Even 5% Weight Loss in Patients With Obesity Has Significant Health Benefits

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Samuel Klein, M.D. William H. Danforth Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Science Director, Center for Human Nutrition Washington University School of Medicine St Louis, MO 63110

Dr. Samuel Klein

Samuel Klein, M.D.
William H. Danforth Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Science
Director, Center for Human Nutrition
Washington University School of Medicine
St Louis, MO 63110

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Klein: Most obesity treatment guidelines, including those recently proposed by several major medical and scientific societies, recommend moderate weight loss of 5%-10% to achieve improvements in metabolic function and health outcomes. However, it is much easier to achieve a 5% weight loss than it is to achieve a 10% weight loss, so it is important to understand the benefits that occur with a 5% weight loss and what additional benefits, if any, can be expected with more weight loss in people with obesity.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Klein: The results from our study demonstrate that even a moderate 5% weight loss in people with obesity has considerable health benefits, by simultaneously improving metabolic function in multiple organ systems and decreasing other risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These beneficial effects include decreased total body fat, intra-abdominal fat and liver fat, decreased systolic blood pressure, decreased plasma triglyceride concentration, and increased insulin sensitivity in liver, muscle and fat tissues. Additional weight loss further improves many of these outcomes, and causes progressive beneficial changes in adipose tissue biology, by altering the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism, tissue remodeling and oxidative stress.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Klein: The results from our study identified the amount of weight loss that is needed to achieve selected important metabolic benefits in people with obesity, and the effect of progressive amounts of weight loss on body composition (fat-free mass, fat mass, intra-abdominal fat, and liver fat) and adipose tissue biological pathways. However, we still do not really understand the cellular mechanisms responsible for the observed therapeutic effects, which is the direction of our future research in this area. Our findings provide a platform for designing future studies, and suggest it will be useful to evaluate cross-talk between adipose tissue biology and other organ systems to understand why even moderate diet-induced weight loss causes such profound health benefits in so many organ systems. The studies that need to be done are complex, and will require an inter-disciplinary approach, involving basic science and clinical science investigators, that combines studies in people with studies in animal models.

Citation:

Effects of Moderate and Subsequent Progressive Weight Loss on Metabolic Function and Adipose Tissue Biology in Humans with Obesity

Faidon Magkos, Gemma Fraterrigo, Jun Yoshino, …, Adewole L. Okunade, Bruce W. Patterson, Samuel Klein

Magkos et al., 2016, Cell Metabolism 23, 1–11 April 12, 2016 ª2016 Elsevier Inc. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2016.02.005

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Samuel Klein, M.D. (2016). Even 5% Weight Loss in Patients With Obesity Has Significant Health Benefits MedicalResearch.com

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