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UC's Metabolic Diseases Institute on the Reading Campus
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Publish Date: 06/11/12
Media Contact: Dama Ewbank, 513-558-4519
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Gastric Bypass Surgery May Decrease Alcohol Consumption

CINCINNATI—Gastric bypass surgery may decrease alcohol consumption among patients who consumed alcohol regularly prior to surgery, say University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers. 

Jon Davis, PhD, research scientist in the UC Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, presented results of his study June 9 at the American Diabetes Association 72nd Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia. Davis has previously published results of this work in the journal Biological Psychiatry. 

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYBG) surgery is used to treat obesity. Research has shown that this surgery reduces reward-related consumption behaviors. Davis and his team hypothesized that the surgery would reduce alcohol consumption. 

To test their hypothesis, the team collected data from the Bariatric Outcomes Longitudinal Database and analyzed a subset of human patients who underwent RYGB. They examined demographic data, which included self-reporting on alcohol use before and after surgery. He found that human patients who reported "occasional” and "frequent” intake before surgery reported decreased consumption following surgery. Patients who reported little or no alcohol consumption before surgery had no change following surgery.

Davis and his research team tested these results in rodent models bred to consume alcohol and found that RYGB did in fact reduce alcohol consumption. They also noticed neuroendocrine changes.

"Not only did we see the ability of RYGB to reduce alcohol consumption in rodents, but we also found that the surgery modified the gut hormones glucagon-like peptide 1 and ghrelin,” says Davis. "Collectively, these data indicate that RYGB is capable of attenuating alcohol consumption in individuals with a history of alcohol use and may contribute to a better understanding of the neuroendocrine mechanisms that regulate alcohol consumption.

"The data unveil the potential of neuroendocrine changes, which occur secondary to bypass surgery, to influence alcohol consumption and reward,” Davis adds. "This is an extremely timely topic in the field of obesity research and the results of this effort provide insight for the fields of obesity and addiction.”

Davis, a member of UC’s Metabolic Diseases Institute, received support for this study in part by a grant from Ethicon Endo-Surgery (EES) as part of its Metabolic Applied Research Strategy (MARS).

EES, through its MARS initiative, is working to deconstruct, understand and reinvent metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures in ways that deliver less invasive options. Davis’ study is one of 13 EES-supported studies from UC being presented at the ADA’s Scientific Sessions.

Randy Seeley, PhD, study co-author, Donald C. Harrison Endowed Professor in UC’s endocrinology division and director of the Cincinnati Diabetes and Obesity Center, a UC College of Medicine Center of Excellence, leads the EES collaboration for UC. 

In addition to support from EES, Davis’ study was funded in part by a grant from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Co-authors include Jennifer Schurdak, Irwin Magrisso, Joram Mul, Bernadette Grayson, Paul Pfluger, Matthias Tschöp and Stephen Benoit. 

Seeley, Benoit and Tschöp cite research alliances with Ethicon Endo-Surgery. Seeley receives financial support for research and is a paid speaker for EES. 

Davis’ presentation number at the ADA’s Scientific Sessions was 1980-P. 



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