Jackie got her life back with bariatric surgery. You will notice in the video that she looks more youthful and vibrant. In addition to the cosmetic effect of the weight loss, something deeper is going on – metabolic wellness.
Weight loss may slow aging
We normally think of bariatric surgery as a procedure that helps patients reduce the risk of adult onset diabetes and cardiovascular problems. A recent study at Stanford University produced some interesting evidence that weight loss resulting from bariatric surgery may have created a change in the patient’s genetic functioning. Apparently, obesity affects the aging mechanism in human cells. As cells age, the telomeres, which are like the plastic caps on shoelaces, get shorter until the cell is no longer able to reproduce. Obesity appears to speed up the aging process by shortening the telomeres. However significant weight loss appears to slow down the aging process by slowing down the shortening of the telomeres. The change is only about 2 – 3% which is within the margin of error, that is, the normal range of variation in telomere length, but it is something that will be looked at more closely.
In addition to the potential benefits of major weight loss on slowing the process of aging on the genetic level, there are the real benefits of looking and feeling better. The body’s features are not distorted, so moving as well as resting become comfortable. Since obesity also affects our metabolism, it affects our ability to use nutrients to rebuild our bodies and to create the energy that makes us alive. Obesity leads to metabolic syndrome. It causes our metabolism to be dysfunctional. This leads to metabolic diseases such as adult onset diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and the inflammation of organ systems. When our weight comes into line with the size of our bodies, everything starts working better. This improved function gives us a youthful glow and energy and a much more enjoyable experience of living.
A Ripple Effect for Families
Weight loss apparently benefits other members of the family. In another study at Stanford University family members participated in classes on nutrition, portion control, and exercise. After a year, family members had lost ten pounds on average and improved their health through nutrition and exercise.