An impermeable liner inserted non-surgically into a portion of the small intestine produces rapid weight loss and remission of type 2 diabetes, according to a Montana endocrinologist.
At the recent 68th Annual Scientific Sections of the American Diabetes Association in San Francisco, Dr. Christopher Sorli, an endocrinologist at the Billings Clinic in Billings, Montana, reported the results of a test of EndoBarrier, an intestinal liner developed by GI Dynamics in Massachusetts.
The randomized study involved 18 type 2 participants. Twelve of the test subjects were given the liner endoscopically. The remaining six subjects also underwent an endoscopic procedure, but did not receive the liner.
The aim of the study was to determine EndoBarrier’s ability to create a physical barrier between food and the intestinal wall, mimicking the effects of gastric bypass surgery without the need for and drawbacks of actual surgery.
Diabetes researchers theorize that gastric bypass or barrier causes hormonal changes that lower metabolism. The result is weight loss and the re-establishment in type 2s of normal blood glucose levels.
One week after receiving the device, the type 2 patients experienced an immediate reduction in pre- and post-meal blood glucose levels. Dr. Sorli reported that some of them were able to completely stop taking their diabetes medications.
Dr. Sorli’s study is one of several randomized prospective trials of EndoBarrier now underway worldwide. Such trials involve determining a method for analyzing data before the trial begins—in this case, monitoring blood glucose levels, hormonal balances and weight—and then randomly assigning the treatment or a placebo to study participants.
The trials are double-blind: Neither the subjects nor the researchers know who is receiving what treatment.
GI Dynamics estimates that the cost of inserting the liner, which is also easily removed endoscopically, is one-third that of gastric bypass surgery.