatory protein levels experienced less weight loss, regardless of whether they had depression or not.

Implications for Patients and Doctors

Lead author Valeria Mondelli, a Clinical Professor at IoPPN, emphasized that these findings could pave the way for personalized treatments to enhance post-surgery weight loss outcomes.

Addressing inflammation levels may become a crucial aspect of obesity treatment, ensuring better results for patients undergoing bariatric surgery.

Dr. Anna McLaughlin, another researcher involved in the study, highlighted the significance of these findings in predicting the need for additional support following surgery.

Patients with a history of childhood trauma, who already require extra psychological support post-surgery, could benefit from a holistic approach that addresses inflammation as well.


This research represents a significant step toward improving the efficacy of bariatric surgery.

It underscores the importance of not only altering the body’s capacity to consume food but also comprehending the body’s internal environment and its response to the surgical intervention.

Given the substantial healthcare costs associated with obesity and its contribution to various health issues, these findings offer a promising avenue for enhancing treatment effectiveness and improving patients’ overall quality of life.

If you care about weight loss, please read studies about the keto diet for weight loss: Pros and cons, and how to drink water to lose weight.

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