Monthly Archives: April 2012

Gastric Bypass Surgery Decreases the Desire to Drink – Say What?

As many of you who routinely read my blog can imagine, the title of this study was bound to catch my attention.    Really?    Was someone actually trying to prove such a thing when  it seems obvious the opposite is true.

I was so intrigued, I contacted one of the authors of the study, Stephan Benoit, who was kind enough to send me a copy of the study and to spend some time talking with me about the details as well as another one they plan on publishing soon.  Here is the current study:

Gastric Bypass Surgery Attenuates Ethanol Consumption in Ethanol-Preferring Rats

One of the important things he pointed out was that the rats in this study were actually alcoholic rats to begin with.    He explained, what is important is where you start out at (as far as alcohol consumption goes), which almost seems counter-intuitive.   In mice that were already alcoholic, gastric bypass surgery appeared to actually decrease the desire to drink.   However, in the study yet to be published, they used non-alcoholic mice and found the converse to be true.

It was a real pleasure discussing this with him, and he seemed to agree that there is much more to this than the one-dimensional addiction transfer model that has been previously used to explain this phenomena.

We discussed some of the difficulties he’s run into with his research, which include getting gastric bypass patients to be honest and open about very difficult and painful issues, so that he gets accurate data.

One of my concerns was the study period.   I explained the term “honeymoon period”, and how for many of us, things went very well the first year, and that by following patients who are still in that 1-yr time frame, it may be unlikely that his data with capture the true scope of the problem.

I don’t know if it is more psychological, that we stay more strictly “on program” that first year or if it there is something bio-chemical going on and then it sort of fades after a while.  Something does seem to change after that first year though.

If any of you all have any thoughts on this, ideas on your own experience, please send me a line or a comment.   We may be able to get some assistance collecting some confidential data – so I would really appreciate your input!




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