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Visceral Adiponectin and Weight Loss after Bariatric Surgery in Women

Visceral Adiponectin and Weight Loss

The connection between visceral adiponectin and weight loss has been studied in women after a bariatric weight loss procedure.

It has been observed that higher levels of visceral adiponectin may predict greater weight loss in women after bariatric surgery.

Adiponectin is a protein that is produced by fat cells. It has been associated with an improvement in insulin sensitivity and weight loss.

In the future, adiponectin or adiponectin analogs could emerge as promising peptides for weight loss, because of the following reasons [Ref]:

  • Adiponectin improves insulin sensitivity
  • It can prevent atherosclerosis
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Adiponectin reduces glucose production by the liver and reverses obesity and alcohol-associated liver injury

Adiponectin levels predict extended weight loss in women after bariatric surgery.

The study evaluated visceral adiponectin (VAT-APN) as a biomarker to predict weight loss in women who have had weight loss surgery.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Adiponectin and Weight Loss: Study Key points:

  • The main focus of this research was to assess weight loss after bariatric surgery, particularly in relation to gender. It identifies adiponectin (APN) in the visceral fat (VAT-APN) as a key indicator for successful weight loss in females.
  • Instead of looking at overall levels of APN in the blood, this research stresses the importance of checking APN specifically in the belly fat.
  • The study suggests that levels of abdominal fat are more crucial than general or skin-deep levels in foreseeing how well someone will do after bariatric surgery.
  • By focusing on individuals with elevated VAT-APN, the potential effectiveness of bariatric surgery for women can be improved.
  • It is crucial to figure out who will likely succeed in losing excess weight after bariatric surgery, especially considering the costs involved.

Adiponectin and Weight Loss after Bariatric Surgery:

Bariatric surgery is a medical procedure for treating severe obesity, and it works well in helping people lose weight in the long term and improve their health as well.

These treatments specifically focus on limiting how much food the stomach can take or reducing how the body absorbs nutrients, which significantly decreases weight [ref].

Every patient has a different metabolism and experiences a distinct range of weight loss. However, most individuals exhibit a sustained loss in pounds after the procedures.

Along with this, bariatric surgery causes improvements in obesity-related conditions like type 2 diabetes mellitus, Hypertension, sleep apnea, dyslipidemia, and polycystic ovarian syndrome

This mechanism behind sustained weight loss includes the role of hormonal metabolism as it affects hormones like adiponectin, produced by fat cells. After surgery, there is a rise in adiponectin, which is crucial for insulin sensitivity [ref].

Therefore, checking adiponectin levels after bariatric surgery is of evident importance. Monitoring these levels post-surgery helps assess the impact of the procedure on the hormonal system.

A study published in The International Journal of Obesity concluded that a specific type of hormone called VAT-APN in abdominal fat is a key predictor of successful weight loss after bariatric surgery, especially in females. [ref]

This examination of a single hormone can help physicians develop a personalized approach. In this way, they can select patients with higher chances of benefiting from the advantages of bariatric surgery.

Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric Bypass Surgery

Adiponectin and Weight Loss: Study methods and analysis

In this small observational study, the researchers used two methods, ELISA and Western blot analyses, to study levels of adiponectin (APN) before bariatric surgery.

Of the 43 patients in the study, 56% were female and suffering from extreme obesity. After their bariatric procedure, they continued to follow these patients for 6-24 months.

They examined this hormone in the blood (plasma) and in two distinct forms of fat: visceral fat (VAT) and subcutaneous fat (SAT) in the abdomen.

In women, the study found that the levels of VAT-APN in belly fat were lower and were the only factor strongly connected to losing excess weight.

More specifically, having higher VAT-APN levels in the top quarter consistently matched better weight loss results, even when looking at the starting body mass index (BMI).

The researchers pinpointed the ideal VAT-APN level for predicting 95% weight loss a year after surgery, which was 5.1 µg/mg.

This level showed high accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity in forecasting the success of weight loss after the operation.


Adiponectin and Weight Loss Correlation:

Because adiponectin is renowned for its insulin-sensitizing and anti-inflammatory effects, there is a considerable drop in its synthesis as fat mass increases.

Bariatric surgery attempts to treat insulin resistance and inflammation in obesity by encouraging weight loss, as decreased adiponectin levels are linked to these disorders.

By measuring adiponectin levels before surgery, doctors can determine the patient’s metabolic condition.

And even though adiponectin is produced by fat cells, there is still an inverse relation owing to the dysfunctional enlarged adipocytes [ref].

Higher pre-operative adiponectin levels indicate better metabolic function and predict improved insulin sensitivity after surgery as concluded by the new study.

effect of laparascopic sleeve gastrectomy on comorbid conditions ozempic vs gastric sleeve surgery
The effect of Laparascopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG) on Comorbid Medical Conditions

Adiponectin monitoring before bariatric surgery

Adiponectin levels are related to better fat mobilization and enhanced insulin utilization.

So, as the levels increase, it will be useful to keep an eye on them to evaluate how well the body adapts to the changes induced by bariatric surgery.

This information is vital as it is a tool to express the surgery’s effectiveness. It also helps predict metabolic improvements and identify individuals likely to experience positive, long-term outcomes.

For these reasons, the study highlights that assessing the hormone VAT-APN before bariatric surgery is a valuable method to predict which women are significantly more likely to benefit from the procedure.

Researchers suggest that higher levels of this specific hormone in abdominal visceral fat correlate with better weight loss outcomes in females.

Changes in BMI and % weight loss 10 years after gastric sleeve bypass surgery
Changes in BMI and % weight loss 10 years after gastric sleeve bypass surgery

How can you increase your Adiponectin Levels?

Studies have shown that certain herbs lower blood glucose primarily via increasing adiponectin levels.

  • Astragalosides root extract:

Astragalosides root extract is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. It partly acts on increasing adiponectin levels. It can be added to tea for weight loss and improving insulin sensitivity.

  • Zataria multiflora:

Zataria multiflora is a flowering plant native to the Middle East and Asia. The dried leaves of the plant are added to different spices and used to flavor various dishes.

  • Minerals:

Cobalt and Manganese are two minerals commonly used as supplements. They have been linked to partially act by increasing adiponectin levels.

  • Aerobic exercise:

Vigorous aerobic exercise increases adiponectin levels. Adiponectin levels are high in trained athletes. In one study, one week of aerobic activity led to an increase in adiponectin levels in abdominally obese men [Ref].

  • Thiazolidinediones:

Pioglitazone and Rosiglitazone are the two drugs that increase adiponectin levels in mice and humans [Ref].

These novel drugs may increase adiponectin indirectly by causing weight loss and reducing body and visceral fat.

gastric sleeve 10 years later
Gastric sleeve 10 years later


The current study not only signifies the need to monitor adiponectin levels but also stresses that this evaluation must be done before bariatric surgery. So, this helps physicians counsel patients who have significantly lower APN levels.

Since bariatric surgery is expensive, this simple analysis can help patients save money and lose a specific amount of weight through diet and exercise before seeking the medical procedure.

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

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