A new study, published online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, has found that weight-loss surgery, aka bariatric surgery, cures type 2 diabetes in over 50% of patients who undergo the procedure.

The weight-loss surgery helps people with severe obesity to shed weight and improve their health.

Typically, there are two types of bariatric surgery. First, lap band surgery, a procedure in which a “band around the top of the stomach creates a pouch that can only hold a small amount of food,” according to MedicineNet. Second, gastric bypass surgery, a procedure that reduces stomach size.

Gastric bypass surgery causes hormonal changes and may lower the amount of essential nutrients absorbed from food.

Study author Dr. Jonathan Purnell of Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, said, “If a patient with type 2 diabetes is considering weight-loss surgery, choosing gastric bypass soon after diagnosis can increase their chance of remission or achieving a blood sugar level that does not need treatment.”

“Our large study confirms the importance of weight loss on inducing diabetes remission, but also finds gastric bypass has benefits independent of weight,” he added. “If we can understand what these benefits are, it could lead to new diabetes treatments.”

For the study, Dr. Purnell and his team collected data on nearly 2,300 adults with severe obesity who had undergone weight-loss surgery. Of those people, about 35% had type 2 diabetes.

Overall, 57% of those with type 2 diabetes who underwent gastric bypass surgery saw their diabetes disappear, and 22% of those who had lap band surgery were into diabetes remission.

The study researchers noted, “Remission was more common in younger patients and those who had diabetes for a shorter time before their procedure.”

“A greater likelihood of diabetes remission was seen after gastric bypass surgery whether or not people lost weight, suggesting that mechanisms beyond weight loss contribute to improved blood sugar,” the authors said. The article was originally published in MedicineNet.