Most recent update: Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 11:01

Bariatric News - Cookies & privacy policy

You are here

RYGB and alcohol abuse

Animal study finds RYGB is associated with alcohol abuse

Changes in the responsiveness of the ghrelin system may be partly involved in the modulation of alcohol intake following RYGB
(Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Ahmet Guler)

A study on rats supports previous findings that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is associated with an increased risk of alcohol abuse. Published in the journal Plos One, the study found that RYGB rats increased their alcohol reward and consumption of low ethanol concentrations, compared with their dietary obese controls.

The researchers from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine said that changes in the responsiveness of the ghrelin system may be partly involved in the modulation of alcohol intake following RYGB, although they said that further studies are needed to determine the precise role of ghrelin on these responses.

RYGB patients report a change in eating habits post-surgery, in particular a rejection of previous consumed foods such as fats, concentrated carbohydrates, ice cream and sweetened beverages. These changes have also been documented in in animal models of RYGB.

However, there have been clinical reports of an increased risk for ethanol consumption following RYGB surgery, and as a result, ethanol abuse represents a relative contraindication for surgery in most bariatric surgery programmes, the authors say.

In order to assess the association between RYGB and potential alcohol abuse, the investigators tested whether bypass alters motivation to self-administer alcohol in outbred dietary obese rats and the involvement of the ghrelin system as a potential underlying mechanism.

High fat (60%kcal from fat), diet-induced obese, non-diabetic male Sprague Dawley rats underwent RYGB (n=9) or sham operation (n=9), and were tested four months after surgery on a progressive ratio-10 schedule of active spout responses for 2, 4, and 8% ethanol. In addition, the effects of the ghrelin-1a-receptor antagonist D-[Lys3]-GHRP-6 (50, 100nmol/kg, IP) were tested on progressive ratio-10 responding for 4% ethanol.

Compared with sham, RYGB rats made significantly more active spout responses to earn reward, more licks on the ethanol spout, and achieved higher breakpoints.

Pre-treatment with a single peripheral injection of D-[Lys3]-GHRP-6 at either dose was ineffective in altering appetitive or the number of licks on the ethanol spout licks on the ethanol spout to 4% ethanol in the sham group.

In contrast, RYGB rats demonstrated reduced operant performance to earn alcohol reward on the test day and fewer licks on the ethanol spout for two subsequent days following the drug.

Conclusion

“We show that RYGB rats increased alcohol reward and consumption of low ethanol concentrations compared with their dietary obese controls, which supports the clinical findings that bariatric surgery is associated with an increased risk for alcohol abuse,” write the authors. “We also found that changes in the responsiveness of the ghrelin system may be partly involved in the modulation of alcohol intake following RYGB, although further studies are needed to determine the precise role of ghrelin on these responses.

They add that sensitivity to threshold doses of D-[LYS3]-GHRP-6 suggests that an augmented ghrelin system may contribute to increased alcohol reward in RYGB.

“Further research is warranted to confirm applicability of these findings to humans and to explore ghrelin-receptor targets for treatment of alcohol-related disorders in RYGB patients,” they conclude.

Want more stories like this? Subscribe to Bariatric News!

Bariatric News
Keep up to date! Get the latest news in your inbox. NOTE: Bariatric News WILL NOT pass on your details to 3rd parties. However, you may receive ‘marketing emails’ sent by us on behalf of 3rd parties.