Obesity Surgery

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 149–158 | Cite as

Comprehensive Assessment of the Effects of Sleeve Gastrectomy on Glucose, Lipid, and Amino Acid Metabolism in Asian Individuals with Morbid Obesity

  • Jie Yao
  • Jean-Paul Kovalik
  • Oi Fah Lai
  • Phong Ching Lee
  • Alvin Eng
  • Weng Hoong Chan
  • Kwang Wei Tham
  • Eugene Lim
  • Yong Mong Bee
  • Hong Chang TanEmail author
Original Contributions



Obesity-induced insulin resistance leads to abnormalities in glucose, lipid, and amino acid metabolism. Our study examined the differences in insulin-mediated glucose, amino acid, and lipid metabolism between morbidly obese subjects with non-obese controls and the associated changes following sleeve gastrectomy (SG).


Non-obese controls and individuals with morbid obesity and scheduled for SG were recruited. Metabolic assessments were performed for all subjects at baseline and at 6 months after SG for eight subjects. The hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp technique together with comprehensive metabolomic profiling was used to quantify insulin-mediated glucose, amino acid, and lipid metabolism.


Eleven morbidly obese non-diabetic subjects scheduled for SG and nine non-obese controls were recruited. Compared to controls, obese subjects had significantly lower glucose uptake (4.4 ± 0.6 vs. 17.3 ± 2.4 mg/kg FFM/min per μU/mL·100) and higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs, 332.5 ± 26.8 vs. 235.3 ± 11.0 μM), non-esterified fatty acid (52.9 ± 9.9 vs. 25.6 ± 6.7 μM), and lipid-related acylcarnitines (intermediate chain 389.8 ± 32.5 vs. 285.9 ± 20.5; long chain 301.7 ± 22.1 vs. 236.0 ± 13.3 nM) during insulin clamp. Body weight significantly reduced at 6 months after bariatric surgery (92.5 ± 6.3 vs. 115.2 ± 6.9 kg), together with improvements in insulin-mediated glucose uptake, and suppression of BCAAs, non-esterified fatty acids, and lipid-related metabolites.


Morbid obesity in Asian individuals was associated with impairment in the regulatory actions of insulin on glucose, amino acid, and lipid metabolism, and these obesity-induced regulatory dysfunctions improved significantly 6 months after SG.


Metabolomics Sleeve gastrectomy Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp Branched-chain amino acids Asians Morbid obesity 



All authors were involved in writing the paper and had final approval of the submitted and published version. The authors would like to thank Vieon Wu and Valerie Lai for their research coordinating efforts and Mhd Asyraf Razali for his assistance in conducting the study. We gratefully acknowledge SingHealth IMU for their site and support and Garrett Ong, Chng Jian Hong, Tan Tsze Yin, and Ee Kim Huey for their laboratory expertise. We would like to thank all the study volunteers.


This study was supported by the SingHealth Foundation Grant.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Statement

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

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High resolution image (TIFF 446 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jie Yao
    • 1
  • Jean-Paul Kovalik
    • 2
  • Oi Fah Lai
    • 3
  • Phong Ching Lee
    • 4
  • Alvin Eng
    • 5
  • Weng Hoong Chan
    • 5
  • Kwang Wei Tham
    • 4
  • Eugene Lim
    • 5
  • Yong Mong Bee
    • 4
  • Hong Chang Tan
    • 4
    Email author return OK on get
  1. 1.Duke-NUS Medical SchoolSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Cardiovascular Metabolic ProgramDuke-NUS Medical SchoolSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Department of Clinical ResearchSingapore General HospitalSingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.Department of Endocrinology, The Academia Level 3Singapore General HospitalSingaporeSingapore
  5. 5.Department of Upper Gastrointestinal and Bariatric SurgerySingapore General HospitalSingaporeSingapore

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