Obesity Surgery

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 29–35

Ghrelin and Obestatin Levels in Severely Obese Women Before and After Weight Loss After Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery


    • Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute
  • Thomas Reinehr
    • Vestische Hospital for Children and Adolescents DattelnUniversity of Witten/Herdecke
  • Gerit-Holger Schernthaner
    • Department of Medicine II, Division of AngiologyMedical University of Vienna
  • Hans-Peter Kopp
    • Department of Medicine IRudolfstiftung Hospital Vienna
  • Stefan Kriwanek
    • Department of SurgeryRudolfstiftung Hospital Vienna
  • Guntram Schernthaner
    • Department of Medicine IRudolfstiftung Hospital Vienna
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11695-008-9568-x

Cite this article as:
Roth, C.L., Reinehr, T., Schernthaner, G. et al. OBES SURG (2009) 19: 29. doi:10.1007/s11695-008-9568-x



Ghrelin and obestatin are derived from the same gene but have different effects: Ghrelin stimulates appetite, and previous—albeit inconsistent—data show that obestatin may be involved in satiety. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery and/or the weight loss that reliably results from this procedure would alter levels of ghrelin and obestatin and ghrelin/obestatin ratios in a cohort of morbidly obese women.


This is a longitudinal follow-up study in 18 morbidly obese women (mean weight 131.2 kg, mean body mass index [BMI] 47.4). Clinical parameters and fasting serum concentrations of ghrelin, obestatin, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, glucose, and insulin were measured before and 2 years after RYGB surgery, which was associated with body weight reductions of 41.5 ± 11.6 kg (mean 62.5% excess weight loss).


Ghrelin concentrations (−12%, p = 0.022) and ghrelin/obestatin ratios (−14%, p = 0.017) were lower after surgery than before, while obestatin levels did not change. Changes in ghrelin concentrations correlated with changes in insulin levels (r = 0.45, p = 0.011). Most cardiovascular risk factors studied improved postsurgically (p < 0.01).


In contrast to previous weight loss studies involving gastric banding, ghrelin levels decreased and obestatin levels remained stable after massive weight loss in long-term follow-up. The favorable gastrointestinal hormone profiles observed are likely to contribute to the long-term weight loss success rate attributed to RYGB.


GhrelinObestatinGastric bypassCardiovascular risk factorsObesityWeight lossRoux-en Y gastric bypass

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008