Could drugs replace gastric bypass surgery for weight loss?

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Could drugs replace gastric bypass surgery for weight loss
Credit: Edward Roberts/Flickr.

Gastric bypass surgery is one of the most successful treatments for obesity and related disorders.

However, some patients may not want to undergo surgery.

In an attempt to reduce nutrient absorption and replicate the effects of gastric bypass surgery, researchers screened for inhibitors of an amino acid transporter, called B0AT1.

They discovered a number of agents—including benztropine, a drug that is already in clinical use—as promising candidates.

“These compounds are just a start and need to be developed further, but they could potentially replace surgical procedures and be used together with other drugs to treat type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Stefan Bröer, senior author of the British Journal of Pharmacology study.