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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

Gastric Banding as Effective as Metformin in Slowing Progression of Prediabetes, Type 2 Diabetes

Illustration of gastric band weight loss surgery.

Study shows that gastric banding was similar in effect to drug in patients with prediabetes or new-onset type 2 diabetes.

People with prediabetes or new-onset type 2 diabetes who had gastric banding, a type of bariatric surgery for weight loss, had similar stabilization of their disease to those who took metformin alone, according to a study supported by NIH. These findings were published on Oct. 3 in Diabetes Care, coinciding with a presentation during the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting in Berlin.

The Beta Cell Restoration through Fat Mitigation study, or BetaFat, enrolled 88 participants with mild to moderate obesity and either prediabetes or new-onset type 2 diabetes. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive a gastric banding procedure, involving placement of a band around the upper part of the stomach to slow digestion. The other participants received the drug metformin, the most common first-line medication for people with prediabetes and early type 2 diabetes.

After 2 years, people in the gastric banding group lost significantly more weight, an average of 23 pounds, compared to 4 pounds in the metformin group. The two treatment groups ended up with similar improvements in insulin sensitivity and relatively stable function of insulin-producing cells, with small improvements in blood glucose levels.

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